, ,

A Breakdown of the Department of Juvenile Justice Statistics with an Eye towards Orange County

To the everyday observer, Florida has had success in decreasing juvenile delinquency. Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 saw a seven-percent decrease in juvenile arrests from the previous fiscal year and a 28-percent decrease from FY 2011-2012.[1] This drop in arrests is especially significant considering the one-percent increase in the state’s juvenile population.[2] At least part of this decline can be attributed to the increased issuance of juvenile civil citations as an alternative to arrest. While much of the state has been keeping pace with this trend, four countries in the Central Florida region—Orange, Hillsborough, Polk, and Pinellas— have lagged behind.

Following a five-percent increase in juvenile arrests during FY 2014-2015, Orange County saw a seven-percent decrease during the most recent fiscal year.[3] In the Central Florida region—which includes Brevard, Desoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Highlands, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Polk, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Seminole Counties—the juvenile arrest rate has also decreased by seven percent.[4] Nonetheless, Orange County still has a higher number of juvenile arrests than any other county in the state.

To illustrate Orange County’s high numbers of juvenile arrests, two other counties will be reviewed and compared: Broward County and Miami-Dade County—both in the South Florida region. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) website calculates statistics in two ways: the total number of juvenile arrests and the total number of juveniles arrested. In other words, a particular juvenile who was arrested five times during the fiscal year will be counted five times in the first category, but only once in the second category. The following table outlines both of these categories for each county, as well as the total youth population and the percentage of youths arrested.

 

Table 1: Juvenile Arrests for FY 2015-2016 (All Crimes)

County Total Arrests Total Youths Arrested Youth Population Percentage of Youths Arrested
Orange[5] 6,547 3,388 133,721 2.53%
Broward[6] 4,406 2,452 178,185 1.38%
Miami-Dade[7] 4,076 2,453 252,303 0.97%

 

Most concerning is that of the three counties with comparable youth populations, the smallest county population-wise has the highest rate of arrested juveniles. Miami-Dade County has almost double the juvenile population of Orange County, yet it has nearly 2,500 less arrests and almost 1,000 less arrested juveniles. While the percentage of juveniles arrested may appear low in all three countries—well under 5 percent of the juvenile population—Orange County’s juvenile arrest rate of 2.53% means that a youth in Orange are two times more likely to be arrested than a youth in Miami-Dade.

Another vital measurement is to compare the declines in the total rate of arrests in each county during FY 2015-2016 in comparison to FY 2014-2015 and FY 2011-2012. To illustrate the difference, the same three countries can again be compared.

 

Table 2: Declines in Juvenile Delinquency (All Crimes)

County Decrease from FY 2014-2015 Decrease from FY 2011-2012
Orange[8] -7% -22%
Broward[9] -8% -51%
Miami-Dade[10] -12% -41%

 

This data begs the question: why are more juveniles being arrested in Orange County than in other jurisdictions? One possible explanation is that law enforcement in other counties shows more leniency to juvenile suspects. Another is that youths in Orange County are more likely to commit crimes.

According to the DJJ’s statistics, however, the increased use of civil citations appear to be a significant factor in explaining the decline. When the data in Table 1 and Table 2 are limited to misdemeanors, an even greater discrepancy between counties becomes evident. As the tables below show, Orange County is not issuing civil citations nearly as often as other counties.

 

Table 3: Juvenile Arrests for FY 2015-2016 (Misdemeanors Only)

County Total Misdemeanor Arrests Total Youths Arrested (Misdemeanors) Youth Population Percentage of Youths Arrested
Orange[11] 2,460 1,396 133,721 0.010%
Broward[12] 1,389 715 178,185 0.004%
Miami-Dade[13] 1,321 644 252,303 0.003%

 

Table 4: Declines in Juvenile Delinquency (Misdemeanors Only)

County Decrease from FY 2014-2015 Decrease from FY 2011-2012
Orange[14] -15% -31%
Broward[15] -26% -69%
Miami-Dade[16] -21% -53%

 

The data indicates that law enforcement in Orange County prefers arrest over the issuance of civil citations. The crime rate for juveniles is roughly the same in the two other counties; however, they are less likely to be formally arrested and prosecuted.

To be eligible for a civil citation a juvenile “must be a first time misdemeanant (excluding sex offenses and offenses involving firearms) with no clear history of civil citation in the past.”[17] Data totals for 2016 further illustrate the discrepancy between Orange and other counties in the state.

