Promise 5: Juvenile Justice
Florida continues to struggle with juvenile justice. Failure to retain consistent political will to make the changes, and acknowledgement of the fact that public safety must begin with an adequately funded juvenile justice system resulted in a 1989 Juvenile Justice Review Task Force and a 2007 Blueprint Commission finding essentially the same solutions to struggles in Florida’s juvenile justice system. Youth of color receive harsher punishments and suffer disproportionately, girls are the largest growing population, and children in the juvenile justice system often start under the care of the Department of Children and Families. The State of Florida needs to invest in programs that can provide the right services at the right time in the least restrictive environment, while continuing to provide serious sanctions for youth involved in serious and violent crime, where appropriate. The Children’s Campaign will advocate for more gender-specific programming, a system that addressed the disproportionate presence of minorities in the system, and provides adequate resources to meet the mental and physical health needs of youth.
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