Forensic experts are gearing up to conduct a high-tech sweep of the grounds at a notorious Northwest Florida reform school where survivors remain convinced bodies of long-lost boys are still concealed.
Cheryl Massaro, director of the Flagler County Youth Center, describes how the Trump administration disbanded and stopped the work of the Federal Advisory Committee for Juvenile Justice she was appointed to two years ago.
Michael Renaud, now 44, was 17 when he murdered Margaret Rogers at a house on Point Pleasant Drive in Palm Coast in 1992. Today he was back in court, arguing for his early release.
Cheryl Massaro, for 11 years the director of the Flagler Youth Center, has served on the local and state juvenile justice advisory boards, and will now be responsible for representing Florida and other states for two years on the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice.
Anthony Julian Collins was two months shy of 17 when he was committed an attempted second-degree murder, carjacking with a firearm and attempted armed robbery.
An appeals court ruling could mean the state owes more than $100 million to counties in a long-running dispute about who pays to detain juvenile offenders.
Between fiscal year 2010-11 and fiscal year 2012-13, juvenile arrests in Florida declined 23 percent and felony juvenile arrests declined 17 percent, while transfers to adult court declined 36 percent.
A years-long dispute over how to split the costs of detaining youthful offenders appears no closer to being settled after the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice held a rule-making hearing Friday with representatives of more than three dozen Florida counties, including Flagler.
The dispute goes back to 2004 and centers on DJJ’s handling of a law that requires counties help pay for “predisposition,” or the costs of detaining underage offenders before they are sentenced. It affects 38 counties. The 29 poorest counties in the state are considered “fiscally constrained” and aren’t part of the cost-sharing formula.
As state legislators have tried and failed to craft a juvenile-sentencing law that conforms to landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings, a national advocacy group is calling Florida a “clear outlier” among states for its hard-line approach to trying juveniles as adults.