April 14, 2017
SB 196 by Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) would ensure that all children in Florida receive equal access to civil citations, rather than arrest, when committing certain first-time, nonviolent misdemeanors. The bill was amended to allow data collection about the transfer of juveniles to the adult justice system, a provision supported by the FCCB. Ingrid Delgado, FCCB associate for social concerns/respect life, indicated support for the bill prior to its passage by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
Juvenile civil citations serve as an alternative to criminal arrest and provide a second chance to youth who make mistakes while still holding them accountable for their actions. Such diversion programs also benefit society by reducing crime, saving the state money and helping build a productive citizenry.
Currently, companion measures in the House differ significantly from the Senate bill.