Florida leads the nation in prosecuting juveniles in the adult criminal justice system.
Florida also incarcerates more youth under 18 than any other state in the country — twice as many, for example, as Texas.
These distinctions have not made Florida any safer nor provided appropriate rehabilitation to those youth who return to the community each year.
Over the past several years, a steady stream of research has demonstrated that the widespread practice of trying and sentencing children in adult court does not reduce crime; in fact, it does just the opposite.
Indeed, except for a very small number of the most serious, violent and chronic youth, trying these young people as adults endangers public safety.
Research from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention shows that youth prosecuted in the adult system for crimes like burglary and robbery are more likely to be rearrested and to reoffend than youth who commit similar crimes but are retained in the juvenile justice system. . . .