FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – A latest state of affairs in Franklin County the place a juvenile was arrested however left with nowhere to go, now has the sheriff’s workplace elevating questions concerning the effectiveness of sure state companies.
“Proper now, no college, no consuming, our sufferer advocate needed to go purchase him garments, I imply only a dangerous state of affairs and he was committing crimes.” Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith mentioned.
These questions stemmed after the arrested juvenile didn’t meet the necessities to be accepted by the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). This is able to normally go away the juvenile to the care of the Division Of Youngsters and Households (DCF).
“We requested DCF to take motion and so they didn’t,” mentioned Smith.
In truth, Smith mentioned DCF has not offered companies within the county for some time.
“My sufferer advocate has outlined an inventory of different instances once they weren’t responsive, took them hours and hours to get right here in the event that they got here. that’s unacceptable,” mentioned Smith.
Smith gave NewsChannel 7 a report outlining 5 different situations since March the place the DCF confirmed what he calls these “unacceptable actions.”
“Reply our telephone calls, reply to our complaints, and hold these youngsters secure. That’s their job,” mentioned Smith.
Smith mentioned the absence of companies is extraordinarily irritating and is detrimental to the youth and neighborhood.
“Right here’s a child who’s perhaps life might be saved and altered to the place he’s a productive a part of the neighborhood and has an excellent life, might turn into a profession prison and that’s what DCF and the sheriff’s workplace ought to be working to ensure it doesn’t occur,” mentioned Smith.
And even when Smith mentioned the DCF isn’t working in the direction of that purpose, the sheriff’s workplace is.
Nonetheless, an e-mail from the DCF Deputy Communications Director Laura Walthall mentioned they’re working with the neighborhood on this:
“DCF is conscious of the state of affairs and the Division is working carefully with legislation enforcement, neighborhood companions, and repair suppliers on an ongoing foundation. At the moment, extra data stays confidential per part 39.202, Florida Statutes.
“Our Division has put a give attention to working with neighborhood stakeholders all through the state to implement a multidisciplinary teaming and referral mannequin to attach struggling households with community-based behavioral well being and stabilizing companies. Our efforts with this initiative are to forestall entry into deep-end companies and the juvenile justice and little one welfare techniques. The Division is focusing efforts on supporting households entry to wanted companies. Secretary Harris has applied many modifications to the Division together with an emphasis on integrating our techniques — breaking down silos to essentially wrap our arms round kids and households to handle their wants holistically.”
After listening to DCF’s e-mail response, Smith mentioned he desires them to take motion and present them how they’re going to care for these youngsters.
“Present me. Present me. Give up speaking and present me. That’s rhetoric, present me. That sums it up. Present me what you wish to do. Present me the way you’re going to reply. Present me the way you’re going to care for these youngsters. I’ve an inventory of children who’re in hassle and are doing issues and we want them to intervene,” mentioned Smith.
Smith mentioned he’s had just a few convention calls with DCF management and even Secretary Shevaun Harris, however mentioned they didn’t end in something getting solved.
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