Florida tightening juvenile justice monitoring

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida is tightening monitoring and improving the quality of juvenile justice residential and detention facilities.

Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters announced the new efforts on Friday.

They come nearly a month after a privately owned facility for girls in the Florida Panhandle agreed to end its contract following the arrest of a staff member who was accused of battering a 15-year-old inmate. A surveillance video showed the staffer pushing the teenager into a wall, throwing her on the floor and laying on top of her for nearly 20 minutes in August.

Ninety-five percent of the residential facilities are privately operated and the state is planning this year to outsource the remaining five. The residential facilities are separate from detention centers that are state or county operated.

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