According to a report released by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the number of juvenile arrests in Florida hit a record low in the last fiscal year.
Across Florida, juvenile arrests declined by another seven percent since the fiscal year 2015-2016, marking a 24 percent overall decline in the past five years. The historically low figures represent the lowest rate in juvenile arrests since the state began tracking the statistics 42 years ago.
The report says Florida had 64,824 juvenile arrests in the last fiscal year, which ended June 30. That’s significant when compared to the 105,615 juvenile arrests that occurred in the fiscal year that ended in 1976, and even more so when you take into account how Florida has gone from 8.5 million citizens in 1976 to a population of more than 20.6 million today.
Leading the pack in the rates decrease was Orange County with a 15 percent drop in juvenile arrests. Not far behind was Hillsborough County with a 14 percent decrease, Broward County with a seven percent decrease, Miami-Dade County with a seven percent decrease and Palm Beach County with an overall rate dropping by four percent.
In a news release, Scott says the overall decline wouldn’t be possible without Florida’s juvenile detention and probation officers. On that same note, Scott says he will be working with the legislature during the upcoming session to pass a 10 percent pay raise for all juvenile officers.
The increased use of civil citations has also contributed to the decrease in arrest rates overall.
For more on the full report, click here