Juvenile Justice Reform: Facts and Figures

Vulnerable Youth

  • 25% of Florida youth are not graduating on time from high school.
  • In 2012, 9,332 students dropped out of school in the state of Florida.
  • In 2012, 319,000 teens in Florida were not enrolled in school, were not working, and had no degree beyond high school.

Did You Know?

In 2008, 47,166 students dropped out of school in the state of Florida.

Juvenile Offenders

  • Most juvenile offenders are male and white, ages are evenly split between those 13-15 and those 16-18 years old, yet black juveniles are held in residential custody in the United States at twice the rate of Hispanics and five times the rate for whites.
  • While African-American youth, ages 10-17 make up 21% of Florida’s population they constitute 49% of youth held in secure detention, 46% of the youth committed for delinquency, 51% of youth transferred to adult court, and 72% of youth in Florida’s prisons.
  • Just more than 31% of the juveniles referred to the Department of Juvenile Justice are girls.The number of girls referred for delinquency in FY 2011-12 was 17,367.
  • The rate of female youth charged with a felony offense declined more than males, about 38% for females versus 33% for males.
  • There is evidence that the majority of juvenile offenders come from poor family situation and many are fathers themselves. Many report being around violence all of their lives.
  • A 1993 national study showed, on average, youth in correctional facilities were reading at a fourth-grade reading level.
  • In 2005, 78.3% of girls and 54.2% of boys in juvenile detention were found to have mental disorders, yet only 41.3% of girls and 12.9% of boys receive treatment.
  • In studies conducted of the worst juvenile offenders, 60% were found to have been victims of child abuse and/or neglect.

Did You Know?

A 1993 national study showed, on average, youth in correctional facilities were reading at a fourth-grade reading level.

Juvenile Justice

  • Nearly 93,000 youth — 295 per 100,000 youth in the general population — were held in juvenile residential placement facilities on the 2006 census date. Of this number, 88,137 were held for delinquency offenses, and 4,717 for status offenses.
  • In 1998, 1.7 million children were sent to juvenile court, whether the crimes were serious or petty.
  • Nationwide it has become easier to transfer juveniles to adult court, in Florida a child as young as 14 can be tried as an adult.
  • A 1996 study in Florida found that youth transferred to adult prisons had approximately a 30% higher recidivism rate than youth who stayed in the juvenile system.
  • In 2001, 23 children under age 18 were killed in firearm homicides in Florida, compared with 30 in 2003.
  • In 2005, 120,082 children under age 18 were arrested in Florida, 6,255 were for aggravated assault and 2,766 were for possession of weapons.
  • A 2001 census of juvenile offenders showed 6,776 children in juvenile correction facilities in Florida.

Did You Know?

In 2005, 120,082 children under age 18 were arrested in Florida, 6,255 were for aggravated assault and 2,766 were for possession of weapons.

Sources: Boostup.org [link]; Florida Department of Juvenile Justice [link]