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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE TENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA IN RE: HIGHLANDS YOUTH ACADEMY ORDER RELEASING PRESENTMENT THIS MATTER comes before the Court on motion of the Honorable Jerry Hill, State Attorney for the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Florida, to release the Presentment of the Grand Jurors of Polk County filed on June 25, 2015. The Court having been fully advised in the premises, it is, therefore, ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the Presentment returned by the Polk county Grand Jury on June 25, 2015 be, and the same hereby is, UNSEALED and made a matter of Public Record. DONE and ORDERED in Bartow, Polk County, Florida on this, the 14 day of guly, 2015. /s/ WM. BRUCE SMITH WILLIAM BRUCE SMITH Circuit Judge IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE TENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA IN RE: HIGHLANDS YOUTH ACADEMY / ORDER SEALING PRESENTMENT THIS MATTER has come before the Court as a result of the Grand Jurors of Polk County having on June 26, 2015 returned their Presentment, relating to an individual or individuals, which is not accompanied by a true bill of indictment. Pursuant to the provisions of § 905.28(1) Fla. Stat. (2014), it is hereby ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the Presentment returned by the Grand Jurors of Polk County on June 26, 2015 be and the same is to be SEALED by the Clerk of Circuit Court, and not made a matter of public record, or disclosed in any way, other than to the individual or individuals concerned and to whom it relates,, until further order of the Court. DONE and ORDERED in Bartow, Polk County, Florida on this, the 26th day of June, 2015. Chief Circdit guage IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE TENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR POLK COUNTY SPRING TERM 2015 IN RE: AN INVESTIGATION INTO, THE HIGHLANDS YOUTH ACADEMY PRESENTMEN’ ‘The Highlands Youth Academy is a failure of the DJJ Mission and is symptomatic of a much larger problem in our state, Today, we, the Grand Jury for Polk County for the Spring Term of 2015, are returning this Presentment in order to express our grave concerns about the Highlands Youth Academy and the inability of our Department of Juvenile Justice to intervene and treat our troubled youth, while protecting the public. The future of our state depends upon how we raise our children, As parents, we educate them, we provide for their needs, care for them when they are sick, and reprimand them when they misbehave. Society also has responsibilities to our children, Among those responsibilities is the obligation to provide a system of juvenile justice to intervene when children violate the law ~ a system that addresses juvenile delinquency and protects the safety of the public. The Department of Juvenile Justice (“DJJ”) is a state agency charged with administering that system. ‘The DII's mission is to: increase public safety by reducing juvenile delinquency through effective prevention, intervention and treatment services that strengthen families and turn around the lives of troubled youth. To accomplish this mission, DJJ has seen it fit to enter into a series of contracts with private companies to administer and operate juvenile detention facilities. One such contract is with G4S Services, LLC (G4S) for the operation of the Highlands Youth Academy in Polk County, totaling more than $40 million over a five year time frame, The existence of the Highlands Youth Academy in its current state is a disgrace to the State of Florida, The buildings are in disrepair and not secured, the juvenile delinquents are improperly supervised and rei ive no meaningful tools to not reoffend, the staff is woefully undertrained and ill equipped to handle the juveniles in their charge, and the safety of the public is at risk, Yet, GS has a 9% profit margin and expects to make $800,000.00 in profit this year from the operation of the Highlands Youth Academy. ‘What we have discovered at the Highlands Youth Academy simply cannot be what our Legislature and state leaders have intended for our juvenile justice system. While the citizens are essentially being ripped off - the juveniles are being even more poorly served. The Highlands Youth Academy should cease to exist. We now render the facts we discovered and why we draw the above conclusions. SCOPE OF INVESTIGATION This matter first came to our attention as a result of an initial investigation by the Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Office of the State Attorney. Based on the initial investigation, we initiated our own .quiry, hearing from numerous witnesses from the juvenile justice system, including youth care workers, supervisors, trainers, administrators and policy makers. We examined evidence we were called upon to consider. We investigated the manner in which juvenile offenders are committed in our county and state, how they are classified by DJJ and sent to programs like the