juvenile justice

In the coming weeks, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice will be putting the finishing touches on a newly created office where juveniles and their families can raise concerns. That’s just one of the reforms the head of DJJ recently told a group of lawmakers, who had some suggestions of their own to address abuses within the system outlined in a Miami Herald investigative series.

Will Jacksonville, Miami or any Florida city win the battle for Amazon.com's second headquarters? We discuss the possibility in this week's The Florida Roundup Statewide Edition. 

The head of Florida’s juvenile justice system says a Miami Herald investigation detailing abuses within detention facilities does not tell the full story.

Miami Herald

Emory Jones just needs to look at his left arm for a reminder of what happened at Avon Park Youth Academy. There is a faint scar in the shape of a snake above his elbow from when an officer beat him.

Miami Herald

For the last two years, the Miami Herald has been looking into systemic abuse within the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the division designed to rehabilitate minors who get into trouble with the law.

A bill aimed at decreasing the number of juveniles charged as adults is still alive in the Florida Senate, after narrowly passing its first committee Monday.

Florida lawmakers should take a comprehensive approach to reforming the state’s criminal justice system. That’s according to a new poll by a free market think-tank.

jail hand
Sakhorn38 creative commons / WLRN

Continuing to grapple with decades-long sentences for juveniles who commit serious crimes, a divided state appeals court refused Monday to order a new sentence for a man serving 45 years in prison for crimes he committed at age 15.

Study Prompts Call To Expand Juvenile Diversion Programs

Jul 16, 2015
Kittisak / freedigitalphotos.net

A new study on diversion programs for juvenile offenders is helping bolster a call to expand their use in Florida.

Released Wednesday, the report found that a 25 percent increase in the use of civil citations as alternatives to arrest would save taxpayers as much as $61 million --- while keeping kids from handicapping their futures because of common misbehavior such as fighting, drinking or using drugs.

There’s something universally jarring about the sound of shackles. It’s slow and, while high-pitched, carries a timbre of gloom.

It’s especially unnerving when those shackles are chained to the feet and arms of a slight, young man, like the one who stood in front of an audience on a recent evening.

“At the end of the day, y’all are going home. I’m still locked up,” he told the group of young men sitting before him.

His words were quiet, but he had their full attention.

How This Miami Food Truck Is Run By At-Risk Youths

Aug 28, 2014
Carla Javier / WLRN

The Vibe 305 food truck serves up sandwiches with unconventional names: gratitude, hope, and opportunity, for example.

It's staffed by young men, 12 to 19 years old. They are part of the Empowered Youth USA program in Miami.

Creative Commons / Flickr user Bart Everson

Five hundred young adults in Broward County may soon wake up to clean criminal records if the County Commission gives the go-ahead at its meeting Tuesday afternoon.

These kids are first-time, non-violent offenders who were eligible for the Civil Citation Program for Juveniles but were instead arrested and slapped with a misdemeanor.

The program is an opportunity to look at the source of the trouble-making and engage with other kids in similar situations. At the completion of the program, no mention is ever made on the kid’s record.

National anti-crime group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a position paper last week in favor of Florida’s new standards for English language arts and math. The group argues assessments and higher standards can prevent crime.

Here’s the paper’s summary of the connection: