Lawmakers Visit to Orlando for Juvenile Justice Model Site Visit

Kids Are Different:  Juvenile Justice Model Site Visit:  Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network

A group of 13 state legislators and legislative staff members from 9 states took part in the “Kids Are Different: Juvenile Justice Model Site Visit: Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network " held in Orlando, Florida on November 1-4, 2011. The visit was planned and carried out under a partnership project with NCSL's Criminal Justice Program and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The site visit was designed to give lawmakers from across the country the opportunity to learn about individualized, comprehensive gender-responsive prevention services.   Legislators toured the Pace Center for Girls in Florida’s Orange County. Girls who attend this non-residential prevention center were at one time failing school, struggling with histories of abuse, and at risk for drug and alcohol addiction.   The Pace Center integrates social services, education, and career services for at-risk teenage girl to keep them out of the juvenile justice system.   

During the visit, legislators toured the center with Pace students acting as tour guides. They observed classrooms, visited with counselors and administrators, and had the opportunity to listen to the girl’s thoughts about Pace and their personal stories. 

After returning from Pace, the legislators attended 2 days of informative sessions discussing the important role of defense counsel in juvenile proceedings, and the vast differences between the juvenile court and the adult system. Legislators also learned about Florida’s Juvenile Civil Citation Program, which is a pre-arrest diversion program that empowers deputies to issue a civil citation to juveniles in lieu of an arrest and prosecution for misdemeanor offenses.

For more information on the site visit:

For more information on Florida's Civil Citation Program: