Florida’s Prosecution of Children as Adults under its "Direct File" Statute
This 110-page report details the harm that results from the state’s practice of giving prosecutors full discretion to decide which children to prosecute in adult courts. More than 98 percent of the 1,500 cases of children charged as adults between 2012 and 2013 were brought by prosecutors under the direct file statute. The law offers no opportunity for a judge to review or reverse the prosecutor’s decision, no matter how unsuitable the case is for criminal court.
Read the Report
- Branded for Life
- I. Background
- II. Do Children Belong in the Adult Criminal Justice System?
- III. Rights Put at Risk by Direct File
- IV. Relevant Legal Standards
- V. Conclusion
- Appendix A: Human Rights Watch Letter and Survey
- Appendix B: Transfer Rates for Murder and Property Crimes for Black and White Youth
- Appendix C: 2011 Direct File Policies of the 4th Judicial Circuit