The article “Kids charged as adults: Palm Beach County ranks high in U.S.” by Jane Musgrave offered a powerful argument for reform of our juvenile justice laws. All of the reform, however, requires that Florida change the way it views its children.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention recently found that youth who are transferred from the juvenile court system to the adult system are approximately 34 percent more likely than youth retained in the juvenile court system to be re-arrested for violent or other crimes. Palm Beach County could lead the way by stopping this harmful and misguided practice. Regrettably, State Attorney Dave Aronberg is correct that the Florida Legislature is unlikely to change our transfer laws, especially this session. But there are other important steps our Legislature can take to protect children.
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