Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

Miami-Dade County Juvenile Services Department’s (JSD) Civil Citation Program

BJA Program(s): Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
State(s): FL

Grantee Agency: Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Subgrantee Agency: Miami-Dade County

Grant Amount/Year(s): FY 2014/$166,837.00

About the Program:

In Miami-Dade County, the Juvenile Services Department Civil Citation Program supports youth and their families in a number of ways. Most importantly, the program offers youth the opportunity to have a ‘clean’ criminal record, but it also creates outlets for pro-social activities, thereby reducing delinquent attitudes and behaviors.

The Civil Citation Program represents systemic change and reforms the protocol on how police and the community address first-time misdemeanor youth offenders.

Through the program, children who have committed a minor misdemeanor offense have up to three opportunities to participate without being arrested and having a criminal record. Rather than issuing an arrest, police officers have the ability to refer eligible youth to Juvenile Services Department. There, children receive an assessment and begin to participate in appropriate, targeted interventions without the stigma of an arrest.

Generally, it takes approximately 90 to 120 days for children to complete the program interventions. When they do finish the program, no record entry will be made into criminal databases.

In 2015, funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance (JAG) program were used to employ Juvenile Assessment Counselors (JAC) exclusively assigned to the Civil Citation Program. These counselors provide assessment and referrals for youth who were issued a civil citation in Miami-Dade County.

Program Successes/Effect on the Community:

The Miami-Dade County Civil Citation Program continues to be an alternative to arrest for law enforcement officers throughout the county. During 2014-15, 1,330 youth were given the opportunity to participate and the program had an 83% success rate during this time.

According to program officials, the participation in 2014-15 was below its annual average, but participation in the program has generally been decreasing each year as crime has decreased.

Since its inception, the Civil Citation Program has served over 18,000 youth and their families.

Learn More:
To learn more about the program, please contact:
Randall Smyth
Email: randallsmyth@fdle.state.fl.us

Also see the following site(s):

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