Keeping Children Out of Florida's Adult Criminal Justice System Would Have Positive Economic Impact, Study Says
Date:  03-12-2019

Returning young people to the juvenile justice system would save $3.6 million
From Southern Poverty Law Center:

If all children in Florida’s adult criminal justice system were returned to the juvenile justice system, the added economic value would outweigh the costs, according to a study that was released today.

The study, titled “ An Economic and Fiscal Analysis of Direct File Reform Proposals” details how Florida’s laws for prosecuting children as adults differ from those of other states, and how the laws within Florida are applied unevenly in different counties. The study also analyzes the financial impact of reducing the number of children who are sent to the adult criminal justice system. The Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis (CEFA) at Florida State University prepared the study for the SPLC. The SPLC contracted with CEFA in September 2018 to conduct an economic analysis of legislative proposals that envision – among other juvenile justice reforms – a due process hearing with a judge to decide whether children who were sent to the adult criminal justice system should return to the juvenile system.

Julie Harrington, PhD, and Martijn Niekus, PhD, who co-authored the report, analyzed five scenarios based on juvenile-related direct costs, and concluded that if all children were moved from the adult criminal justice system in Florida to the state’s Department of Juvenile Justice, the net added economic impact would be $3.6 million, exceeding the net costs of $2.4 million. Continue reading