Juvenile delinquency, Criminal law, criminal procedure, Florida Law


Under a Florida law enacted in 2021, any child over the age of six years old can be arrested and subjected to juvenile delinquency proceedings. Florida, as well as the United States in general, is an outlier when it comes to statutory minimum ages for juvenile delinquency. The most common and recommended minimum age internationally is fourteen years old, and many studies show that arresting, charging, and adjudicating children below the age of fourteen is counterproductive, as it leads to increased recidivism, potentially violates due process, and leaves lasting negative effects on children. This comment will discuss juvenile delinquency in the United States, as well as the problems associated with Florida’s current minimum age for juvenile delinquency. Additionally, this comment will address the problems associated with having such a low minimum age for juvenile delinquency and explain how, based on these problems, Florida’s current minimum age runs contrary to the purposes of Florida’s juvenile justice system and does not serve the bases for punishment. Finally, this comment will recommend that Florida lawmakers raise the statutory minimum age for juvenile delinquency to fourteen years old and provide alternatives to traditional juvenile justice procedures in order to mitigate the problems analyzed before and help achieve the purposes of Florida’s juvenile justice system.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.