(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Employee” means a paid staff member, volunteer, or intern who works in a department program or a program operated by a provider under a contract with the department.
(b) “Juvenile offender” means any person of any age who is detained by, or committed to the custody of, the department.
(c) “Neglect” means:
1. An employee’s failure or omission to provide a juvenile offender with the proper level of care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the juvenile offender’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, adequate food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services; or
2. An employee’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a juvenile offender from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.
(2)(a) An employee who willfully and maliciously neglects a juvenile offender without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. (b) An employee who willfully and maliciously neglects a juvenile offender and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. (c) Notwithstanding prosecution, any violation of paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), as determined by the Public Employees Relations Commission, constitutes sufficient cause under s. 110.227 for dismissal from employment with the department, and such person may not again be employed in any capacity in the juvenile justice system.
(3) An employee who witnesses the infliction of neglect upon a juvenile offender shall immediately report the incident to the department’s incident hotline and prepare, date, and sign an independent report that specifically describes the nature of the incident, the location and time of the incident, and the persons involved in the incident. The employee shall deliver the report to the employee’s supervisor or program director, who must provide copies to the department’s inspector general and the circuit juvenile justice manager. The inspector general shall immediately conduct an appropriate administrative investigation, and, if there is probable cause to believe that a violation of subsection (2) has occurred, the inspector general shall notify the state attorney in the circuit in which the incident occurred.
(4)(a) A person who is required to prepare a report under this section who knowingly or willfully fails to do so, or who knowingly or willfully prevents another person from doing so, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. (b) A person who knowingly or willfully submits inaccurate, incomplete, or untruthful information with respect to a report required under this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. (c) A person who knowingly or willfully coerces or threatens any other person with the intent to alter testimony or a written report regarding an incident of neglect upon a juvenile offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.