FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 14, 2016
Contact: Valerie Wickboldt
Statement By Sal Nuzzo, vice president of policy, The James Madison Institute:
“Knowing the benefits that an increase in the civil citation utilization provide the families and taxpayers of Florida, we are proud to be a part of “Stepping Up. This study should be a wake-up call for any county that has not yet made the commitment to increasing the use of civil citations among youth. The facts and figures represented clearly show the correlation between the increase in utilization and improved public safety.
Supported by research, lawmakers and policymakers can feel confident that they’re making the right decision moving toward an increased use in juvenile civil citations. Local leadership can decide what works best for their community as civil citations still hold the juvenile offender accountable for their actions.
The use of civil citations as a pre-arrest diversion program for youth is a strategic approach to improving public safety and the lives of those in contact with the justice system. In most cases arresting a youth for a minor offense creates a stigma that’s hard to shake as these youths work to get back on the right path.
Additionally, the consistent use of civil citations saves taxpayer dollars both in the short and long-term. Not only is it more expensive to arrest a youth than to issue a civil citation, it may mean an increase in repeat offenders, as the study says twice as likely. Recidivism is always costly to taxpayers, as well as to the future of the youth involved. That’s why The James Madison Institute supports the increased use of civil citations and hopes that this study becomes a clear reason why others will too.