from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice)
Serious & Violent Juvenile Crime
remain responsible for about one out of four violent crimes in the state.
assault and battery by juveniles are up. There were 11,342 referrals
for aggravated assault/battery by juveniles in FY 1999-00, a 25% increase
over 9, 075 in FY 1994-95.
is able to provide more serious sanctions for juvenile crime.
Currently there are 15,122 placements available for juvenile offenders in
need of day treatment or long-term juvenile residential and correctional
programs. That compare to 9,231 placement s available in FY 1994-95.
Female Juvenile Offenders
out of four juvenile offenders in Florida is a girl. There has been a
67% increase in the number of girls referred for delinquency over the past
decade in Florida; delinquency referrals of boys rose 25% in that time
period. The number of girls arrested for violent felonies has more
than doubled in the past eight years, from 1,400 in FY 1990-91 to 3,143 in
Most Frequent Juvenile Crime
Most Frequent Time of Day for Juvenile Crime
crime, including violent offenses, peaks at around 3 p.m., generally right
after school lets out.
Juvenile Drug Arrests
Growth in Adolescent Population
26 percent surge in Florida’s population of 10 to 17-year-olds occurred
during the 1990s. The state’s total increase of youth during that decade
10 percent increase in 10- to 17-year-olds is anticipated from 2000 through
2009 in Florida. The state’s current population of 10- to 17-year-olds is
approximately 1.5 million.
Juveniles Tried as Adults
number of juveniles in Florida tried as adults is declining from a peak of
5,350 in FY 1995-96 to 3,297 in FY 1999-00. Florida, the fourth largest
state, still tries more juveniles as adults than most states.
Juvenile Repeat Offenders
percent of juvenile offenders can be classified as chronic offenders,
responsible overall for 42 percent of delinquency referrals and 67 percent
of repeat referrals. Chronic offenders typically had six or more delinquency
referrals (similar to arrests in the adult system) over a two-year period.
among juvenile offenders in Florida is down. The percentage of juveniles
staying out of trouble for a year after release from a delinquency treatment
program has improved from 54 percent in 1996 to 58 percent in 1998.
4 percent improvement in recidivism (cited above) is worth an estimated $65
million in long-term cost savings. That includes $35 million less spent by
law enforcement, the courts, the juvenile justice system and the adult
correctional system. It also includes $30 million in projected savings to
victims. That is based on juveniles’ typical track record five years after
release from a delinquency program.
4 percent decline in recidivism among delinquents prevents an estimated 131
assaults, 100 burglaries, 77 auto thefts, 34 robberies, 4 rapes and 10
murders over a five-year period.
School Violence and Harmful Behavior
were 14,153 violent acts against persons in the 1998-99 school year in
Florida, 3,942 incidents of weapons possession and 21,808 incidents
involving alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs.
the Florida Youth Survey 2000, students reported that within the past 12
months, 15 percent had attacked someone with intent to harm; 15 percent were
suspended from school; 12 percent were drunk or high at school; 6 percent
were arrested; 6 percent sold illegal drugs; 4 percent carried a handgun; 3
percent stole or attempted to steal a vehicle and 1 percent took a handgun
Delinquency Risk Factors and Specialized Needs
These statistics only indicate that we have to create local solutions to
national trends related to kids. Uniting together to find new solutions to
key risk factors in our kids is essential in every community.
high mobility of youth and families in Florida, who frequently change home
neighborhoods and schools, is a risk factor that increases delinquency. Many
young people don’t feel like they have consistent positive community ties.
offenders in Florida whose crimes are serious enough to merit placement in
residential programs typically come from single-parent households and are
truants, dropouts or are doing poorly in school.
out of four juvenile offenders in delinquency treatment programs admit to
problems with alcohol or drug use; 29 percent are emotionally disturbed; 20
percent have a diagnosed serious mental illness; 9 percent are sex offenders
and 5 percent have developmental disabilities.
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Revised: August 25, 2002