2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
Neighborhood restorative justice.
Neighborhood restorative justice.
985.155 Neighborhood restorative justice.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—For purposes of this section, the term:
(a) “Board” means a Restorative Justice Board established by the state attorney pursuant to subsection (3).
(b) “Center” means a Neighborhood Restorative Justice Center established by the state attorney pursuant to subsection (2).
(c) “First-time, nonviolent juvenile offender” means a minor who allegedly has committed a delinquent act or violation of law that would not be a crime of violence providing grounds for detention or incarceration and who does not have a previous record of being found to have committed a criminal or delinquent act or other violation of law.
(2) NEIGHBORHOOD RESTORATIVE JUSTICE CENTER.—
(a) The state attorney may establish at least one Neighborhood Restorative Justice Center in designated geographical areas in the county for the purposes of operating a deferred prosecution program for first-time, nonviolent juvenile offenders.
(b) The state attorney may refer any first-time, nonviolent juvenile offender accused of committing a delinquent act to a Neighborhood Restorative Justice Center.
(3) RESTORATIVE JUSTICE BOARD.—
(a) The state attorney may establish Restorative Justice Boards consisting of five volunteer members, of which: two are appointed by the state attorney; two are appointed by the public defender; and one is appointed by the chief judge of the circuit. The state attorney shall appoint a chair for each board.
(b) The board has jurisdiction to hear all matters involving first-time, nonviolent juvenile offenders who are alleged to have committed a delinquent act within the geographical area covered by the board.
(4) DEFERRED PROSECUTION PROGRAM; PROCEDURES.—
(a) The participation by a juvenile in the deferred prosecution program through a Neighborhood Restorative Justice Center is voluntary. To participate in the deferred prosecution program, the juvenile who is referred to a Neighborhood Restorative Justice Center must take responsibility for the actions which led to the current accusation. The juvenile and the juvenile’s parent or legal guardian must waive the juvenile’s right to a speedy trial and the right to be represented by a public defender while in the Neighborhood Restorative Justice program. This waiver and acknowledgment of responsibility shall not be construed as an admission of guilt in future proceedings. The board or the board’s representative must inform the juvenile and the parent or legal guardian of the juvenile’s legal rights prior to the signing of the waiver.
(b) If the state attorney refers a juvenile matter to a Neighborhood Restorative Justice Center, the board shall convene a meeting within 15 days after receiving the referral.
(c) The board shall require the parent or legal guardian of the juvenile who is referred to a Neighborhood Restorative Justice Center to appear with the juvenile before the board at the time set by the board. In scheduling board meetings, the board shall be cognizant of a parent’s or legal guardian’s other obligations. The failure of a parent or legal guardian to appear at the scheduled board meeting with his or her child or ward may be considered by the juvenile court as an act of child neglect as defined by s. 39.01, and the board may refer the matter to the Department of Children and Families for investigation under the provisions of chapter 39.
(d) The board shall serve notice of a board meeting on the juvenile referred to the Neighborhood Restorative Justice Center, the juvenile’s parent or guardian, and the victim or family of the victim of the alleged offense. These persons and their representatives have the right to appear and participate in any meeting conducted by the board relative to the alleged offense in which they were the alleged juvenile offender or parent or guardian of the alleged juvenile offender, or victim or family of the victim of the alleged juvenile offender. The victim or a person representing the victim may vote with the board.
(5) SANCTIONS.—After holding a meeting pursuant to paragraph (4)(d), the board may impose any of the following sanctions alone or in any combination:
(a) Require the juvenile to make restitution to the victim.
(b) Require the juvenile to perform work for the victim.
(c) Require the juvenile to make restitution to the community.
(d) Require the juvenile to perform work for the community.
(e) Recommend that the juvenile participate in counseling, education, or treatment services that are coordinated by the state attorney.
(f) Require the juvenile to surrender the juvenile’s driver license and forward a copy of the board’s resolution to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The department, upon receipt of the license, shall suspend the driving privileges of the juvenile, or the juvenile may be restricted to travel between the juvenile’s home, school, and place of employment during specified periods of time according to the juvenile’s school and employment schedule.
(g) Refer the matter to the state attorney for the filing of a petition with the juvenile court.
(h) Impose any other sanction except detention that the board determines is necessary to fully and fairly resolve the matter.
(6) WRITTEN CONTRACT.—
(a) The board, on behalf of the community, and the juvenile, the juvenile’s parent or guardian, and the victim or representative of the victim, shall sign a written contract in which the parties agree to the board’s resolution of the matter and in which the juvenile’s parent or guardian agrees to ensure that the juvenile complies with the contract. The contract may provide that the parent or guardian shall post a bond payable to this state to secure the performance of any sanction imposed upon the juvenile pursuant to subsection (5).
(b) A breach of the contract by any party may be sanctioned by the juvenile court as it deems appropriate upon motion by any party.
(c) If the juvenile disagrees with the resolution of the board, the juvenile may file a notice with the board within 3 working days after the board makes its resolution that the juvenile has rejected the board’s resolution. After receiving notice of the juvenile’s rejection, the state attorney shall file a petition in juvenile court.
(7) COMPLETION OF SANCTIONS.—
(a) If the juvenile accepts the resolution of the board and successfully completes the sanctions imposed by the board, the state attorney shall not file a petition in juvenile court and the board’s resolution shall not be used against the juvenile in any further proceeding and is not an adjudication of delinquency. The resolution of the board is not a conviction of a crime, does not impose any civil disabilities ordinarily resulting from a conviction, and does not disqualify the juvenile in any civil service application or appointment.
(b) If the juvenile accepts the resolution reached by the board but fails to successfully complete the sanctions imposed by it, the state attorney may file the matter with the juvenile court.
(c) Upon successful completion of the sanctions imposed by the board, the juvenile shall submit to the board proof of completion. The board shall determine the form and manner in which a juvenile presents proof of completion.
(8) CONSTRUCTION.—This section shall not be construed to diminish, impair, or otherwise affect any rights conferred on victims of crimes under chapter 960, relating to victim assistance, or any other provisions of law.
History.—s. 8, ch. 96-398; s. 24, ch. 97-96; s. 161, ch. 97-101; s. 47, ch. 97-238; s. 170, ch. 98-403; s. 2, ch. 2000-327; s. 26, ch. 2006-120; s. 348, ch. 2014-19.
Note.—Former s. 39.0361; s. 985.303.