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‘Broken’ Orange juvenile center needs a Children’s Services Council

June 8, 2018 0 Comments

As a retired circuit court judge, I take pride in my community, but I am ashamed of us. I saw the Orange County Regional Juvenile Detention Center 30 years ago and again last year. The facility is so sad and broken. It made me want to cry. I cannot imagine someone wanting to work there for little more than a poverty-level wage.

There is little to stimulate the juvenile body or mind at the JDC. Last summer the League of Women Voters took them books and basketballs, since they had none. The only recreation in evidence was a single outdoor hoop for 120 kids. Since then, the Department of Juvenile Justice has changed supervisors there several times, including a new one who was working to improve things but was ousted nine months ago. A new Florida law requires kids waiting for a spot in a rehabilitation program to be held at a JDC, instead of waiting at home. Because the Orange County JDC is so overcrowded and understaffed, we’re now sending our kids to JDCs in other counties.

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