Every year, police arrest more than 2,000 juveniles in Duval County. Nearly half are under the age of 15.
Some are arrested for serious offensives but many get in trouble due to bad influences and immaturity, and this contact with the criminal justice system can affect their lives for years afterwards.
This has led to a strong focus in recent years on juvenile diversion programs to give them a chance to clean their record. In Duval County, four of these programs serve more than 1,200 children each year.
Tess Duvall, education, children and families reporter for the Florida Times-Union, has been taking an in-depth look into these program and their effectiveness for a series of articles running in the paper this week. She joins us to discuss them.