Jessica Lunsford Act / Frequently Asked Questions
Jessica Lunsford Act
The Jessica Lunsford Act was passed by the Florida Legislature in response to the abduction and killing of Jessica Lunsford in Citrus County. New amendments to this law, effective July 1, 2007, will affect your business with the Martin County School District. The new amendments to the 2005 JLA establish a system of screening non-instructional contractual personnel (Vendors) who are permitted access to school grounds when students are present.
The full text of Senate Bill 988, which amended the Jessica Lunsford Act of 2005 can be viewed at:
Frequently Asked Questions
“Who is required to be fingerprinted (Level II Screen)?”
The law requires that certain “contractual personnel”* must meet Level 2 screening requirements as described in Florida Statute 1012.32. If an entity does business with the School Board, then its employees and agents, including sub-contracted personnel, must meet the Level 2 background screening requirements if they:
are permitted access on school grounds when students are present, or
have direct contact with students, or
have access to or control of school funds.
Upon completion and clearance through the Level 2 screening, the contractor will be issued a District “Level 2 Screening Clearance Photo ID Badge”. This photo ID badge is required to enter or remain on school grounds and must be worn at all times.
“Who is required to have Jessica Lunsford (JLA) Clearance?”
The following categories of non-instructional contractors are exempt from Level 2 Screening, but are required to obtain Jessica Lunsford Clearance
(1) Non-instructional contractors who are at all times under the direct supervision* of a school district employee or Level 2 screened and cleared contractor while on school grounds; or
2) Non-instructional contractors who remain at a site where students are not permitted, if the site is separated from the remainder of the school grounds by a single chain-link fence of six (6) feet in height.
“What happens if an employee who has previously been cleared by either a Level 2 Screening or a JLA Screening gets arrested?”
The law requires a contractor who is arrested for a disqualifying offense to report the arrest to the employer or primary contractor and the school district within 48 hours. Any individual in possession of a “Level 2 Clearance Photo ID Badge” or a “JLA Clearance Photo ID Badge” who is arrested for a disqualifying offense defined under Florida Statute 1012.467(2)(g), is automatically disqualified by the Martin County School District from entering or remaining upon any school grounds and shall immediately surrender their “Photo ID Badge” to their employer who is responsible for returning said badge to the Martin County School District Human Resource Department within 48 hours of the arrest or notice of the arrest and/or criminal offense.
“What happens if I fail to report an arrest?”
A contractor arrested for a disqualifying offense as outlined below and enumerated in Florida Statute 1012.467(2)(g), who willfully fails to inform his or her employer or the party to whom he or she is under contract and the school district within 48 hours of the arrest commits a felony of the third (3rd) degree, punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a five thousand dollar fine.
“What is the employer’s responsibility when an employee gets arrested?”
If the employer of a contractor or the party to whom the contractor is under contract knows the contractor has been arrested for any of the disqualifying offenses and authorizes the arrested contractor to be present on school grounds when students are present, such party commits a felony of the third (3rd) degree, punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a five thousand dollar fine.
Any individual in possession of a “Level 2 Clearance Photo ID Badge” or a “JLA Clearance Photo ID Badge” who is arrested for a disqualifying offense defined under Florida Statute 1012.467(2)(g), is automatically disqualified by the Martin County School District from entering or remaining upon any school grounds and shall immediately surrender their “Photo ID Badge” to their employer who is responsible for returning said badge to the Martin County School District Human Resource Department within 48 hours of the arrest or notice of the arrest and/or criminal offense.
“What are the DISQUALIFYING OFFENSES?”
A non-instructional contractor for whom a Level 2 screening is required may not have been convicted* of any of the following offenses, any similar offense in another jurisdiction, or any similar offense committed in this state which has been redesignated from a former provision of the Florida statutes to one of the following offenses:
Any offense listed in section 943.0435(1)(a)1., relating to the registration of an individual as a Sexual Offender.
Section 393.135 and 394.4593, relating to Sexual Misconduct with Developmentally Disabled Clients and/or Mental Health Patients and the Failure to Report such Sexual Misconduct.
Section 775.30 relating to Terrorism.
Section 782.04 relating to Murder.
Section 787.01 relating to Kidnapping.
Any offense under Chapter 800, relating to Lewd, Lascivious or Indecent Acts or Exposure.
Section 826.04, relating to Incest.
Section 827.03, relating to Child Abuse, Aggravated Child Abuse, or Neglect of a Child.
“Where do Vendors and Contractors go to be screened?”
Martin County School District Personnel Office (Building 20)
500 East Ocean Boulevard
Stuart, Florida 34994
(772) 219-1200, Ext. 30296
By appointment only
“Do all vendors and contractors have to be screened by every district with which they do business? Will the Martin County Schools accept screening from another District?”
