Florida Redirection (2004-2013)

In October 2004, the state of Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice contracted with Evidence-Based Associates (EBA) to launch the Redirection project in an effort to “redirect” troubled youth from residential placements to more effective, family-focused, evidence-based treatment options. Initially, the Redirection project focused on two Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development model programs that have demonstrated strong positive outcomes in addressing the needs of delinquent youth and their families – Multisystemic Therapy and Functional Family Therapy. In 2008, Brief Strategic Family Therapy was added to the Redirection project because of its success with Spanish-speaking families.

Over the next nine years Redirection expanded to 18 out of the state's 20 judicial circuits, providing alternative, effective treatments for more than 10,000 troubled youth and families. Redirection programs successfully addressed the mental health needs of referred youth and families, helping to promote a more functional family system based upon more effective parenting and improved communication between family members and those outside the family.

This rehabilitative approach utilizing evidence-based, community-based, and family focused treatment programs worked exceedingly well. An independent evaluation by the Justice Research Center shows that Redirection had significantly reduced felony adjudications and avoided millions in residential placement costs. Similar reports by Florida's Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) and the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA)reached similar, positive conclusions (see the "Reports" section of this page for these and other related reports).

In October 2013, FL DJJ brought the Redirection program 'in house' and discontinued the Managing Entity model through which Evidence-Based Associates had contracted with the state to manage the project.

"Redirection, an alternative to incarceration, produces better outcomes than incarceration at significantly less cost, saving the state more than $230 million in the past five years." Southern Poverty Law Center

"Earlier this year, we joined the Redirection network of service providers and shifted to evidence-based programs – the results were immediate. We’ve learned to have faith in the model, to focus on the entire family, and work as a team with parents to affect positive change. One of the most important and immediate benefits of this approach is the change in attitude in the families – there is now hope where there once was none." Kathy Trapp, LMHC, a Redirection therapist at VisionQuest

“The positive benefits of Redirection compared to residential commitment are sustained and increase over time.” OPPAGA Report June 2008

“Redirection services save the state approximately $27,059 per completion when compared to those completing low, moderate and high-risk residential placements.” Justice Research Center, 2007

“By keeping kids in their homes, it allows us to work with the entire family system – changing the way the family functions and preventing future crimes by all of the children in the home. It is challenging work, but it is also the most rewarding and effective work I’ve ever done with adolescents.” Aaron Runion, MS

“Nothing makes juvenile crime disappear, but research from around the country, and now Florida’s own data and analysis, show that for many troubled youth the risk of committing future crimes can be cut in half if they receive effective interventions. Redirection successfully teaches families to control their delinquent children.” Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2007

“Long-term, not only can this approach prevent these adolescents from becoming involved with the justice system as adults, but it will also improve the relationships and communications between family members. Most importantly, the hope is that these children will become adults that use these effective parenting skills with their own children in the future, breaking the maladaptive cycle.” Tatyana Farietta-Murray, MD, Department of Child and Adolescent, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami

“The level of cooperation, partnership and support that we’ve experienced with the Redirection project has been invaluable. Research proves that Blueprint programs work – the added ingredients of accountability, quality assurance, and teamwork have been critical to getting us to this level of success.” Linda Jewell Morgan, Vice President of Performance Improvement, Eckerd Youth Alternatives


It's Time to Close All Youth Prisons - Washington Post - November 10, 2017