Highlands Youth Academy, and the conditions of their confinement in both secure and non-secure facilities. Our investigation included the conditions of the fa Highlands Youth Academy, DJJ and G4S policies relating to operation of juvenile facil the training and experience of direct-care staff and administrators in such facilities. HISTORY AND CONDITIONS OF HIGHLANDS YOUTH ACADEMY. We learned that the Highlands Youth Academy opened in May 1998 on 37 acres in southem Polk County, within the boundaries of the U.S. Air Force’s Avon Park Bombing Range. ‘Unarmed Department of Corrections Officers man the main gate to the Range. The buildings at the Highlands Youth Academy were built more than sixty years ago. They are in a serious state of disrepair. Interior walls are often unpainted plywood and bunk beds within the small rooms built within are dilapidated. Paint is old, flaking, and peeling. Several structures have roof damage and water intrusion that dates to the 2004 hurricanes that devastated our county. Sanitary facilities are aged, unclean, and in poor repair, The fence has no razor or barbed wire attachments or toppers, and no sensors to detect escape attempts. We note that two housing units did begin undergoing renovations in May 2015, after the Sheriff and our Adviser began to investigate. HYA offers vocational training in the building trades and in home electronics installation. It also has educational facilities operating under the auspices of the Polk County School Board. Educational and vocational opportunities have been reduced over the years. Particularly, HYA once boasted an award-winning aftercare program called STREET Smart, which won an award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency in 2009, That program has been discontinued. HYA also offers medical and mental health facilities, with degreed professionals able to be reached by telephone but not routinely available in the facility. The medical building has the remnants of blue tarpaulin on its roof dating from 2004, and is one of the buildings with obvious water damage. We find the conditions of confinement at HY to be disgraceful. DJJ'S CONTRACT WITH G45 G4S operates HYA under a DJ contract. The current contract pays G4S approximately $40 million over five years, beginning in May, 2014. G4S is responsible both for major and minor maintenance, but not renovations to buildings. G4S considers roof replacement to be renovations, and believes that simple repairs to damaged roofs at HYA would be ineffective. GAS takes position that DJJ must replace the roofs. But DJJ°s permitting and approval process can take years; we have discovered that G4S claims to have been negotiating the process for roof replacement at HYA with DJJ since at least 2009. Under the contract, the G4S profit margin is 9%. We learned that this equates approximately to $800,000.00 per year of profit, none of which goes to the facility or its residents. The remainder is consumed by the overhead of operating the facility. The contract specifies performance goals such as 49% recidivism for released youth, but we found that no measures exist to enforce compliance. In the event of a breach, DJJ and G4S would enter into a corrective action plan, and if that fails, costly litigation is DJJ’s alternative. We leamed that all of Florida's juvenile residential programs are operated under contract, with private vendors such as G4S, which operates 29 such facilities in our state. Of roughly 55 facilities, some 14 are rated for offenders at high or maximum risk to commit new crimes. We eared that these facilities are often outdated and ill-maintained. How well-maintained a facility is varies wildly from place to place and often depends on the vigor of the administration at each location, Most juvenile residential facilities are low or moderate risk, and are considered non- secure facilities. Secure beds are few. And we discovered that as a result, the risk profile of the incarcerated population in most residential facilities far exceeds the security measures that are provided for them. This defies common sense, and we call for change. DJJ’S OFFENDER CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM According to DJJ, juvenile offenders in non-secure commitment represent a low to moderate risk to public safety. DIJ allows youth in non-secure placement to be secluded when necessary and for mechanical restraints such as handcuff’ to be used when circumstances call for it, We leamed that such measures are not allowed in practice. HYA staff, for example, is told that security and control of the population interferes with “normalization,” where offenders are supposed to be nurtured, not placed in a structured and orderly correctional environment. “Normalization” is intended to socialize the incarcerated offenders and includes lax regulation of offender appearance and grooming. But experienced direct-care staff knows that offenders in DJJ facilities come from disorderly environments and perceive such lack of structure as weakness. We discovered that such lenient treatment reinforces the criminal