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.