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ORLANDO -- A brand-new $4 million facility for female juvenile offenders sits vacant in St. Augustine because there's no money to pay staff to run it.
It's the latest casualty of the $53 million recently cut from the budget of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, a cut that slashed 660 jobs statewide and nixed plans to expand juvenile facilities by 1,000 beds.
Although a spokesperson for the state agency says the cuts will not affect the department's level of service, others are not so optimistic -- believing that the loss of staff positions and programs will lead to an increase in juvenile crime.
"I think we're going to see significant crime increases, at both the juvenile and adult level," says Randy Means, executive director with the Orange/Osceola State Attorney's Office.
"When the economy is bad, you typically have more crime anyway -- and when you cut back …