behaviors offenders learned before being committed. HYA’s fiscal-year 2013-2014 recidivist rate hovered near 70% by some estimates, and we learned that across the juvenile system in Florida, the average recidivist rate is as high as 60%. “Normalization” does not work. This policy is wrong and must end. We found that young offenders need and want structured, orderly, and safe environments, and in fact flourish when placed in them. This should be the rule in juvenile correctional facilities. According to DJJ, non-secure programs cannot accept juvenile offenders who have committed delinquent acts involving firearms or that would include life felonies or felonies of the first degree. We will detail instances where that is not true at HYA; additionally, we have discovered that DJJ routinely classifies violent juvenile offenders to non-secure facilities. We discovered that often, the only way to remove a violent and disruptive offender is for the offender to be charged as an adult, also known as “direct-filing” a case, where a youth has committed a crime serious enough to require, based on his history and the prosecutor's judgment, that he be treated as an adult. Only then the offender be removed. But we learned that a prosecutor's ability to “direct-file” is under attack; incredibly, by DJJ among others. We do not understand why this is so. We learned that even when a juvenile offender is in the adult courts, a decision not taken lightly, our judges possess dis cretion to employ juvenile sanctions if the circumstances call for them, The present “direct-file” system provides needed flexibility in criminal justice. We call upon our elected legislators to protect our prosecutors’ discretion to turn to the adult justice system when there is need to do so, We see that DJJ insists on using a therapeutic model adapted for young children for much older offenders with long criminal histories. This mystifies us. Fourteen year old first time offenders are routinely housed facilities with eighteen or nineteen year old men who have ficant arrest records, and treated identically. We leaned that this practice breeds criminal behavior in younger offenders. This must not be allowed to continue. We call on DJJ not to house offenders age sixteen and younger with those seventeen and older, and to segregate offenders with violent histories from nonviolent offenders. ‘THE 2013 DISTURBANCE AND DJJ’S CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM 1. The Disturbance and Changes in the Population On August 17, 2013, a disturbance took place at HYA, where a physical confrontation over a bet involving a youth basketball game began on the recreation field. Of 138 offenders then at the facility, 61 were arrested. Some 150 law enforcement officers responded. We leamed that at the time of these events HYA, then known as Avon Park Youth Academy, was a more secure where the buildings had locks and alarms, and the fence was topped with razor wire. fac Incredibly, DIJ and G4S removed these security features six months after the disturbance. And only three months after the disturbance, DJJ rated 35% of the residents as being at high risk to commit new crimes. HYA now houses approximately fifty juvenile offenders between the ages of fourteen and nineteen, and as of December 2014, the percentage of offenders at high risk to reoffend increased to 46%, with another 37% rated as a moderate-to-high risk of reoffending, ‘The risk level of the population increased as security of the facility decreased. This makes no sense to us. 2. DJJ’s Offender Classification System and Commitments We learned that DJJ uses a classification system that includes risk to reoffend, but only mit mally considers risk to the public in making recommendations to judges as to what commitment level is appropriate. That is unacceptable and must change. We leamed that DIJ's disposition recommendation is crucial, because appellate courts have stripped trial judges of much of their discretion to depart from a DJJ sentencing recommendation in juvenile cases. DJJ must place public safety uppermost in its disposition recommendations. Under DJJ’s disposition recommendation matrix, violent offenders with high risk to reoffend regularly are placed on probation or in inappropriate facilities. Often, offenders who have failed home detention, a program utilizing electronic monitoring, prior to sentencing are recommended at sentencing for probation without the strictures of home detention. And juvenile probation officers and commitment managers routinely recommend probation where secure environments have failed in the past. Progressive discipline is not used, and an offender's past performance on probation or in commitment programs is not considered. That approach must end. An offender at high risk to reoffend must be held in secure surroundings. 