Minority Over-Representation in the Juvenile System

By: Blaine Tolison Email
By: Blaine Tolison Email

A task force with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice met Wednesday at the Wakulla Springs Lodge and the team is setting out to draft solutions to a growing problem. They say there are too many minorities in Florida's juvenile system.

The group included state attorneys, law enforcement and government officials from across the state. The Department of Juvenile Justice says they'll look into why black males represent 42 percent of youths in detention.

Rhyna Jefferson is the Disproportionate Minority Contact Task Force Coordinator who says a great deal of work and research has led to the point of forming an actual task force. "Forming the DMC task force and other efforts that are currently in the process in the agency--we want to find out why. Why does such great severity of dis-proportionality exist here in the state of Florida?" said Jefferson.

Randy Nelson, a research and evaluation specialist with the task force said, "Most of it is concentrated in particular communities, so we know where the communities these kids are coming from, but the prevention services aren't getting to those communities."

The task force says it plans to travel the state speaking with communities and those in contact with minority youth to create solutions to the problem.


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