February 24, 2017
SB 192 (Powell) passed its first committee of reference, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee (4-3). The bill revises the circumstances under which juveniles may be treated as adults in the court system. Florida has three ways in which juveniles may be prosecuted as adults: as a result of a judicial waiver, by a grand jury indictment, or through the direct file process.
There is currently no minimum age at which a child can be transferred to the adult criminal justice system through the process of indictment. Among other provisions, SB 192 establishes age 14 as the minimum age for indictment and narrows the offenses for which a child can be tried as an adult through the process of direct file.
FCCB supports SB 192 as a positive step toward protecting both youthful offenders and society. A companion measure in the House has yet to be filed.