Florida teens who are arrested in the next two years could become part of an experiment meant to help decide how best to prevent crime, says the Miami Herald. The study will randomly assign teens who are arrested or violate probation as juveniles into two groups. Some will be sent home and enrolled in an intervention program called Redirections. The others will be sent to a residential commitment program. University of Florida criminology Prof. Charles Frazier will lead the study, which will be paid for with a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Frazier hopes to select about 750 teens from six counties and follow them to see which do better. One judge objected to the idea of randomly assigning teens, but Frazier said that is like any clinical trial and a key element of his proposal for federal grant money. Only teens who the Department of Juvenile Justice determines are eligible for either intervention or commitment will be chosen, and judges will be notified that a teen has been randomly assigned to one group or the other.