Report: Florida charges more kids as adults than any other state, black youth disproportionately affected
According to a new report, Florida charges juveniles as adults more that any other state.
The report, released by Human Rights Watch reveals that more than 12,000 children have been moved from the juvenile to adult court system in the past five years.
– more than half of whom were charged with non-violent crimes.
The report, released Thursday, found that 98% of all the children who end up in the adult court system do so as a result of Florida’s “direct file” statute, which allows prosecutors the discretion to move a case from juvenile to adult court without a hearing or any input from a judge. Between 2003 and 2008, Florida transferred juveniles into the adult court system nearly two times as often as the state with the second highest transfer rate, and five times as often as the average rate in 12 other states.
Black youth are also disproportionately affected. Black boys account for more than half of all transfers to the adult system, but just 27 percent of those who enter the juvenile justice system.
White boys make up a slightly larger proportion of those who enter the juvenile system, 28 percent, but comprise less than a quarter of those who end up in adult court.
Are these findings surprising?
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