Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 063613
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File Number: 063613 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1468-06 Control: County Commission
File Name: BAN USE OF CHAINS AND SHACKLES ON DETAINED CHILDREN Introduced: 12/14/2006
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 12/19/2006
Agenda Date: 12/19/2006 Agenda Item Number: 14A28
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT LEGISLATION BANNING THE USE OF INDISCRIMINATE CHAINS AND SHACKLES ON DETAINED CHILDREN IN JUVENILE COURTROOMS; AND ESTABLISHING A PRESUMPTION OF NO CHAINS OR SHACKLES ABSENT A SHOWING OF RISK TO SELF OR OTHERS [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 063168]
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 12/19/2006 14A28 Adopted P

County Manager 12/18/2006 Additions 12/19/2006

County Attorney 12/14/2006 Assigned Maria Arista-Volsky 12/14/2006

Intergov., Recreation & Cultural Affairs Cmte. 12/13/2006 2G Amended Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation with committee amendment(s) P
REPORT: The foregoing resolution was forwarded with a favorable recommendation, with Committee amendment(s) to delete the following language contained within Section 1 of this resolution: “in non-felony cases.” Assistant County Attorney Maldonado read the foregoing resolution into the record. Carlos Martinez, Chief Assistant Public Defender, explained that they were working to change Florida law and that there must be threat to lives before a juvenile could be chained and shackled in court, he noted this was not done to adults. Commissioner Edmonson asked if this resolution could be amended to delete the non-felony phrase. Chairwoman Heyman asked Assistant County Attorney Maldonado to prepare appropriate memoranda requesting that Chairman Martinez waive the Board’s Rules and Procedures and to allow this proposed resolution to be placed on the December 19, 2006 agenda. There being no further discussion or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote.

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT LEGISLATION BANNING THE USE OF INDISCRIMINATE CHAINS AND SHACKLES ON DETAINED CHILDREN IN JUVENILE COURTROOMS; AND ESTABLISHING A PRESUMPTION OF NO CHAINS OR SHACKLES ABSENT A SHOWING OF RISK TO SELF OR OTHERS

BODY
WHEREAS, in Miami-Dade County, over 5,000 children were securely detained and all brought to juvenile court in shackles during Fiscal Year 2005-2006; and
WHEREAS, juvenile courts were established in the United States more than one hundred years ago for the express purpose of distinguishing between the mental capacity and moral accountability of adult and youthful offenders; and
WHEREAS, throughout the United States, children are seldom handcuffed or shackled, much less handcuffed and shackled, in juvenile or family courts; and
WHEREAS, prevention and rehabilitation, rather than shame and humiliation, should be paramount in Florida’s juvenile delinquency courtrooms; and
WHEREAS, indiscriminately chaining and shackling detained children, who enjoy the constitutional presumption of innocence and present no risk of escape or harm is contrary to, and undermines, the rehabilitation focus of juvenile court; and
WHEREAS, indiscriminately chaining and shackling detained children, violates international law and norms, and
WHEREAS, indiscriminately chaining and shackling detained children is abusive and degrading, and is an affront to the dignity of children in juvenile court proceedings; and
WHEREAS, indiscriminately shackling a child in handcuffs and leg irons, causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to suffer; and
WHEREAS, children who appear before judges in dependency courtrooms because a parent or guardian has abandoned, neglected or abused them should not be subjected to further harm by being forced to appear in chains and shackles; and
WHEREAS, leg shackles and belly chains are not routinely used when adult defendants appear in court; and
WHEREAS, indiscriminately shackling all detained children is too extreme when there are other less restrictive alternatives to protecting public safety in the courtroom while maintaining the dignity of children and the court proceedings; and
WHEREAS, the use of exceptional restraints must be reserved for cases where the Court makes an individualized determination that unusual facts warrant such an extreme measure;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature to enact legislation banning the use of indiscriminate chains and shackles on detained children in juvenile courtrooms; and establishing a presumption of no chains or shackles cases absent a showing of risk to self or others.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Chair and members of the Miami-Dade County State Legislative Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation set forth in Section 1 above, and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2007 State Legislative package.



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