Ron DeSantis: Juvenile Crime Continues to Decrease in Florida

The number of juvenile arrests in the Sunshine State continues to drop.

This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) released a report showing the number of juvenile arrests dropped 17 percent and the number of felony juvenile arrests fell 16 percent in the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year.

“These declines continue the multi-year trend of fewer arrests, with a five-year decline of 35 percent, resulting in the lowest number of juvenile arrests in 45 years,” the governor’s office noted.

This five-year decline has seen a drop of 58 percent in felony drug arrests, a 46 percent drop in grand larceny arrests and 21 percent fewer overall misdemeanor arrests.

“This historic low in juvenile arrests reflects our commitment to public safety in Florida and in keeping our young people from going down the wrong path,” said DeSantis on Monday. “We will continue to work with our dedicated law enforcement and community partners to keep Florida safe and provide all Florida youth with the opportunity to achieve their full potential and have a better, brighter future.”

“I want to thank Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for supporting DJJ as we continue to invest in community-based interventions to keep kids out of the juvenile justice system while providing services to meet the needs of those in the deeper end of our system,” said DJJ Sec. Simone Marstiller. “The continued decline year after year in juvenile arrests is a testament to the strength of Florida’s juvenile justice system.”

The governor’s office noted that the current pandemic did impact these figures but insisted “these arrests would have continued downward despite the public health emergency.”


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