Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Secretary Eric Hall is the latest official returning for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ second term.
The Republican Governor announced Hall will return to the Department when he is sworn in for the new term on Jan. 3. DeSantis announced Hall’s retention Monday on Twitter.
“(Dr. Eric Hall) has worked hard to reform Florida’s Juvenile Justice system and has encouraged mentorship and educational opportunities for Florida’s youth,” DeSantis tweeted. “I look forward to his continued services as Secretary of (DJJ) this upcoming term.
Hall joined the department in November 2021 after former Secretary Simone Marstiller moved over to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Hall previously served in the Department of Education (DOE) as a Senior Chancellor and the first Chancellor for Innovation beginning in 2019.
In his first months at DJJ, the Department secured a longtime priority for a pay raise for detention officers and other staff, an attempt to end the high turnover in Florida’s correctional system. The hourly rate for juvenile detention officers increased from approximately $14 an hour to $19 an hour, and the hourly rate for juvenile probation officers increased from $15 an hour to $20 an hour. Lawmakers also appropriated $5.3 million to increase pay for providers on contract.
At DOE, his role oversaw a slew of divisions including K-12 Public Schools, the Florida College System, Career and Adult Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, Blind Services, the Office of Safe Schools and the Office of Early Learning.
As critical race theory emerged as a top legislative issue last year, POLITICO Florida reported that, in 2014, Hall wrote a dissertation on alternative schools that described the concept as an attempt to expose racism. After the report, Hall told Florida Politics he now views critical race theory as harmful and a divisive means of indoctrination.
DeSantis previously announced Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, Education Commissioner Manny Díaz, Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie and Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris will return for his new term. Marstiller is retiring and will not return to AHCA, and Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle is also stepping away from public office.
.@DrEricHall has worked hard to reform Florida’s Juvenile Justice system and has encouraged mentorship and educational opportunities for Florida's youth.
I look forward to his continued services as Secretary of @fladjj this upcoming term. pic.twitter.com/jZeKM4sUZh
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) December 12, 2022