Civil Citations Keep Kids Out of Jail in Central Florida
Orange and Osceola Counties are two regions in central Florida committed to reducing the number of juvenile arrests by issuing more civil citations. Research has shown that utilizing civil citations instead of arresting teens for nonviolent offenses provides long-term benefits. From keeping kids in school to freeing up police resources, civil citations have many positive effects on communities.
In the past two years, the number of minors arrested for their first offense in Orange and Osceola counties has been cut in half because more police officers are opting for civil citations. From 2014-2015, 1,666 juvenile offenders that could have been eligible for civil citations were arrested instead. The next year, that number fell to 1,207. From 2016-2017, the number again dropped to 817, reflecting immense strides on the part of central Florida law enforcement officers to bring down the rate of juvenile arrests.
What is a juvenile civil citation?
A civil citation is a ticket that police may issue to youth offenders ages 8-17 who commit a minor crime for the first time. Typically, juvenile offenses include things like possessing alcohol or marijuana, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and shoplifting. Rather than becoming entangled in the juvenile justice system, youth who receive a citation can receive a risk assessment and may be referred to counseling or other resources to reduce their risk of committing a second offense. These citations allow adolescents to learn from their mistakes and improve their behavior without opening a criminal record that will follow them for life.
What are the benefits of juvenile civil citations?
Citations are a proven alternative to arresting kids and sending them to youth detention centers. Studies show that children who spend time in juvenile detention centers often pick up the bad habits and behaviors of more hardened juvenile delinquents. Juveniles who receive a citation instead of facing arrest are also more likely to stay in school and grow into productive members of society. Keeping kids out of youth prisons reduces their chance of recidivism, which in turn increases public safety.
Choosing to issue a civil citation instead of an arrest also saves taxpayer dollars. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.