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Juvenile Crimes Archives

Children facing charges of juvenile delinquency have rights

Juvenile proceedings in Florida are handled in a very different way compared to adults in criminal court. However, children who have been accused of crimes have rights as well. A lawyer who knows the criminal justice system in Florida may help a child facing charges of juvenile delinquency and his or her parents to understand what lies ahead.

Law meant to include sexting within juvenile offenses

Florida readers may be aware of debate surrounding the practice of teenage "sexting," in which teens send explicit photos to one another via cell phones. The matter has caused contention within the state as parents and lawmakers struggle to address the practice. Laws have been passed to try and curb the distribution of illicit photos of minors by including the act among juvenile offenses, but the matter still leads to confusion between lawmakers, prosecutors and the courts.

Sisters to enter the juvenile criminal justice system

Florida readers may be aware of a shocking case that has garnered media attention across the state. Two young girls were recently arrested and face charges of second-degree murder after they allegedly shot and killed their brother. As these girls enter the juvenile criminal justice system, details about the case continue to horrify the Columbia County community.

Children jailed on juvenile offenses waiting far too long

A recent news article has shed light on a disturbing reality within the Florida juvenile justice system. Children who are are charged with juvenile offenses are being held for excessive periods of time within juvenile facilities, and they are essentially serving unofficial sentences while they wait for their day in court. The story has sparked debate across the state, and has many standing up and demanding change.

Activists speak out against Florida juvenile prisons

For any person accused and convicted of a crime, time served in prison can be difficult. Not only is prison time unpleasant, but it also brings consequences that could infiltrate all areas of an individual's life. This is especially true for young men and women who are convicted of crimes in their teenage years and must live with such experiences and records for the rest of their lives. Some activists are speaking out against certain aspects of the Florida juvenile justice system. Specifically, activists point to privatized juvenile prisons. The prisons are run by private companies that contract with the state. One company manages contracts that exceed $100 million and represent about 10 percent of the juvenile prison system. A juvenile judge has even referred to one of the private juvenile prisons as "evil" and "third-world."

Legislation would change sentencing for juveniles in Florida

Several years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the state of Florida to change the way it sentences juveniles who have been convicted of serious offenses, including murder and other violent crimes. The high court said that juveniles should not receive the same life-long sentences handed down to adults.

Does a 15-year-old underage drinker qualify for civil diversion?

A 15-year-old student at Flagler Palm Coast High School was recently caught allegedly trying to bring a cup of alcohol on a school bus after drinking some of it at a bus stop. Luckily, a Flagler County deputy offered him a newly-available second chance.

$15 million from MacArthur Foundation for juvenile justice reform

The MacArthur Foundation has just announced $15 million in grants to four organizations working for juvenile justice reform, on top of its existing work in the area. This $15 million brings MacArthur’s total investment, over the past 20 years, to $165 million in grants to organizations promoting efforts to promote fair access to the courts for juvenile offenders, enhanced training for all those involved in the juvenile justice system, diversion programs for low-level and status offenders, and a variety of issues of concern to youth in criminal and delinquency courts nationwide.

De facto life sentences for Florida juveniles: Unconstitutional?

In September, the Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about whether a 70-year sentence for a violent juvenile offense violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment as defined in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 case Graham v. Florida. In that case, the nation’s high court ruled that life sentences in non-homicide juvenile cases violate the Eighth Amendment because they deny a young offender “any chance to later demonstrate that he is fit to rejoin society based solely on a non-homicide crime that he committed while he was a child in the eyes of the law."

Florida teen takes picture of self and is charged with child porn

Adolescents are biologically programmed to push boundaries. In doing so, they help to empower themselves to move slowly away from their parents and eventually stand alone as independent adults. However, the boundary pushing process can be dangerous in certain situations even though the general urge to do so is both normal and even healthy. When adolescents push certain boundaries in Florida, they could be charged with juvenile offenses and ultimately face consequences that will impact their adult lives.

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