Kim Daniels bill looks to limit restraint of juveniles who are Baker Acted
Rep. Kim Daniels is headed back to the House.

A report released this summer showed juveniles being Baker Acted in record numbers during fiscal year 2017-18.

A new bill from state Rep. Kimberly Daniels is looking to limit the restraint of juveniles during transportation to an involuntary examination under the Baker Act.

Under current law, individuals may be required to appear for an involuntary examination by a court under.

“If other less restrictive means are not available, such as voluntary appearance for outpatient evaluation, a law enforcement officer, or other designated agent of the court, shall take the person into custody and deliver him or her to an appropriate, or the  nearest, facility within the designated receiving system…for involuntary examination,” the statute reads.

Daniels, a Jacksonville Democrat, would amend that subsection with her legislation (HB 1027).

“An officer transporting a minor under this subparagraph shall restrain the minor in the least restrictive manner necessary under the circumstances,” reads Daniels’ addition to the statute.

Daniels’ push comes after a report released this summer showed juveniles being Baker Acted in record numbers during fiscal year 2017-18.

The annual report from the University of South Florida Baker Act Reporting Center detailed data showing more than 36,000 juveniles were subject to involuntary examinations under the act. That represents a jump of 10% from the previous high, set one year prior.

USF researchers translated those numbers to a rate of 1,186 involuntary exams per 100,000 children during that year.

While the number of exams jumped 10%, the population of juveniles increased just 0.3% from the previous year.

Looking at the numbers over a decade, the number of involuntary examinations from fiscal year 2007-08 to fiscal year 2017-18 increased by 83%. The juvenile population, meanwhile, actually decreased from 2007 to 2017.

The decision to send a juvenile to an involuntary examination can be made by a law enforcement officer. Those officers often do not have extensive mental health training.

Some parents have worried that the increase in these examinations in recent years is harming juveniles who may be suffering from mental health issues but are not necessarily a danger to themselves or others.

Daniels’ bill would take effect on July 1, 2020, if successful.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


  • John Kociuba

    December 25, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Dear Citizens ~

    Re: Child Mental Illness

    “The Greatest Evil Ever Perpetrated Is A Single Parent.” James M. Henslin (Geo Sociological Sciences 8th Edition)

    Yes. Now let us address Clandestine Communist Operations to destroy America’s family units under the most vile Unconstitutional abuse of judicial malices meant to expand Government and fleece private sectors, individual wealth, christianity, which is the 1964 Uncivil rights act!

    “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearful master.”
    ~ Hon. Founding Father George Washington

    Furthermore let us reflect of Herbert Marcuse’s Communist 1960s “Theory Social Revolution” stemming from 1923 Frankfurt School Of Psychiatric Communists such as

    1. Wilhelm Wundt
    2. G. Stanley Hall
    3. Charles Judd
    4. James Earl Russell amongst countless other communists.

    “Take the psychotropic drugs and cut your penis off!” “Kill your unborn babies, stay single, enjoy the heroin!” Yes! “You don’t need God, you need Government!”.

  • LB

    December 26, 2019 at 10:09 am

    I think that this bill has not been well thought out. I have over 26 years of Law Enforcement experience and this bill seems to be nothing more than an attempted dramatic grand stand. My assumption is Mrs.Daniels does not understand what occurs with Law Enforcement transports of Baker Acts. So here goes. A Baker Act occurs when a person has demonstrated in some means (statements or actions) of their intent to hurt themselves or others. In other words, there is enough belief or probable cause to fear for the individuals’ or the public safety. Most, if not all, Law Enforcement agencies in Florida have rules and orders instructing their personnel to place restraints and search/ pat-down for weapons to insure officer and public safety prior to transport. On most occasions, the Baker Acted persons are being transported against their wills though they are not under arrest. The State of Florida Statutes provide the means for Law Enforcement to aid in the public safety for the treatment of mentally or emotionally distressed persons. Again, the Baker Acted person has done something to make others fear for someone’s well-being. There are being taken to a mental health facility for time-out. So, Mrs. Daniels here is a clue. This is NOT a transport by school bus situation. Maybe, Mrs. Daniels should try ride along with LEO’s performing Baker Act transports to understand the illogicalness of her bill. It seems her real life experience is very limited. Now, if I was a Chief of Police or Sheriff with such a restraining law for transport, I would have my personnel decline transport because it places everyone at risk. And, I don’t think EMS or any Fire Departments will take on such nonsense. Solution? Maybe, Mrs. Daniels can drive some Baker Acted teenagers to the nearest facility by herself and get back us on that.

Comments are closed.


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