FL Study Praises Juvenile Citations Instead of Arrests

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Miami-Dade County led Florida last year in sending child offenders to diversion programs rather than arresting them for misdemeanor crimes, says a new study reported by the Miami Herald. The study also found that some counties have a long way to go to increase their use of juvenile civil citation programs, an alternative that experts praise as a more effective and beneficial option to arrest.

The nonpartisan “Stepping Up 2016” report, the second annual by The Children’s Campaign and several other state and national advocacy groups, said juvenile civil citations are preferable because they improve youth outcomes, increase public safety, and save potentially millions in taxpayer money.With a civil citation, child offenders are typically assigned to community service and intervention programs, rather than being arrested and getting a criminal record. “We are unable to find any data that shows arresting youth for common youth misbehavior instead of issuing civil citations is a good idea,” said Dewey Caruthers, the study’s author.


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