Governor Rick Scott announced today that the number of juvenile arrests continued to decline in 2016-2017 according to the latest delinquency report released by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Statewide, juvenile arrests dropped another seven percent in the last fiscal year, a five-year decline of 24 percent, and a historic 42-year low in juvenile arrests.
Governor Scott said, “Our state has made significant strides in reforming our juvenile justice system and I am proud to announce today that juvenile arrests have dropped to a historic 42-year low. Today’s announcement would not be possible without Florida’s juvenile detention and probation officers, who work each day to redirect our youth to a successful path. I will be working with the legislature during the upcoming session to pass a 10 percent pay raise for juvenile detention and juvenile probation officers so we can reward them for their critical work.”
The five counties with the largest populations in Florida continue to show decreases in juvenile arrests over the last fiscal year. The county with the largest drop was Orange County with a 15 percent decrease, followed by Hillsborough County with a 14 percent reduction, Broward County with a seven percent decrease, Miami-Dade County with a seven percent decrease, and Palm Beach County with a four percent decline in juvenile arrests.
DJJ Secretary Christina Daly said, “More than six years ago, DJJ committed to improve Florida’s juvenile justice system through innovative and aggressive reforms. The continued decline in juvenile arrests year after year demonstrates our reform efforts are working. We will continue to work with law enforcement and our community partners to keep even more kids out of the juvenile justice system, provide the very best services for those that do come into our system, and work hard to help steer every youth down the right path.”
The current report, covering a five-year period, shows an overall decline in felony offenses, including a 15 percent decrease in murder/manslaughter arrests and a seven percent decrease in aggravated assault arrests. The report also shows a year-to-year four percent drop statewide in auto theft arrests, including a 19 percent year-to-year decrease in auto theft arrests in the Central Florida region. The report also shows a 14 percent decline in overall misdemeanor arrests.
To view the full report, click HERE.