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Civil Citation: Diversion or Net Widening?

NCJ Number
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency Volume: 55 Issue: 2 Dated: 2018 Pages: 278-315
Melissa R. Nadel; George Pesta; Thomas Blomberg; William D. Bates; Mark Greenwald
Date Published
38 pages

The primary objective of this study was to assess potential variation across Florida's counties in their implementation of civil citations and the outcomes associated with that implementation.


Interrupted time-series analysis was used to determine whether the trends in juvenile arrests and the total delinquent population referred to the juvenile justice system (either through arrests or through civil citation) were significantly affected by the implementation of civil citation in each county. There were immediate and gradual diversion effects of the civil citation program in some of Florida's counties. As a result, there was evidence of successful implementation, with a few cases of net widening. Although there was variation among counties in their implementation of civil citation, overall, Florida's civil citation program was found to provide a diversion from arrest rather than a net-widening outcome. The study concludes with the identification of county-specific factors that characterized the local jurisdictions that were able to successfully overcome the major impediments associated with diversion and other reform programs' implementation fidelity. (publisher abstract modified)