Report on Leon County's Repeat Juvenile Offenders

Last year nearly 50 teenagers were tagged serious habitual offenders and less than half of them decided a life of crime doesn't pay. Juvenile crime is on the decline in the capital city, but on the flip side, 87 percent of teens that commit serious crimes are habitual offenders.

Dena Morgan with the Tallahassee Police Department says, "Robberies, lot of burglaries, lot of shop lifting. Crimes of persons, batteries."

Here's how the numbers break down. Last year in Leon County there were 45 serious habitual offenders under the age of 18 and just six of them were crime free after one year.

LT Jimmie Williams with the Leon County Sheriff's Office says, "In a county the size of Leon County we have more than 33,000 school kids. To say there are only 45 habitual offenders and only six of them go crime free on the surface doesn't look great. Overall, not a bad reflection on our community."

Currently, these chronic criminals are served by the Serious Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program, better known as SHOCAP, an interagency effort enhancing the supervision of these young felons.

Stan Hoover with TPD says, "It monitors, identifies serious habitual offenders that are juvenile and basically keeps track of them to keep them on the right track."

The individual arrest record and age determine if a teen qualifies for SHOCAP. The kids can leave the program if they remain crime free for 12 months, turn 18, receive adult sanctions or relocate to another county or state.

A juvenile enrolled on the SHOCAP program has been arrested an average of 14 times.


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