State, counties to split cost of detaining juveniles
Legal fights between the state of Florida and some counties over the cost of detaining juvenile offenders may be over.
Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday signed a new law requiring the state to split the detention costs evenly with counties. It changes an old provision in which counties paid to detain minors before a decision was made in their case, and the state paid after. But Department of Juvenile Justice rules and court rulings made that a point of consternation.
Under the new system, which goes into effect next year, counties -- except 29 rural counties in north and central Florida -- will pay for half the cost of their share of the juveniles in DJJ custody. State Senate staff estimated that the counties would spend $42.5 million total in 2016-17 and $46.4 million in 2017-18, down from $54.3 million this year.