Better Returns for a Safer Florida: Aligning Taxpayer Investments in the Juvenile Justice System with Strategies Proven to Increase Public Safety
by James Madison Institute
James Madison Institute
March 31, 2014
In the last few years Florida leaders have recognized the need for reform in the juvenile justice system and are putting the foundation in place to focus resources on what works. In particular, the overuse of incarceration has proven to be expensive and ineffective, associated with negative individual and societal outcomes like high recidivism rates for nearly all troubled youths. The state has rightly committed to moving away from the inappropriate placement of youths in residential facilities. However, even with the state’s advances in practices and reforms, too many Florida youths continue to be incarcerated. By redeploying more of those dollars now spent by the state on costly, inappropriate, and ineffective incarceration to community-based sanctions and supervision, the state will create a positive incentive for communities to directly participate in the state’s successful path forward in handling troubled kids, and preventing youth crime.