3. Examples of Wrongly Classified HYA Offenders ‘These circumstances are exemplified by the offenders at HYA that we reviewed. In one instance, DJJ sent an offender to HYA who had been in secure detention thirteen times previously and had prior arrests including burglary, aggravated battery, and battery on law enforcement. Less than a month after this offender arrived at HYA, he attempted to escape, scaling the perimeter fence and perching above it even as a dog team waited below. The offender eventually was talked off the fence. But HYA staff did not report this to DJJ. A month later, the offender attempted to yank open a gate, running around the compound unrestrained, and later that day used a fight between two other offenders as a distraction and ran from one of the housing units, scaling the perimeter fence and disappearing into the woods nearby. The Sheriff's, Office was not notified of this escape for over one hour. Nearly three hours later, a Sheriff's deputy apprehended the escapee on a road adjacent to private homes. Over $3,000 in public funds were expended to apprehend this offender. He went to an adult jail. Juvenile facilities incarcerate for indeterminate periods of time. The offender is there until he or she finishes the requirements of that particular residential program. HYA’s program is scheduled to be six to nine months in length, and once an offender completes the program, he re- enters the community under the supervision of a juvenile probation officer. Another offender, a gang member, was over a year into this six to nine month program. He had 194 disciplinary infractions, including attacks on staff, property destruction, and sexual harassment of staff members. Seventeen years old and six feet tall, he sexually harassed a female staff member for six months and HYA administrators did nothing. When they did attempt a transfer, DJJ ‘ation staff informed them that the offender had been removed from multiple other programs and that he would have to stay at HYA until he adapted to their program. This offender ultimately was charged with crimes as an adult. A third offender broke a youth care worker’s tooth and bit his wrist, then ran out of the housing unit he was in and destroyed a circuit breaker box. When DJJ classification staff came to HYA for his transfer hearing, this offender was brought into HYA’s administration building, which is not inside the secure perimeter. The offender was unrestrained, and he ran from the building and had to be caught. He was transferred, but this was not reported as an escape or even an attempted escape. This, because the offender never left the sight of the pursuing staff, and it was thus not considered an escape; it was not recorded or reported to the DJJ Central Communications Center even though the offender was running away, outside the facility grounds. We learned that all of the current residents at HYA appear to have prior felony arrests. They include threats to staff, sex crimes, and other violence, There are thirteen members of criminal gangs there. Despite DJJ policy that firearms crimes, Life felonies, and first degree felonies are not appropriate for non-secure programs, we discovered that the HYA population recently included men committed to DJJ custody for armed robbery, armed burglary, and armed carjacking, Violent histories are the norm among the HYA population, yet the facility is rjacking, ig considered non-secure. To us, this disregards public safety. POLICIES ON REPORTING CRIME IN FACILITIES DIJ's rules require attempted escapes to be reported to their Central Communications Center. But Chapter 63F-11 of DJ's rules, regarding reportable incidents, is unclear, defining escape attempts only in the context of a secure facility. To be classified as an escape from a non- secure facility, like HYA, an offender must physically leave the custody and sight of staff when working outside the facility, or must actually leave the grounds or boundaries of the facility Neither G4$ management, nor DJJ management, believe that an offender sitting atop the perimeter fence of a juvenile facility, restrained only by the appearance of a dog handler, or physically attempting to yank open a gate while ignoring staff orders otherwise, constitutes an attempt to escape. This, in our view, is irrational. Escape attempts should be seen for what they are, and dealt with accordingly, with the offender held accountable for his or her actions. And IJ rules do not have a provision for reporting attempted escapes from non-secure facilities; this too must change, and such incidents must be reported and tracked, DIJ rules regard it as acceptable if a facility reports an escape from custody within two hours. We found that G4S administrators frequently cite this provision as a reason not to notify law enforcement timely when an offender escapes. That does not serve the public trust or promote public safety. Law enforcement must immediately be notified of an escape. And DJJ policies require that an offender awaiting a transfer from the facility be brought into a hearing ‘with DJJ staff, and told of the pending transfer. This, even in cases where the offender is a proven escape risk. Such policies disregard the care, custody, and control of the population by telling an offender trying to escape that he will be moved to a more secure facility, prompting