Juvenile Justice Citizens Academy

Learn About the Juvenile Justice System

The Juvenile Justice Citizens Academy is designed to provide members of the community with the opportunity to gain specific knowledge about the workings of the Pinellas County Juvenile Justice System. Over the academy’s eight-week duration, participants will have the opportunity to hear from juvenile justice stakeholders and decision-makers.

Through seminars and discussions, participants will learn about the roles, services and responsibilities of various stakeholders at all points in the Juvenile Justice process from prevention to commitment. Participants will also be offered the chance to tour some of the local juvenile justice facilities in-person.

The Juvenile Justice Citizens Academy (JJCA) is intended to provide information and does not train or promote citizens to act in a law enforcement capacity.

Next Academy: April 6th – May 25th, 2023

The JJCA will be held weekly (8 sessions) in a hybrid format with some sessions held virtually and others in-person.


  • Class Enrollment is limited.
  • Apply here for the Juvenile Justice Citizens Academy beginning March 2023
  • Adult residents of Pinellas County are eligible to attend. Business leaders, civic representatives, criminal justice students as well as members of the community are encouraged to participate.

Participants in the Academy will:

  • Learn about the Juvenile Justice system from prevention to commitment.
  • Understand how citizens can become engaged in Juvenile Justice.
  • Participate in dialogue with juvenile justice stakeholders and partners.

Fees and Attendance

  • The program is offered free of charge.
  • Participants are required to attend 6 of the 8 sessions in order to receive a certificate of attendance.

For additional information, please contact Jackie Santos with Pinellas County Office of Justice Coordination at (727) 453-7436 or jsantos@pinellas.gov

If you are a person with a disability and need any accommodation to participate in this program, you are entitled, at no cost, to the provision of certain assistance. If you need assistance, contact the Pinellas County Office of Human Rights at (727) 464-4062.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Juvenile Justice Citizens Academy?
The Pinellas County Juvenile Justice Academy (JJCA) is a free program created and organized by Pinellas County Justice Coordination and the Department of Juvenile Justice to educate residents about the juvenile justice system.

Why was the program created?
To provide residents an inside look at the Juvenile Justice system in Pinellas County. Participants will engage in seminars and discussions regarding the roles, services, and responsibilities of various stakeholders at all points in the Juvenile Justice process from prevention to commitment. These sessions are intended to educate participants in order to better assist youth and families in Pinellas County.

When is the Program?
The Spring 2023 JJCA program consists of 8 consecutive sessions on Thursday evenings 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. beginning April 6, and ending May 25, 2023.

What do I do at the beginning of each class?
Prior to class you must review the workbook materials and prepare questions for discussion. When you log into each virtual Zoom session, be sure your Zoom account displays your name and job title so you may receive credit for that session. For in-person tours held at facilities, be sure to sign in to receive credit for that session. You will be asked to complete a survey at the end of each session.

What do I wear to class?
Please dress appropriately for the Zoom sessions and ensure your background is free of any distractions and noises. For in-person tours, participants are encouraged to dress conservatively and wear comfortable shoes and pants. [Some of the sites are secure and have additional dress requirements. More information will be provided prior to those sessions.]

Where are the classes held?
The classes will be held online through Zoom and include tours at various facilities in Pinellas County. (Please see schedule of classes.)

What do I do if I need to miss a class?
Participants will receive a certificate if they attend 6 out of the 8 sessions. Please let the coordinator know if you will be absent for a session.

What do I do after I complete this academy and graduate?
You are encouraged to share the information you gained with others, especially youth and families asterisk for contact with the juvenile justice system. You are also encouraged to become more involved assisting families and youth.

What if I still have more questions?
For more details, please email Jackie Santos at jsantos@pinellas.gov