In Florida, for serious crimes, juveniles may end up in the adult justice system. The state is one of the leaders when it comes to sending juveniles to adult prisons. While this often occurs due to serious crimes such as murder, repeated burglaries or gang association, many people believe that juveniles face too much adult prison time in regards to their age.
Advocates have urged lawmakers to change the legislation to make it more difficult to send juveniles to adult prisons. Florida Phoenix explains how some believe that an increase in the age of children that courts can transfer to an adult prison may eliminate the transfers. For serious crimes like murder, it is a mandatory transfer.
When it comes to children in the juvenile justice system, rehabilitation is an important element. The argument against adult prisons for juveniles is that adult prisons do not provide the environment for youth rehabilitation. While the Florida Supreme Court cites that children are not as liable and are more agreeable to rehabilitation, juveniles still face adult prison time.
The juvenile system includes rehabilitation and education. The adult system focuses more on punishment than education. NWF Daily News explains that in 2017 and 18, 904 juveniles entered the adult criminal justice system. In some cases, entering the adult justice system does not mean that the juvenile will go to an adult prison. The judge always has a final say on where the juvenile goes. While the number of direct-filed juveniles appears to be going down, Florida still leads the nation in sending juveniles to adult prisons.