Two Florida counties are helping juveniles avoid criminal records with citations

Orange County and Osceola County in Central Florida saw the number of first-time misdemeanor arrests against juvenile offenders drop by about 50 percent as the counties began to issue more citations in lieu of full-blown criminal charges.

Civil citations are an alternative for “common youth misbehavior” that research shows: lowers the chances of recidivism; prevents the loss of future opportunities such as scholarships and jobs; and saves taxpayers the costs associated with arrests, said Dewey Caruthers, president of the nonprofit Caruthers Institute.
Minors who receive citations are less likely to enter the judicial system later. Their recidivism rate is 5 percent, according to the department. By comparison, the recidivism rate for an offender who enters the system is about 9 percent.

Read the full story at the Orlando Sentinel