11 Mar: Diversionary Programs Proving Successful in Reducing Juvenile Crime Rates

According to recent statistics compiled by various Florida county law enforcement agencies, diversionary programs are making a great impact within the jurisdictions choosing to invest in these alternative punishment pathways. While not every Florida county has opted into the diversionary program, the ones that have are contributing to a plummeting juvenile arrest rate which has steadily declined as much as eight percent over the past several years.

05 Feb: How Underage Sexting Laws Have Evolved To Hold Juveniles Responsible… Or Have They?

Teen and ‘tween ‘sexting’ has become an unfortunate and dangerous component of the digital world of youth and adolescence. In response to this phenomenon, the Florida Legislature put together a set of laws drafted, so they thought, to differentiate between the exchange of graphic images between two juveniles and the trafficking of child pornography between vulnerable children and lascivious adults.

28 Jan: Life Without The Possibility: The Status Of Current Constitutional Punishment Limitations For Juveniles

The U.S. Constitution contains an explicit ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Over the years, this clause has been interpreted over several generations of case law, tackling unique and sensitive issues relating to capital punishment of vulnerable members of society, namely, juveniles and those with mental and cognitive impairment. The former, which includes any offender who has not yet reached his 18th birthday, is fodder for ongoing debate, often resulting in presentation before the U.S. Supreme Court for resolution.

21 Jan: Juvenile Theft Crimes: Drawing The Line Between Petit And Grand Larceny

Shoplifting: a term often associated with young teenagers and their penchant for swiping a candy bar or, at worse, a video game from the local department store. While true, some shoplifting misdeeds fall within the category of petit (or “petty”) theft, others can quickly amount to a felony grand larceny charge – even if the item seems small or insignificant.

02 Oct: What is the Florida Youthful Offender Act and Can it Benefit You?

The Florida Youthful Offender Act (the “Act”) was enacted by the Florida Legislature in 1978 to provide young adults who would normally be prosecuted in adult criminal court, with a more flexible and less harsh sentencing program. Florida Statute Section 958.021 explains that a primary purpose behind the Act is to increase the likelihood of rehabilitating and successfully returning young adult offenders (“youthful offenders”) to society by preventing their interaction with older and more experienced criminals in the prison system. Under the Act, youthful offenders are given increased vocational, educational, counseling and public service opportunities and they must participate in substance abuse and other forms of counseling. Members of the community are also encouraged to volunteer their time and skills to help youthful offenders reintegrate into their communities.