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Tuesday 19th of November 2019

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Miami-Dade County, Florida Juvenile Justice Model

Wansley Walters
IJJO. III International Conference on Juvenile Justice. Valencia 2008.


Communication submitted in the III International Conference on Juvenile Justice 'Juvenile Justice Systems in Europe: current situation, trends in applicable models and good practices'. Valencia 2008.The Miami-Dade County, Florida Juvenile Services Department (JSD) headed the effort to reform a dysfunctional system and create an evidence-based, community supported juvenile justice model. In ten years, juvenile arrests have decreased by 41%, re-offenses declined 78%, and the detention population dropped 66%. Since opening, over $50 million in system savings have been generated through efficiencies. In May 2008, an economic study concluded that the reformed system saves the community over $30 million each year, and even after funding JSD, the community sees a net savings of over $17 million. These impressive results have been achieved through a collaborative effort of juvenile justice partners and national researchers who have assisted in the development of a benchmark continuum of care including five innovative, targeted, and customized diversion programs. By first utilizing a variety of gender and age specific evidence-based screening and assessment tools, we have achieved a system that allows us to organize and manage the population and thus a juvenile and his/her family to be treated as individuals. Further, through the recent implementation of the Civil Citation Initiative, troubled youth have the opportunity to attain complete treatment services outside of the systems that currently exist and without the shame of a criminal record. The Miami-Dade County Juvenile Justice Model has been so successful that the White House (ONDCP) and the US Department of Justice (OJJDP) hosted a national summit in May 2008 to recognize this national model.


Regional - United States - Florida

Year Language

2008 English

Category Type

Grey Literature Communication


Community, Justice, Juvenile, Prevention


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