TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice will privatize its five remaining residential facilities by next year.
The agency has been using prevention services to work with more youths at home, leaving those residential facilities for only the highest risk offenders.
Secretary Wansley Walters said Monday that commitments to residential facilities are down 44 percent in the past five years.
For the past two years state lawmakers have also ordered the agency to reduce state-operated beds before reducing privately operated ones.
Roughly 95 percent of the state-operated beds in the juvenile justice program are already privately run.
The five facilities being privatized are: Pensacola Boys, Duval Halfway House, Britt Halfway, Les Peters Halfway House and Falkenburg Juvenile Correctional Facility.
More than 200 agency employees work there.