Partnerships in Action

Communities can address youth behavior in many different ways. Successfully keeping kids in school and out of court requires practices that are trauma informed and aimed to create positive outcomes. The results of these practices should be substantiated by data and evidence. The following are examples of Florida partnerships in action.

Partnership Counties:
Alachua
Broward
Leon
Okaloosa
Orange
Palm Beach
Pinellas
Sarasota

Alachua County School-Justice Partnership

Implementation

Established in June, 2015.

Stakeholders

  • Gainesville Police Department
  • Alachua County Sheriff’s Office
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Alachua County School Board
  • Department of Children and Families
  • Office of the State Attorney
  • Office of the Public Defender
  • River Phoenix Center for Peace Building
  • Other community service providers

Goals:

  • To address the risks and needs of Alachua County students and their families
  • To increase academic achievements and graduation rates
  • To reduce school related arrests

 Implementation Steps:

The Students to Successful Citizens Alachua County System of Care initiative includes:

  • Law enforcement policy changes to reduce misdemeanor arrests on school campus.
  • Trauma informed training for school personnel.
  • Increased efforts to identify and provide services to at risk youth and families in need.

Results:

  • Served 70 families with referrals to various community services, including economic support, transportation, and tutors.
  • Only two youth from the 70 families are involved in delinquency court and only three youth have been involved in truancy court.
  • An anonymous donor gave 1.5 million dollars to the Alachua County System of Care.

Interagency Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding

An agreement is in development.

Broward County School-Justice Partnership

Implementation

Established in November, 2013.

Stakeholders

  • Broward County School Board
  • Office of the State Attorney
  • Office of the Public Defender
  • Fort Lauderdale Police Department
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Hallandale Beach Police Department
  • Broward County Chiefs of Police Association
  • Broward County Sheriff’s Office
  • Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court judiciary

Goals:

  • To reform Broward County Public Schools Code of Student Conduct 
  • To address suspensions, expulsions, and arrests
  • To replace out-of-school suspensions with innovative programs that effectively ensure student accountability

Implementation Steps:

  • Implement the PROMISE intervention program

Results:

  • Suspension rates decreased from 28% to 22% between 2014-2015
  • Percent of students committing incidents decreased from 15% to 13%
  • Implemented the Juvenile Justice System of Care initiative

Interagency Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding

Broward County utilizes a Collaborative School Discipline Agreement.

Leon County School-Justice Partnership

Implementation

Established in May, 2015.

Stakeholders

  • Tallahassee Police Department
  • Leon County Sheriff’s Office
  • Leon County School Board
  • Office of the State Attorney
  • Office of the Public Defender
  • Capital City Youth Services
  • Drug Intervention Service Center
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Second Judicial Circuit Court judiciary
  • Other stakeholders

Goals:

  • To develop and implement programs aimed at reducing school related arrests, truancy, suspensions, and expulsions
  • To provide a designated juvenile court liaison funded by the Leon County School Board
  • To monitor daily court attendance report on students with pending felony offenses; provide discipline, grades, and attendance details in court; and notify school principals regarding pending offenses
  • To provide access to data during court proceedings
  • To identify and refer at risk and truant students to appropriate intervention resources
  • To provide support for ongoing initiatives

Implementation Steps:

  • Established an interagency agreement with the implementation of the civil citation program and the opening of the truancy center
  • Continue to provide networking and support for ongoing initiatives

Results:

  • The collaboration between the court, delinquency stakeholders, and a host of local providers continues to develop and implement programs aimed at reducing school related arrests, truancy, suspensions, and expulsions.
  • The Leon County School Board provides the delinquency court a designated juvenile court liaison—which has proved to be invaluable.

Interagency Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding

Leon County utilizes a Juvenile Justice Interagency Agreement.

Okaloosa County School-Justice Partnership

Implementation

Established in January, 2016.