 

Table 5: Civil Citation Statistics for 2016

County Eligible Youths Arrested Issued a Civil Citation Percentage Issued a Civil Citation
Orange[18] 1,390 793 597 43%
Broward[19] 1,233 364 869 70%
Miami-Dade[20] 1,919 72 1,119 94%

 

This data indicates that too few civil citation-eligible youths in Orange are being arrested rather than issued citations. On the other hand, Broward and Miami-Dade show high percentages of juveniles issued civil citations. When analyzing a breakdown of arrests compared to civil citations by the offense allegedly committed, these discrepancies also indicate disparate application depending on geography. For example, in 2016, 100 percent of juveniles suspected of loitering and prowling in Miami-Dade were issued a civil citation, whereas only three percent of juveniles suspected of the same offense were issued a civil citation in Orange.

 

Table 6: Citation-Eligible Misdemeanors for 2016, Orange County[21]

Offense Arrested Issued a Civil Citation Percentage Issued a Civil Citation
Assault or battery (not aggravated) 461 72 14%
Petit Larceny 104 299 74%
Trespassing 45 6 12%
Disorderly Conduct 39 69 64%
Misdemeanor Obstruction of Justice 37 6 14%
Loitering and Prowling 35 1 3%
Misdemeanor Violation of Drug Laws 35 123 78%
Vandalism 21 10 32%

 

Table 7: Citation-Eligible Misdemeanors for 2016, Broward County[22]

Offense Arrested Issued a Civil Citation Percentage Issued a Civil Citation
Assault or battery (not aggravated) 200 100 33%
Petit Larceny 59 488 89%
Trespassing 23 47 67%
Disorderly Conduct 14 24 63%
Misdemeanor Obstruction of Justice 14 18 56%
Loitering and Prowling 21 13 38%
Misdemeanor Violation of Drug Laws 23 143 86%
Vandalism 7 9 56%

 

Table 8: Citation-Eligible Misdemeanors for 2016, Miami-Dade County[23]

Offense Arrested Issued a Civil Citation Percentage Issued a Civil Citation
Assault or battery (not aggravated) 25 280 92%
Petit Larceny 27 400 94%
Trespassing 1 80 99%
Disorderly Conduct 1 35 97%
Misdemeanor Obstruction of Justice 1 36 97%
Loitering and Prowling 0 44 100%
Misdemeanor Violation of Drug Laws 12 183 94%
Vandalism 2 31 94%

 

Also interesting to note is the growth of the issuance of civil citations in the other counties compared to Orange County.[24]

 

Table 9: Civil Citations Issued, Orange County

Year Civil Citations Issued Percentage of Citations Issued
 FY 2011-2012[25] 8 0%[26]
 FY 2012-2013[27] 119 7%
 FY 2013-2014[28] N/A 19%
 FY 2014-2015[29] 260 17%
 FY 2015-2016[30] 510 35%
January 2016-December 2016[31] 597 43%

 

Table 10: Civil Citations Issued, Broward County

Year Civil Citations Issued Percentage of Citations Issued
 FY 2011-2012[32] 135 6%
 FY 2012-2013[33] 548 29%
 FY 2013-2014[34] N/A 68%
 FY 2014-2015[35] 1,073 68%
 FY 2015-2016[36] 933 72%
January 2016-December 2016[37] 869 70%

 

Table 11: Civil Citations Issued, Miami-Dade County

Year Civil Citations Issued Percentage of Citations Issued
 FY 2011-2012[38] 2,003 90%
 FY 2012-2013[39] 1,628 88%
 FY 2013-2014[40] N/A 91%
 FY 2014-2015[41] 1,363 91%
 FY 2015-2016[42] 1,260 91%
January 2016-December 2016[43] 1,119 94%

 

Civil citations cannot be the only cause of the decrease in juvenile arrest rates. With larger populations than Orange County, Broward and Miami-Dade each have less juvenile arrests for felonies.[44] In addition, Orange County has increased the amount of civil citations issued since 2011, while Dade and Broward have actually decreased the number issued.[45] Despite this decrease in issuance, both counties have concurrently experienced a decrease in crime and arrest numbers. This suggests that even though the crime rate is decreasing statewide, juvenile delinquency in Orange County is decreasing at a slower rate than it is in other counties.

 

Endnotes

[1]Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Statewide Intake – Arrests.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/24QFWPZG7?:display_count=yes.

[2]Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Statewide Intake – Youth Population.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/profile/djjmark#!/vizhome/shared/BS6RXZQYW.

[3]Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Orange County Intake – Arrests.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/H42K7WZ4N?:display_count=yes.

[4]Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Central Region Intake – Arrests.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/Z2MDGFYFS?:display_count=yes.

[5]Orange County Intake – Arrests.”; “Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Orange County Intake – Youth.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/F4KH54GQ4?:display_count=yes.; “Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Orange County Intake – Youth Population.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/PRRC3MQW5?:display_count=yes.

