The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) today released an analysis of statewide and circuit-specific data related to case processing times. Case processing time refers to the period of time that passes from when a youth is arrested to disposition, or when the court determines the outcome and sanctions imposed on a youth.
Long case processing times mean that juveniles are not being held accountable for their actions in a timely manner. Delays in case processing may negatively impact public safety by preventing access to necessary treatments and services to address the juveniles’ behavior.
“The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice recognizes the importance of addressing critical areas of concerns within our system through data-driven decision-making,” said DJJ Secretary Eric Hall. “This analysis sheds light on lengthy case processing times, which slow down accountability and prevent youth from quickly receiving services to stop them from heading down the wrong path. This critical issue is an important piece of the puzzle that must be addressed to meet the needs of Florida’s youth and keep our communities safe.”
The analysis conducted by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice covers Fiscal Year 2021-2022, and the results show the following:
- The average statewide case processing time was 106 days for all youth and 78 days for first-time offenders.
- Circuit 3, which includes Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison Suwannee, and Taylor counties, had the shortest case processing time for all youth (51 days) while Circuit 9, which includes Orange and Osceola counties, had the longest overall case processing time for all youth (212 days).
- Circuit 3 had the shortest overall case processing time for first-time offenders (46 days) while Circuit 9 had the longest overall case processing time for first-time offenders (225 days). First-time offenders are a critical population to reach early on to prevent their further involvement with the juvenile justice system.
- Over the past five fiscal years, the statewide average case processing time has increased by 25 days. The largest increases were observed in Circuit 9 (97-day increase) and Circuit 17, which includes Broward County, (67-day increase).
A copy of the full analysis can be found here.