escape attempts before or during the move. We learned that it is a felony to batter a detention care worker. But the facility administrator at HYA, and those at other G4S facilities, requires staff to finish their shift and leave work before they can call law enforcement to report being the victim even of violent or sexually-based crime. G4S intemal policies discourage contacting law enforcement when crimes occur at their facilities. Particularly when offenders batter staff, G4S policy is that such should be dealt with by the facility staff. G4S management does not understand that battery on a worker 10 in a residential facility is a felony, and is not aware that policies discouraging reporting are being interpreted literally at the staff level on the compounds of G4S facilities, and in practice function as directives not to involve law enforcement at all, when a crime occurs. Direct-care staff members at DJJ contract fac ities feel that their hands are tied and that DJJ and G48 will not support them when they must use force to control an unruly offender. We leamed that the current management at G4S resulted from a merger with another provider in 2009; that provider faced heavy criticism from the media for uses of force by direct care staff. But sometimes it is necessary to use force in juvenile correctional facilities; DJJ rules even provide for measures such as confinement away from the general population, when necessary. But in the facilities themselves, rest s and temporary confinement units are nonexistent because DJJ actively discourages such measures. Staff has few means to fall back on when verbal persuasion does not work. Offenders are able to wander in unauthorized areas almost at will, as a result. This is, simply, wrong and must not continue. PLOYMENT STANDARDS FOR YOUTH CARE WORKERS A typical G4S youth care worker has a high school diploma, and receives approximately 80 hours of training; this, when the DJI/G4S contract calls for 129 hours. And a youth care worker can begin working virtually unsupervised with offenders while still in the training program. G4S management is not aware that their training program is so brief, and believes it adequate; further, G4S believes that state certification is not necessary for youth care workers. We do not share their certitude, And it concerns us that youth care workers can begin working with offenders while still in training, often with minimal or no supervision by senior staff. In contrast, we discovered that a state-certified Florida correctional officer, such as in the Polk uN County Sheriff's Office, receives over 700 hours of training before working with offenders in a facility A Florida correctional officer is certified through the Department of Law Enforcement’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, and can lose his or her certification for misconduct. And the Sheriff's Office’s Department of Detention has a formal field training program, where carefully-selected senior detention deputies obtain at minimum an instructor techniques course and a specialized detention training officer course before they train new correctional officers on the job. New detention deputies in the post-certification training program only have contact with offenders under their trainer’s supervision. The Sheriff's detention deputies are also certified as law enforcement officers, adding another layer of specialized training. There is no state certification required to be a juvenile youth care worker or a trainer for youth care staff. G4S youth care workers are paid between eight and ten dollars per hour. They are often young, not much older than the juvenile offenders they care for. They come from similar socioeconomic backgrounds as the offenders they supervise. And they visually are difficult to distinguish from the offenders they serve. We found that the first level of the use of force continuum in law enforcement and corrections is an officer's physical presence. Professional demeanor and dress are all-important in setting an example for those supervised and in generating respect, particularly when attempting to defuse a hostile situation, G4S staff at HYA wear things including oversized cargo shorts and oversized polo shirts with the G4S logo, uniforms similar to those that the offenders wear. The dress code for staff at all G4S facilities we reviewed is similarly loose, and we learned that this is a security risk when law enforcement does have to respond, as law enforcement cannot easily tell staff and offenders apart. 