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Juvenile Injustice - The Jailing of Children in Florida

NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages
This document reports findings of a comprehensive study of Florida's 211 county and municipal jails to determine the State's ability to comply with Federal guidelines and State law on the jailing of children.
The study involved telephone interviews, indepth interviews and site visits, and interviews with children previously held in an adult jail. Of 55 jails identified as having housed juveniles pending trial, 26 did not provide sight and sound separation between adults and juveniles during frequent activities. Only two jails had staff continually present in the juvenile section, and only one jail monitored juveniles every 10 minutes. The failure of Florida's jails to provide separation and supervision of juveniles in compliance with Federal guidelines and the State's statutory mandate is attributed to jailor's lack of awareness and understanding of the requirements, to the jails' lack of space, and to judges who continue to order youths into facilities unequipped to accommodate them adequately. The study recommends the removal of children from adult jails, which is deemed the only solution that takes into account the rights of children and the protection of the public without requiring a substantial expenditure of resources.