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Study Shows More Civil Citations Would Increase Public Safety Investment Battling Serious Crime

At a crowded press conference in Tallahassee yesterday, results from the state’s first comprehensive study of civil citations were released.  Civil citations are an alternative to arrest for common youth misbehavior.  The study – Stepping Up: Florida’s Top Civil Citation Efforts – shows that increasing the use of civil citations statewide would have enormous benefits for public safety, taxpayers, and the futures of youth. The study was conducted by one of Florida’s top civil citation experts and supported by state and national juvenile justice reform organizations. Civil Citations Are Efficient and Effective According to the study, increasing the issuance of juvenile civil citations...

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Civil Citation and Juvenile Records – The Next Step

Providing law enforcement officers expanded discretion to issue civil citations to more youth committing misdemeanors was absolutely the right thing to do.  The Children’s Campaign congratulates the elected officials, especially Sen. Garcia (R-Hialeah), Sen. Gibson (D-Jacksonville), Rep. Clarke-Reed (D-Pompano Beach) and Rep. Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg), citizens, faith based leaders and advocacy groups who worked together to pass SB 378 this year. Without question, civil citations are effective in preventing youth from becoming involved in the juvenile justice system.  The impact of not having an arrest record is realized to even a greater degree in the future when doors of...

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‘First of its Kind’ Girl-Centered Practice Training Launched

The Children’s Campaign congratulates the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center and our affiliate, Voices for Florida, for the recent launch of the Girl-Centered Practice Continuing Education Program through the University of North Florida (UNF). This innovative training program is considered the first of its kind in the nation. According to Linda Alexionok, president of Voices for Florida, who conceptualized the program, the rationale for this unprecedented training initiative was the gap in educational training opportunities for individuals who work with girls, specifically girls in the juvenile justice or child protection systems or those whose experiences place them at-risk for involvement with...

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The Beginning of Many Happy Endings

Second Chances as American as Apple Pie As Americans, we love to hear inspiring stories about deserving individuals who get a second chance at success. After all, since America is a land founded on the ideal of a new beginning, it’s in our DNA to sympathize with those given another shot at success. Inspiring Story in Daly’s Weekly Letter Perhaps that’s why The Children’s Campaign staff looks forward to reading Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christy Daly’s Weekly Letter, which showcases accomplishments of agency staff, providers and youth in care. In a recent edition, a probationary youth’s success story...

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Surgeon General’s Confirmation Delayed

Senate Health Policy Committee Questions Go Unanswered In Florida, the Senate must confirm gubernatorial appointments of executive branch agency heads.  On Tuesday, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary and Florida Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong appeared before the Senate Health Policy Committee. Some political observers and media are saying that Armstrong faced intense questioning primarily due to the actions of his boss, Governor Scott.  The previous day, Scott flip-flopped regarding Medicaid expansion and the budget crisis caused by the announced federal interruption of low-income pool (LIP) dollars.  Scott’s latest position now aligns him with the House and not the Senate. While...

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Adoptive Mother: Expansion of APD Funding a Step in the Right Direction

Adoption Timing Affects APD Waiting List Priority Denise Beeman Sasiain knew from the moment she held three-month old Xavier in her arms that she wanted to adopt him.  Just a month prior, in March 2011, Xavier had been flown by Life Flight helicopter to Miami Children’s Hospital with a skull fracture, subdural hematoma, rib fractures, human bite wounds and nail scratches all over his body.   He was also blind due to the severity of his brain injury, and physicians believed there was a good chance he would never see, walk or talk. As a medical foster parent, Denise had received...

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Access to Juvenile Records Steals Many Dreams

Dina Lexine Sarver, a 22-year-old wife and mother of two small children, longs for the day when she will be allowed to do something most moms take for granted: chaperone a school field trip. Her juvenile record has already forced her to give up her dream of becoming a nurse. Residential Stay Leads to Commitment to Change Problems began in her early teens, around the time when her parents divorced. She and her siblings moved from a home in the suburbs into Section 8 housing. With her added responsibilities, she became angry, defiant and soon fell in with the wrong...

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New Awareness Campaign Launches to Save Girls’ Futures

New Awareness Campaign Launches to Save Girls’ Futures Cautionary measures unveiled to prevent further harm and promote healing Jacksonville, Fla. (February 26, 2015)   ̶  Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville) and noted girl advocates gathered in Jacksonville today to launch a new public education campaign for girls in advance of Florida’s legislative session, which begins next week. Sponsored by The Children’s Campaign and the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, the campaign features dramatic warning labels adhered to the foreheads of girls’ faces. Utilizing both print and online tactics, the campaign aims to raise awareness and action for top issues that prevent...

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Cars + Eggs + Juvenile Record = Life-Long Stigma

Her charge? Felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Her crime? Throwing an egg out of a moving vehicle on a residential street. At 15, Andrea Cowart said she was angry, rebellious and had bounced around countless foster homes. No one was surprised when she was arrested, but the felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon seemed excessive for what typically is considered a youthful prank-  especially since she had no history of violence. After she served her 21 days of house arrest and designated community service hours, Andrea thought that the incident would be put behind her....

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Keep Florida Working- Child Protection

A high point in Governor Rick Scott’s $77 billion proposed “Keep Florida Working” budget is its support for innovative, local strategies that keep Florida’s children safe, including calling on Sheriffs to assume responsibility – on a voluntary, contractual basis – for child protective investigations. According to the Strengthening Florida Communities page on Governor Scott’s 2015-2016 budget website, the proposed budget “gives DCF new flexibility to transfer child protective investigation responsibilities to any local County Sheriff’s Office volunteering to take on these responsibilities and apply innovative local strategies.” Supporting Local Child Safety Innovations The Children’s Campaign has consistently called for local...

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