Juvenile Justice residential facilities face $21M cut in House budget

Arrested teenager with handcuffs
The House would cut $16.5 million for secure facilities, differing from the Senate and Governor's proposals.

The House budget would cut $21 million in funding for Department of Juvenile Justice residential facilities, well beyond the $5.9 million cut proposed by the Senate.

The cuts, outlined in the House criminal justice budget offer, include a $16.5 million reduction in non-secure residential facilities funding and a $4.8 million cut to secure residential facilities funding.

Both types of facilities are used to house children who are arrested and charged with crimes. The proposed cuts come as criminal cases have started moving again after courts paused during the pandemic.

An uptick in transfers to residential DJJ facilities from detention facilities is expected to follow and juvenile justice advocates warn that a major cut could clog up the system.

The Senate budget, meanwhile, would cut $5.9 million from DJJ non-secure residential funding. The upper chamber’s reduction matches Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposed budget cut, which would likewise maintain funding for secure facilities.

DJJ is still recommending the $5.9 million cut and has not endorsed the plan to cut secure residential funding.

“The Department supports the Governor’s recommended budget reduction of $5.9M in nonsecure residential,” DJJ spokesperson Amanda Slama said. “As the budget conference continues, we will continue to work with both the House and Senate on this issue.”

Staff Reports


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