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Senator demands financials from DJJ on psychotropic meds

by Dara Kam | October 20th, 2011

After blistering Department of Juvenile Justice officials earlier this week in her own committee, Sen. Ronda Storms again took the agency to task over its use of psychotropic medications, this time during a budget presentation in the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Committee.

The department is conducting an internal investigation into the use of drugs after The Palm Beach Post revealed that agency has plied jailed kids with heavy doses of psychotropic medications and that one in three DJJ psychiatrists had taken payments or gifts from the makers of the drugs.

Storms compared DJJ’s use of the mind-altering medications to that of the Department of Children, Families and Elder Affiars, which her committee oversees and with which she has also butted heads on the use of the meds.

“We have children who have been scalded and burned and had acid poured on them, who have been starved, who have been beaten, who’ve had bones broken, who have had horrible things happen to them. In that population, only 14 percent of the population is medicated. Of your population, over 34 percent of your population is medicated with psychotropic drugs,” Storms, R-Valrico, told DJJ director for administrative services Fred Schuknecht. “As you know, the ongoing invetstigation is whether or not the department was using psychotropic drugs possibly as a result of bribery or as a result of discipline.”

Storms ordered Schuknecht to come back with a financial analysis of DJJ’s spending on psychotropic drugs “for your entire population for whatever the reason.

“And I would like that post-haste,” Storms added.

“We’ll do it,” Schuknecht assured her.

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3 Responses to “Senator demands financials from DJJ on psychotropic meds”

  1. Psychotropic Medications Says:

    It will be true that The department is conducting an internal investigation into the use of drugs after The Palm Beach Post.

  2. PirateCafe Says:

    Keep the pressure on them, Sen. Storms. Given the sheer volume of pills involved here, I wonder how many were sold on the black market?

  3. Mike Rios Says:

    (House Senator Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, assumes all Hispanic are illegal, because we are trying to fight for equality and our rights to participate in the decision making process is unacceptable to him. We as Americans have the right to have the opportunity to vote for a Hispanic Congressmen in Central Florida, in the electoral process. It is unfair, wrong, and bigotry, representative who are elected assumes all Hispanics are illegal registered voters. Central Florida has a large population of Puerto Ricans who are Americans by birth right. Many Hispanics-Americans also represent Central Florida who have a right to vote, too).

    (Suggesting that all Hispanics in Central Florida is illegal is unacceptable and wrong in his assumptions. If anyone intentionally and knowingly, registered to vote and is illegal, I will be the first to say, prosecute them for breaking the law. I call for his removal of the committee, because people who think like him, do not belong in a committee that has to be impartial and fair.) This is America and not Lybia. We should allow the creation of two new Congressional districts for Hispanic representation, not only in central Florida, but allow for other representation in Broward, Palm Beach and Martin Counties.)

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