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Federal Data Shows Racial Disparities In Jacksonville's Juvenile Justice System

University of North Florida

African-American children make up less than 40% of the total juvenile population in Jacksonville, but data from the Department of Juvenile Justice shows that 2/3 of all kids arrested in Duval County are black.


Michael Hallett, is Professor & Chairman of the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice at the University of North Florida. He said he's also concerned that a large number of kids' first arrest is for a violent crime.

"So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy," he said. "We’ve cut our resources for prevention and intervention. The first time they show up in the system increasingly is for a violent crime and then we prosecute them as adults."

Hallett said interventions like therapeutic counseling and family-focused treatments are more effective than prosecution and cost less in the long run than incarceration. You can see more of his analysis on his website, the Jacksonville Justice Project.


Karen found her home in public broadcasting after working for several years as a commercial television reporter. She joinedWJCTin 2005 as the host of 89.9 FM’s Morning Edition and has held many different roles at the station in both radio and television. She has written and produced documentaries includingBeluthahatchee: The Legacy of Stetson Kennedy and Jacksonville Beach: Against the Tide and directed the oral history project, Voices of the First Coast.