Florida leads the nation in prearrest diversions for arrests for common youth misbehavior, but much of Florida fails to keep nonviolent youth from being entangled in the legal system as an offender.
There is huge room for improvement as The Sunshine State continues to arrest thousands of children each year for minor violations that in previous days resulted in a trip to the principal’s office or a call to parents.
THE FACTS FROM THE FLORIDA ACLU SITE
- Florida led the nation between 2011-2015 with the highest number of youth in state or federal prisons.
- Pre-arrest diversion has the lowest recidivism rate, yet is only available to 55% of the state’s eligible youth.
- Black youth are 2.7 times as likely to be arrested as white youth in Florida.
- Youth with learning disabilities are more than seven times as likely to be arrested at school in Florida.
***The Caruthers Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think-tank that conducts research, crafts solutions and leads advocacy on emerging issues for the purpose of data-driven social change. Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Institute believes important policy decisions should be made based upon data – not ideology, partisanship or political influence.