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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Department of Juvenile Justice expanding civil citation process

ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  Juveniles in Escambia County who commit a first time misdemeanor might be given a second chance.
The Juvenile Civil Citation Expansion program will help give *some a chance to keep a clean record.
    
Juveniles with a first time misdemeanor could be given a citation and community service...
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice says among other benefits  this will be a significant cost savings...

Last year there were more than 2200 youth arrest in Escambia County.
Nearly 560 of those were first time misdemeanor arrest.
    
Potential savings could be around 2.6 million dollars a year.
In the DJJ sits juveniles who have committed crimes and will now have felonies or misdemeanors on their records... Some keeping them from getting jobs in the future.
    
The new program is targeted to help the youth and keep them from becoming repeat offenders.  
Randall Paulk and his 15-year old son say it's about time Escambia County adopted this program.
    
When his son Ethan was a freshman at Pensacola High School he received a misdemeanor for standing up to a bully..
    
The boys got into a fight and Ethan was arrested and given a misdemeanor charge.
Randall Paulk  "We don't have a problem with he got suspended, but I have a huge problem that he got arrested and now this is in his jacket colleges will see it and job applications."
    
Ethan is now in the process of having his record expunged but his dad is still worried it could effect his son for life.

"Even an expungement still comes up for certain applications and if he wants to be a lawyer he'll have to talk about that arrest when he takes the bar."
    
The citation program will not be a "get out of jail free card"...
Citations will be given to youth who commit first time non-violent misdemeanors community service will also follow.
    
Once completed the youth will leave the program with no record to follow.
Katie Ehelers "I think if they're children I feel like they should be given some chances, but obviously over and over repeat offenders something needs to be done."

"I can see them getting a second chance because the way that children are today they are all coming up doing all kinds of crazy stuff that I didn't do when I was coming up."
    
Law enforcement hopes this will also deter youth from becoming repeat offenders.
Wayne Bradley  "That will prevent them from advancing and really what that will do for them then they will revert back to what they use to do at 35 to 40 years old well this is the only way I can make it."

The citations will be given out based on the judgment of law enforcement the final decision will be made by the state attorneys office.
We asked our Facebook fans what they think of the plan.

Seana says "I was never given a second chance. I disagree. The law has taught me by punishing me, not letting me get away with it."

And Dutchess says    "Excellent idea.  Everyone deserves a second chance because we all make mistakes.  For those who accept the opportunity-more power to you."
    
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