Gov. Rick Scott: Lowest Juvenile Arrests In More Than 30 Years
By Space Coast Daily // December 2, 2015
five year decline of 32 percent
TALLAHASEE, FLORDA – Governor Rick Scott announced that the number of juvenile arrests continued their downward trend in 2014-2015 according to the latest delinquency report released by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
Statewide, juvenile arrests dropped another 4 percent in the last fiscal year, which resulted in a five year decline of 32 percent- the lowest number of juvenile arrests since 1984.
Governor Rick Scott said, “Florida is committed to ensuring our communities remain safe, and the ongoing decline in juvenile arrests shows that our focus on prevention programs is working. We will continue to make important investments in DJJ to make Florida’s juvenile justice system a national leader and ensure our children have the support they need.”
Keeping in line with the declines, the report released by DJJ also shows a decrease in juvenile commitments to residential placement by 7 percent contributing to a 43 percent decline in the last five years. Overall misdemeanor offenses decreased by 8 percent, leading the drop in delinquency.
Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christina Daly said, “DJJ is committed to providing the right services for Florida’s youth while also keeping our focus on public safety. The statistics from the latest delinquency report show that the transformation of our juvenile justice system in recent years is producing results, and most importantly, producing better outcomes for the youth we serve.”
The four most populated counties in Florida showed double-digit decreases in juvenile arrests over the last fiscal year, with Broward County leading the way with a 14 percent decrease. Hillsborough County dropped 11 percent, while Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties each saw a 10 percent reduction.
DJJ’s multi-year reform initiative, which began three years ago with the implementation of the “Roadmap to System Excellence,” outlines the agency’s strategic plan to allocate its resources to the most effective programs, services, and treatments at the most impactful points along the juvenile justice continuum.
Among the strategic measures, DJJ has worked to realign existing resources to community-based interventions as well as increase the availability of transitional services such as vocational programming, employment, education, family support, transitional housing, and transportation.
Florida has the nation’s largest, centrally organized juvenile justice agency, providing prevention, probation, detention (short-term secure housing) and residential services for at-risk and delinquent youth in every community across the state. Reform efforts including the implementation of DJJ’s Civil Citation Initiative, The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), and the Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project have placed the department at the forefront of juvenile justice models and contributed greatly to the decrease in juvenile crime.