[6]Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Broward County Intake – Arrests.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/8RG94DT2Y?:display_count=yes.; “Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Broward County Intake – Youth.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/5MNBJ8C5K?:display_count=yes.; “Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Broward County Intake – Youth Population.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/HGF7CYPPR?:display_count=yes.

[7]Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Dade County Intake – Arrests.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/YCW5M9YJ6?:display_count=yes.; “Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Dade County Intake – Youth.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/BK6SPXGD5?:display_count=yes.; “Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Dade County Intake – Youth Population.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/FKFMJ66PN?:display_count=yes.

[8]Orange County Intake – Arrests.”

[9]Broward County Intake – Arrests.”

[10]Dade County Intake – Arrests.”

[11]Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Orange County – Misdemeanor Intake – Arrests.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/JS52MX6XY?:display_count=yes.; “Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Orange County – Misdemeanor Intake – Youth.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/Z3HTRDTK7?:display_count=yes.

[12]Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Broward County – Misdemeanor Intake – Arrests.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/N4ZXSNQNY?:display_count=yes.; “Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Broward County – Misdemeanor Intake – Youth.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/Y6MP4JH4K?:display_count=yes.

[13]Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Dade County – Misdemeanor Intake – Arrests.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/RGKYXMJBZ?:display_count=yes.; “Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Dade County – Misdemeanor Intake – Youth.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/GRX2XR5YH?:display_count=yes.

[14]Orange County – Misdemeanor Intake – Arrests.”

[15]Broward County – Misdemeanor Intake – Arrests.”

[16]Dade County – Misdemeanor Intake – Arrests.”

[17]Civil Citation & Other Similar Diversion Program Dashboard.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. http://www.djj.state.fl.us/research/delinquency-data/civil-citation-dashboard/cc-dashboard.

[18]Civil Citation by Month, Jan 2016 – Dec 2016: Orange County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/CHY48N8YZ?:display_count=yes.

[19]Civil Citation by Month, Jan 2016 – Dec 2016: Broward County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/DN9ZDMQDT?:display_count=yes.

[20]Civil Citation by Month, Jan 2016 – Dec 2016: Dade County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/QMKPKG28C?:display_count=yes.

[21]Misdemeanors Eligible for Civil Citation, Jan 2016 – Dec 2016: Orange County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/N5MSBB29K?:display_count=yes.

[22]Misdemeanors Eligible for Civil Citation, Jan 2016 – Dec 2016: Broward County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/NDWFPMZ9F?:display_count=yes.

[23]Misdemeanors Eligible for Civil Citation, Jan 2016 – Dec 2016: Dade County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/PJT437HNR?:display_count=yes.

[24] Data on the number of civil citations issued for FY 2013- 2014 is not available; however, there is data available on the percentage of civil citations issued for that fiscal year.

[25]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2011-12: Orange County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/8FD4HCBY5?:display_count=yes.

[26] Less than 0.01 percent.

[27]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2012-13: Orange County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/8FD4HCBY5?:display_count=yes.

[28]Orange County Civil Citation Utilization Rate.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/8Z9XTF4H7?:display_count=yes.

[29]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2014-15: Orange County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/9552P7872?:display_count=yes.

[30]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2015-16: Orange County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/Z7HM7MJKT?:display_count=yes.

[31]Civil Citation by Month, Jan 2016 – Dec 2016: Orange County.”

[32]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2011-12: Broward County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/HK8PT4HJJ?:display_count=yes.

[33]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2012-13: Broward County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/QXTGQBS2R?:display_count=yes.

[34]Broward County Civil Citation Utilization Rate.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/38TKSYZ64?:display_count=yes.

[35]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2014-15: Broward County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/87XQJ45BR?:display_count=yes.

[36]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2015-16: Broward County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/X7TNMGQ4J?:display_count=yes.

[37]Civil Citation by Month, Jan 2016 – Dec 2016: Broward County.”

[38]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2011-12: Dade County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/987S9XGFH?:display_count=yes.

[39]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2012-13: Dade County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/SG8XBKTM7?:display_count=yes.

[40]Dade County Civil Citation Utilization Rate.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/2Q8QJ5D4P?:display_count=yes.

[41]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2014-15: Dade County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/D8W2NQBHK?:display_count=yes.

[42]Civil Citation by Month, FY 2015-16: Dade County.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/SB4H3WJZF?:display_count=yes.

[43]Civil Citation by Month, Jan 2016 – Dec 2016: Dade County.”

[44]Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Orange County – Felony Intake – Arrests.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/RRQTRMWRC?:display_count=yes.; “Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Broward County – Felony Intake – Arrests.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/HBM64WNTM?:display_count=yes.; “Delinquency Profile, FY 2015-16: Dade County – Felony Intake – Arrests.” Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. https://public.tableau.com/shared/8S8QR5MBC?:display_count=yes.

[45] See Tables 9, 10, and 11.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *