By Tarik Minor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – When it comes to giving juveniles civil citations instead of arresting them for common youth misbehavior, most of the state is still failing to hit the mark, according to a new study.
The Caruthers Institute found Duval County outpaced most of the state in the number of juvenile arrests in 2016.
Last year, 469 juveniles were arrested for minor offenses.
According to the latest statistics, 72 percent of juveniles were eligible for civil citations instead.
Duval County’s law enforcement agencies and school district were graded an “F” for utilizing civil citations.
The numbers improved in St. Johns County, where 57 juveniles were arrested for minor offenses in 2016, 23 percent of which were eligible for civil citations.
The St. Johns County received the grade of a “C.”
In Clay County, 203 juveniles were arrested last year, and 80 percent of those kids could have been issued civil citations instead.
Clay County’s law enforcement agencies and school district were graded an “F.”
The study also revealed a notable racial disparity in Duval County, where black youth were arrested at a rate that’s 15 percent higher than white youth.
As bleak as these numbers are, the study concluded that civil citations are being used more frequently than last year, but not by much.