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Number Of Juvenile Arrests Plummets Statewide, As Florida Focuses On Diversion

young man under arrest
Chris Yarzab via Flickr

The number of juvenile arrests in Northeast Florida has dropped by more than a quarter over the past five years.  A new report from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice shows the lowest number of juvenile arrests in 40 years, statewide.

In Northeast Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit, the number of juvenile arrests fell from more than 5,300 in 2011, to just fewer than 4,000 last year.

Over the same time period, the entire state saw a 28 percent drop in juvenile arrests.  The state counts a single arrest with multiple criminal charges once. If the same juvenile is arrested again, that’s counted as arrest No. 2. View all the DJJ data, including county-level numbers, here

In a news release, Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christina Daly said the state is focusing on front-end prevention and diversion services. That, she says, allows for “the right level of treatment for young people” while ensuring public safety.

In Duval County alone, the number of juvenile arrests dropped by more than 20 percent over five years. 

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP