Mental Health

Juvenile Incompetent to Proceed Program

System Description:
Florida's Juvenile Incompetent to Proceed Program provides competency restoration services to juveniles who have been charged with a felony prior to their 18th birthday and do not have the ability to participate in legal proceedings due to their mental illness, mental retardation, or autism. Our goal is to provide assessment, evaluation and intensive competency restoration services to allow the juvenile to return to court and proceed with their court proceedings.  Competency restoration services are available in both the community and in a secure residential setting.

Philosophy:
We seek to provide competency restoration services with dignity and fairness, in the least restrictive manner possible, ensuring the safety of the people we serve, and the community.  We recognize some juveniles will not likely be restored to competency and report this information to the courts in a timely manner.

Purpose:
To provide appropriate competency restoration services to juveniles in a community outpatient setting or in a secure residential placement with the goal that each juvenile will become knowledgeable about the delinquency process and their legal situation to ensure appropriate due process in the legal system.

The Juveniles We Serve:
Competency restoration services are provided to juveniles who have been charged with a felony  prior to their 18th birthday and do not have the ability to participate in legal proceedings due to their mental illness, mental retardation, or autism.   Diagnostic categories include all major DSM - IV mental disorder classifications that are noted as mental illness under Chapter 394, Florida Statutes, and Axis II mental retardation or autism diagnosis. as defined in Chapter 393, Florida Statutes.

Community Restoration Services:
Community services are provided to juveniles in their home, foster care home, detention and at their school.  Case management and competency training are the focus of the program.  Mental health services are coordinated by the juvenile's case manager and services provided under the Agency for Persons with Disabilities is provided by that agency’s support coordinators.

Secure Residential Services:
Juveniles determined by the court to require treatment/training in a secure residential setting are served at Apalachicola Forest Youth Camp (AFYC) located in Liberty County, Florida.  AFYC is a 39 bed facility operated by Twin Oaks Juvenile Development, Inc. under contract with the Department of Children and Families.  The population consists of 32 boys and 7 girls.

AFYC is located on a 78 acre site located in a wilderness area.  Security measures include cameras and a 14 foot high fence.  The buildings are constructed as log homes. The facility consists of six 7 -8 - person cabins with individual bedrooms, an education building with six classrooms, a professional building with 24-hour nursing coverage and an administrative building.

AFYC provides intensive competency restoration services to juveniles in addition to general psychiatric treatment, habilitation approaches, milieu and specialized services which include:

  • Behavioral programming including a level system and token economy
  • Educational services in a cooperative agreement with the Liberty County School District utilizing a state of the art computer assisted instruction system called PLATO.  It also utilizes a state of the art scientific method called Breaking the Code.  This is a phonics based, multi-sensoring reading program designed to teach children reading, reading comprehension, spelling, and quality handwriting.
  • Treatment modules addressing abuse issues, anger management, social skills, accepting responsibility, decision making skills, problem solving, coping skills, mental health awareness, medication and relapse prevention
  • Group competency training (daily)
  • Individual competency tutoring (weekly)