Florida's Juvenile Incompetent to Proceed (JITP) 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, intellectual disability, 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.
The program provides comprehensive case management services to include: assessing, planning, coordinating, referring, monitoring and linking the client and family to needed services. The Case Manager monitors the child’s training and progress by conducting monthly visits and utilizing the reports from the Competency Trainers. The Case Manager also assists client/family with referrals for Psychiatric services, social services, educational services, language services and behavioral training.
The goal of the program is for each client to become knowledgeable about the delinquency process and their legal situation to ensure appropriate due process in the legal system. We accomplish this goal by delivering competency training to the client on an individualized basis in the least restrictive environment.
Upon completion of the training clients should be able to:
Appreciate the charges against him or her
Appreciate the range and nature of possible penalties which may be imposed
Understand the adversarial nature of the legal process
Disclose to his/her attorney facts pertinent to the case
Display appropriate courtroom behavior
The training is implemented through activities that include but are not limited to verbal exercises, written exercises, and role play. It is provided by a statewide network of independent contractors, who have been background screened, possess minimum education requirements and been trained to deliver our proprietary competency restoration curriculum.
forensic psychological evaluations
The program utilizes a statewide network of Psychologists and Psychiatrists to perform competency evaluations. These Forensic Evaluators are all licensed in the State of Florida and have completed the Juvenile Forensics Evaluator Training, administered by the Florida Mental Health Institute, USF.
Clients are evaluated:
Upon the TOFOS staff recommendation of achievement of competency.
Six months after the Court’s initial Adjudication Order of Incompetency
Two years after the Order of Adjudication
At the age of 19 years old, as ordered by the committing Delinquency Court
Panhandle & North Florida
1, 14, 2, 3
Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Calhoun, Jackson, Gulf, Liberty, Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor
North Central Florida
4, 5, 7, 8
Hamilton, Suwanee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Baker, Nassau, Union, Bradford, Alachua, Gilchrist, Levy, Marion, Clay, Putnam, Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Citrus, Sumter, Hernando
6, 10, 13
Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk
Polk & Central Florida
6, 10, 12, 20
Polk, Orange, Osceola
Southwest Florida/Gulf Coast
9, 10, 18
Pinellas, Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, Sarasota, Desoto, Charlotte, Lee, Hendry, Collier
West Florida/Atlantic Coast
Glades, Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach
11, 16, 17
804-A Northwest 16th Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where are the services provided?
Services are primarily provided in the child’s home. There may be occasions where competency training is provided in the child’s school setting. This is usually in response to difficulties related to arranging the training in the home.
Who provides the services?
Competency training services are provided by independent contractors all with a minimum of 2 years experience working with clients with either mental illness or mental retardation. These contractors have completed their Bachelor’s degree studies.
Do I have to pay for these services?
No. The program is funded through a contract with the Florida Department of Children and Families.
What are the expectations for me and my child when it comes to participation in treatment?
Upon admission to the program, a thorough description of services is made available. Services vary from case to case, depending upon the individual needs of the child. Generally speaking, a family can expect to meet with the competency trainer at a minimum of 5 hours per week. There will be a monthly home visit to be conducted by the TOFOS Regional Case Manager assigned to the child’s case. These services may increase during the child’s treatment, again, depending on the need of the child.