12 Juvenile corrections administrators are not required to possess advanced degrees or certification as correctional officers. In the Polk County Sheriff's Office, it is routine for senior detention administrators to have both, and additionally, they often are certified public managers. Moreover, we discovered that incentives to remain employed in DJJ contract facilities are lacking for highly trained and educated personnel even when they do accept positions therein. Personnel with advanced degrees and specialized certifications are not rewarded for those accomplishments with higher pay, and in some cases are compensated less than personnel with Jess training. That is not an incentive to remain employed in an often demanding position. We leamed that direct-care staff morale at HYA is suffering. And HYA is perennially understaffed and currently functioning at half of its authorized strength of youth care workers. Tumover exceeds 50% per year, and the average length of experience of a typical youth care worker at HYA is less than one year. But we also discovered that HYA staff genuinely care for those in their charge, desperately desire to facilitate their rehabilitation, and want things to improve. The building trades and contract educators at HYA strive to provide the best education possible with their limited resources. Direct-care staff and administrators should be adequately trained, supported, and paid; with experience comes good judgment. DJJ FACILITIES ARE NOT PROPERLY ACCREDITED 1. HYA’s Accreditation Standards We leamed that HYA previously was accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA), which has guidelines that juvenile facilities must meet to demonstrate professionalism and proficiency. G4S management has allowed that to lapse and is replacing ACA with a different provider; one specifically not geared toward correctional facilities, but 13 toward health and human service providers. DJJ and G4S management believe that juvenile facilities are not “correctional”; rather, they seek a therapeutic environment. Also, G4S management bel es that ACA standards are too difficult for juvenile justice facilities to achieve. But the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission accredits the Polk County jail system, which includes a secure juvenile detention facility and previously included a juvenile residential facility, under the Florida Model Jail Standards. They stress control, safety, and security, unlike standards for therapeutic providers. The Model Jail Standards have sections specifically intended for juvenile correctional facilities, including the physical plant, and their assessments and assessors make no room for noncompliance. That is as it should be. Both DJJ and GAS believe that juvenile corrections nationally are moving away from a correctional model, and toward a purely mental-health style treatment model, and they believe that a highly-structured correctional model is detrimental to their rehabilitative purpose, But we learned that a balance must be had between correction and rehabilitation. Permissive policies such as those DJJ and G4S employ contribute to recidivism, not public safety, and do not serve the public trust. This must change, and it begins with returning to a correctional approach. In the next section, we will profile a juvenile corrections system with proven results in Polk County. 2. Comparison with Polk unty Sheriff's Office programs Juvenile justice does not have to be what HYA has become. Until 2008, the Polk County Sheriff's Office operated a residential facility known as the “Sheriff's Training and Respect Program,” (S.T.A.R.), & military-style boot camp. It was focused on fostering change in criminal thinking, Tts physical plant was built for the purpose. Offenders were uniform in dress and grooming. The staff was specially trained. It was structured, with physical training, education, life skills, psychological counseling, and aftercare. $.T.A.R. was closed due to legislative budget 4 cuts, and boot camp programs statewide also received bad publicity from a death in Bay County, in 2006, Nevertheless, its 2008 recidivism rate was 46%, lower than the current DJJ average. The S.T.A.R. program was effective, ‘The Sheriff operates a secure juvenile detention facility in Bartow, housing pre-trial detainees and offenders awaiting classification to DIJ facilities. The Central County Jail, where this is located, was built in 1985 and is adapted to the correctional purpose. It is safe, secure, clean, and organized. Its staff are swom Sheriff's deputies, state certified as law enforcement and correctional officers. They wear well-turned out uniforms, and exude a competent and professional demeanor. Offenders are uniform in dress and grooming, expected to follow the fa ity’s rules, and are dealt with firmly when they violate, They know what is expected and that deviation will not be tolerated. They comply when they know that, and progressive discipline is employed for those who chose to test the system. Offenders have educational and rehabilitative opportunities. We learned that rehabilitative programming and safe, secure environments do not have to be mutually exclusive. Rehabilitation cannot take place in disorder. We leamed that in successful residential facilities, correction must be swift and proportional to the infraction of rules. Facilities must be able quickly to move offenders who are not receptive to the program out of the facility and into more secure settings. Structure is key to ‘managing a challenging juvenile population, and the appearance and demeanor of the staff and the condition of the facility are