A non-instructional contractor who is subject to a Level 2 fingerprint screening shall inform a school district that he or she has completed a criminal history check in another school district since July 1, 2007. The school district shall verify the results of the contractor’s criminal history check using the shared system implemented by the FDLE.
“What is the cost?”
Effective March 19, 2012, the cost for the Level 2 Screening is $78.50 per person. This includes the collection of a fee from FDLE associated with the retention of fingerprints for individuals who are fingerprinted as a contractor or vendor with a Florida public school district. Effective July 1, 2009 this $24.00 retention fee will be collected at the time of submission of fingerprints. Fingerprints submitted as contractors or vendors are retained in the FDLE’s Florida Shared School Results System (FSSRS) for a period of five (5) years. All fingerprints retained in the FDLE shared database will automatically be purged by FDLE from the automated fingerprint identification system five (5) years following the date of original submission. There is no cost for screening for Jessica Lunsford Clearance. There is no cost for verifying the results of a prior criminal history check in another school district. The cost for the “Level 2 Screening Photo ID Badge” is $6.00. The cost for the “JLA Clearance Photo ID Badge” is $6.00. Payment may be made by company check, money order, or personal check only. No cash will be accepted.
“How do Vendors, Contractors, or individuals pay?”
The cost for the fingerprinting must be paid prior to being printed. The amount is payable on-line or by money order made payable to: 3M Cogent.
All individuals must register on-line:
Navigate to http://www.cogentid.com/fl/index_fdoe.htm and select “register online”
For 'County' Select Martin County from the drop down box
For CRI Literal select: FL931392Z/Contractors & Vendors
Please fill out the remaining information and submit
You must bring confirmation number with you for your appointment.
“How long will it take to be screened?”
At least fifteen minutes and perhaps longer depending on the volume of those needing to be screened.
“What are the hours for the screening office?”
Actual hours are posted on our website. We will make every effort to make it as convenient as possible for vendors to comply with the law.
“Once individuals have been fingerprinted, how do vendors or contractors prove that they have been screened?”
Once employees have received either a Level 2 Screening or Jessica Lunsford Clearance, “Photo ID Badges” will be issued for each employee. These identification badges can be issued on the day of the screening if time permits or will be mailed to the employee’s place of business. Individuals coming onto Martin County School grounds must wear their “Photo ID Badge” at all times while on school property.
Once issued a “Photo ID Badge”, individuals entering Martin County school grounds must wear their badge and have it visible at all times while on school property.
“If an individual fails the screening, does the individual or their employer learn why?”
Jurisdiction is not disqualifying under the list of disqualifying offenses provided in Florida Statute 1012.467(2)(g).
Employers will receive a letter indicating that an employee is not approved; however the specific reason will not be disclosed
“Are Charter Schools impacted?”
Yes. Charter Schools are public schools with public school students and their vendors must fully comply with the law.
“Do PTA representatives need to be screened when visiting schools?”
PTA representatives are not subject to the requirements of a Level 2 screening, but may have their names and other identifying information checked against the Sexual Predator and Sexual Offender Registries. They will not be required to obtain a “JLA Clearance Photo ID Badge”.
*See Definitions below of relevant terms
“Contractual Personnel” are defined as any vendor, individual, or entity under contract with a school or the school board or school district.
“Non-Instructional Contractor” is any individual vendor or entity under contract with a school or school board or school district who receives remuneration and is not otherwise considered an employee.
“School Grounds” are the buildings and grounds of any public Pre-K, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle, Junior High, High or Secondary School, or combination of grades Pre-K through 12, together with the school district land
“Conviction” means that the person has been found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to the crime. Persons who have a pending (open) criminal case involving and enumerated offense defined under Florida Statute 1012.467(2)(g) as a disqualifying offense are automatically disqualified and must immediately surrender any previously issued “Photo ID Badge” to the Martin County School District Human Resource Department within 48 hours of the arrest or notice of the criminal offense.
“Direct Supervision” means that a school district employee or contractor with a Level 2 Screening Clearance Photo ID Badge is physically present at all times with the non-instructional contractor (with the JLA Clearance Photo ID Badge) when the contractor has or may have access to students. The contractor without Level 2 clearance (JLA Clearance only Badge) must remain in the school district employee’s or the contractor with the Level 2 Clearance’s direct line of sight at all times. If a non-instructional contractor with “JLA Clearance” only is no longer under direct supervision of a Level 2 screened employee, the contractor may not be permitted on school grounds when students are present until the contractor meets the Level 2 screening requirements.