The American Correctional Association mourns the loss of William "Bill" Bankhead who served as the secretary for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice for five years and also served two terms on ACA's Juvenile Corrections Committee. Bankhead struggled with cancer for three years and took medical leave from the Department of Juvenile Justice in February 2004. He died at 64.
Bankhead served 25 years in the Florida state government and 20 years as a Jacksonville legislator. In 1978, Democrats remained the dominant party in Duval County, Fla., politics. That year, Bankhead was elected to the state House of Representatives and was the only Republican from Jacksonville in the Duval County Legislative Delegation. Bankhead served five terms in the state House of Representatives, before being elected to the state Senate in 1988.
When Bankhead was elected to the House of Representatives, he was assigned to work with the House Health and Rehabilitative Services Committee. His excellence in this area led Gov. Jeb Bush to place him at the head of the challenging Department of Juvenile Justice in 1999. Despite being diagnosed with transitional cell cancer and having a kidney removed, Bankhead remained in that position...