critical to instilling respect in the committed population. This is juvenile facilities. Its juvenile programs stand in sharp how the Sheriff's Office operates contrast to HYA. 15 CONCLUSION DJJ has lost sight of the essential purposes of juvenile corrections. The end result is a system that reinforces criminal thinking rather than deterring it, in derogation of good public policy. Our Legislature has commanded that the juvenile correctional system is to increase public safety; DJJ is to do so with effective prevention, intervention, and treatment services. But the present state of affairs shows that DJJ and G4S policies in general, and HYA in particular, are not effective and have failed the public trust. RECO! MENDATIONS a Highlands Youth Academy should be closed. The money allocated to it could be then used to fund a modern facility that is hardware-secure, built for the purpose, and consistent with the 3k level of offenders actually committed there. 2. Our Legislature should reinstate Sheriff's Training and Respect Programs, and support and fund them properly. 3. DJJ. should end its “normalization” policy. Its institutions are correctional facilities to which offenders who have broken the law are committed. Residential facilities should have feneing with razor or barbed wire designed to discourage scaling attempts, and sensors to back up staff observations, Housing units should have locks, and alarms on the doors, so that staff can control movement. Offenders committed to DJI custody should be required to adhere to a uniform dress and grooming code that instills respect. 4, DJJ should change its classification process to place public safety uppermost. Prior arrest record and prior commitments should figure most strongly in determining proper placements. Progressive discipline must be employed, so that an offender who has failed on probation is sent to a residential facility, and those who fail there are re-classified into facilities 16 with higher levels of structure and security. And within the facilities, firm and progressive discipline also must be employed when offenders violate facility rules. 5. Residential facilities should have mechanical restraints such as handcuffs, and should also have carefully monitored secure confinement arrangements. A custody classification system should be implemented so that inmates at high risk to reofffend are not outside the perimeter unescorted. 6. DJJ immediately should adopt the Florida Model Jail Standards, through the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, as acereditation standards for juvenile correctional facilities. In contracts with private vendors, DJJ should require FCAC assessment and current accreditation under the Mode! Jail Standards for each facility the contractor operates. Loss of accreditation for a facility should be grounds for terminating private vendor contracts. 7. DJJ should require that youth care workers and administrators obtain and maintain certification as Florida correctional officers. Failure to comply should be grounds for terminating private vendor contracts. 8. DJJ should mandate that youth care workers provide a professional appearance and demeanor at all times. Cargo shorts and polo shirts should not be the uniform of a youth care worker called upon to provide an example for those in their custody. 9, DJJ should require that its contractors put in place strong policies requiring that law enforcement be immediately contacted to investigate felony crimes taking place in their facilities. Attempted escapes should be properly designated as such, and reported as such to law enforcement. The Legislature intends for battery on staff also to be treated as a felony, and DJJ should require that all such incidents be reported to law enforcement for investigation. Should law enforcement find that probable cause does not exist to charge a crime, DJJ should require that violent offenders be removed from the facility and placed in a more secure setting. 10. Direct-care staff must not be punished or retaliated against for contacting law enforcement, or for cooperating in our Adviser's investigation, We urge our Adviser to call us, or a subsequent Grand Jury, back into session, should he detect any such conduet by juvenile correctional system administrators. Respectfully submitted this 25th day of June, 2015, in open Court in Bartow, Polk County, Florida. Bland, Kho Blinda Pullen, Forewoman ane Vell. iwi Bearer Lafia Vetter, Clerk + Tatiana Benda he. Linda Barrentine, Vice Forewoman Variance brmahier Geraldo Réynoso Vivian Winslow Bom LS Aart Natalie Bowman Steven Westgate ViviafRivs G ee Ruch diel O"Neill Fist nes Gove, adder Hore Walder ef Ramona Walden Peegy 18 Certificate of the State Attorney I, Jerry Hill, State Attomey for the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Florida, do hereby certify that as authorized and directed by law, I have advised the Grand Jury in regards to returning this Presentment PRESEN ED by the Grand Jury and filed in open Court on this, the 25" day of June, 2015. —=z (vf Ce Teuit Court, 48 eepvly clerk 19