Stakeholders

  • Okaloosa County Schools Superintendent
  • Okaloosa County Sheriff Office
  • Office of the State Attorney
  • Office of the Public Defender
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • First Judicial Circuit Court judiciary

Goals:

  • To train school officials in the principles of trauma informed practices
  • To improve the diversion programs for students in the civil citation program
  • To collaborate with Department of Juvenile Justice to ensure proper school credits for juveniles returning from commitment programs
  • To collaborate with the local school system relating to suspension and expulsion policies

Implementation Steps:

  • The Okaloosa County partnership was built off of a strong foundation that has led to the lowest per capita arrest record out of schools in Florida.

Results:

  • A strong award winning school resource officer program
  • An innovative student training program
  • A comprehensive truancy program with the courts
  • A civil citation program to link students with appropriate interventions

Interagency Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding

An agreement is in development.

Orange County School-Justice Partnership

Implementation

Established in May, 2016.

Stakeholders

Orange County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Barbara Jenkins launched a comprehensive school-justice partnership initiative co-chaired by Chief Judge Frederick Lauten, Ninth Judicial Circuit.

  • Ninth Judicial Circuit Court judiciary
  • Office of the State Attorney
  • Office of the Public Defender
  • Orange County Sheriff Department
  • Orlando County Police Department
  • Chiefs of police from other municipal agencies that partner with Orange County Public Schools

Goals:

  • To develop a comprehensive school-justice partnership agreement
  • To provide greater emphasis on the use of civil citation and restorative justice as alternative diversion programs from arrests for reduced misdemeanor offenses

Implementation Steps:

  • Collaborate with partner agencies in a balanced approach to student management and issues of public safety on school campuses

Results:

  • Creation of a new restorative justice program and school district police function

Interagency Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding

An agreement is in development.

Palm Beach County School-Justice Partnership

Implementation

Established in November, 2014.

Stakeholders

  • Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court judiciary
  • School District of Palm Beach County
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Office of the State Attorney
  • Office of the Public Defender
  • Law enforcement
  • Circuit 15 Juvenile Justice Board
  • Children’s Services Council

Goals:

  • To conduct an annual meeting to provide updates and identify next steps
  • To pilot a trauma informed school in collaboration with High Ridge, a Palm Beach County residential youth program
  • To conduct a county-wide trauma training

Implementation Steps:

The school-justice partnership in Palm Beach County, spearheaded by Circuit Judge Kathleen Kroll and Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, paved the way for improved collaboration between the local court, schools, and juvenile justice systems.

Results:

  • 8% reduction in out-of-school suspensions
  • 7% reduction in discipline referrals
  • 10% decrease in parole violations

Interagency Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding

Palm Beach County utilizes a standard parental form.

Pinellas County School-Justice Partnership

Implementation

Established in May, 2013.

Stakeholders

  • Unified Family Court judges
  • Pinellas County Schools Superintendent
  • Pinellas Park Police Department
  • Pinellas County School Resource Officers
  • Other stakeholders

Goals:

  • To implement programs designed to reduce the number of school related arrests for minor violations of probation and non-violent misdemeanor offenses
  • To provide efforts to assist with the decline in school related arrests

Implementation Steps:

  • Formalized partnership efforts by signing a collaborative agreement

Results:

  • School related arrests during 2014-2015 school year decreased by 30 percent
  • Implementation of a Juvenile Arrest Avoidance Program that diverts more than 90 percent of first-time misdemeanor offenses from court involvement

Interagency Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding

Pinellas County utilizes a Collaborative Interagency Agreement.

Sarasota County School-Justice Partnership

Implementation

Established in June, 2015.

Stakeholders

  • Sarasota County School Board
  • Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court judiciary
  • Drop-Out Prevention and Pupil Support Services
  • University of South Florida
  • Office of the State Attorney
  • Office of the Public Defender
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Sarasota County School Resource Officers

Goals:

  • To reduce school expulsions and suspensions
  • To target students who are currently on probation
  • To target students who commit acts that qualify for a violation or contempt of court charge
  • To target first-time offenders who have committed minor criminal offenses

Implementation Steps:

  • Continue to offer youth the opportunity to participate in aschool behavioral contract, and as a result of participation, the expulsion or suspension is deferred
  • Individualize each contract and include counseling, drug testing, and treatment
  • Require appropriate behavior during school hours

Interagency Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding

Sarasota County utilizes a School Behavioral Contract.