juvenile crime

Felony murder is not your average murder. Juvenile justice advocates call felony murder laws arcane and say they unfairly harm children and young adults. Prosecutors can charge them with felony murder even if they didn't kill anyone or intend to do so. What's required is the intent to commit a felony — like burglary, arson or rape — and that someone dies during the process.

In Kentucky, running away from home or constantly skipping school could get a kid locked up in a juvenile hall for days. Those acts, called status offenses, aren't serious crimes, but for years Kentucky and other states treated them as though they were.

That first brush with the juvenile justice system can often lead to more trouble if authorities focus on punishment, not the underlying reasons for the bad behavior.

But there's growing evidence that the tough approach doesn't work. Kentucky has joined many other states that are trying something different.

Miami Herald

A federal grand jury has indicted an officer at the Miami-Dade juvenile lockup, charging him with overseeing a "bounty system" that resulted in the death of a 17-year-old detainee.

Miami Herald

For the last two years, the Miami Herald has been looking into systemic abuse within the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the division designed to rehabilitate minors who get into trouble with the law.

A bill aimed at decreasing the number of juveniles charged as adults is still alive in the Florida Senate, after narrowly passing its first committee Monday.

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.

Study Prompts Call To Expand Juvenile Diversion Programs

Jul 16, 2015
Kittisak / freedigitalphotos.net

A new study on diversion programs for juvenile offenders is helping bolster a call to expand their use in Florida.

Released Wednesday, the report found that a 25 percent increase in the use of civil citations as alternatives to arrest would save taxpayers as much as $61 million --- while keeping kids from handicapping their futures because of common misbehavior such as fighting, drinking or using drugs.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Boston Public Library (https://flic.kr/p/dm18Ao)

The Florida Supreme Court has reached a groundbreaking decision about inmates who were sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole for crimes they committed while they were still kids.

The decision makes 2012's Miller v. Alabama apply retroactively. It was a U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled mandatory life sentences without the opportunity for release were cruel and unusual.

For the past three years, 201 Florida inmates have been in a kind of limbo. They're inmates who were sentenced to life in prison without parole as juveniles before the Miller ruling.

Pilot Program Gives Parents Tools For Coping With Kids

Nov 20, 2014
Brevard County Sheriff's Office

On their first full day as leaders of the Legislature, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner appeared at a news conference highlighting a pilot program they have thrown their weight behind.

The program, called "It's Time To Be A Parent Again," is already underway in Brevard County. But with support from Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, and Gardiner, R-Orlando --- both of whom represent parts of Brevard --- the program will now be piloted in Polk, Osceola and Seminole counties.