THE CAMPAIGN

2019 Florida Regular Session

No Place for a Child is a diverse, nonpartisan coalition of organizations committed to bringing change to Florida that has proven to be more effective for young people and the public.  This year, the legislature will consider several bills that will address these issues. We are calling on our lawmakers to pass these bills:  

SB 850: Prosecuting Children As Adults and HB 339: Prosecution of Juvenile Offenders, which raises the floor and eliminates mandatory transfer to adult court.Eliminates the ability to indict a child younger than 14 as an adult. Prohibits direct file of 14- and 15-year-olds into the adult justice system. Eliminates mandatory transfer of 16- and 17-year-olds for any crime, and limits discretionary transfer to only the most serious crimes, such as murder or manslaughter.

SB 870: Detention of Children and HB 575: Direct Filing of an Information, which would house children who are prosecuted as adults in juvenile facilities instead of adult jail as they await trial.Judges would have discretion to order youth to be housed elsewhere if the situation poses a threat to the security or safety of other children in the facility, or if the child requests to be detained elsewhere.

SB 876: Juvenile Justice, HB 1293: Judicial Review of Direct Filing of Juvenile Defendants, and HB 575: Direct Filing of an Information, which would create a due process in which a child can request a return to juvenile court.Lets the judge, not the prosecutor, decide which court is more appropriate for a child and would require the judge to explain the court’s decision in writing. The judge would consider factors such as a child’s age and maturity, history of trauma, level of participation in the offense, and whether the child and community would be better served if the case were handled in the juvenile or adult system.

You can read more about these bills and why we're supporting them in our factsheet. Together, we can stop the prosecution of children in adult jails and prisons.