Issue 7, February 14th

When you were young do you recall ever getting into a fight in the school yard?  Spend a little time in detention and maybe learn your lesson?  Or maybe you know someone who had a situation like this, did you or they ever serve in the military?  It might surprise you to learn that what was commonplace as “kids being kids” when we were young, today could get a juvenile arrested and prevent them from EVER serving in the military.  Last week Matt Shirk gave us some insight into our juvenile justice system and explained how the new hypersensitive world deals with situations just like the ones we all faced and the potential impacts. 

Now I’m no expert but just to explain, civil citations can be issued for certain misdemeanor offenses to juveniles rather than arresting them at the discretion of the officer responding.  These are not permanent criminal records AND the offenders have to go through a disciplinary process.  This includes facing the victim and apologizing, going before a court made up of THEIR peers in a trial scenario completely run by teens and then afterwards serve in the court capacity.  On occasion they also end up performing some sort of service as restitution.  In our society where repeat offenders are far too common, where getting arrested for some is a right of passage or initiation into gangs, it turns out the chances of someone who received a civil citation actually reoffending less than 10%!  This was a VERY interesting program and later this year we’ll have Matt return to face State Attorney Angela Corey in a debate which will cover topics just like this one.
We were on the road last week and had a great experience at the Double Tree hotel, but it’ll be great to be back home this week at San Jose.  Tuesday we’re sending a small delegation of members to Tallahassee to meet with our elected representatives, but in particular our members Reps. McBurney, Ray, and Renner.  Michael Boylan CEO of WJCT and Chairman of Florida Public Broadcasting will speak to us on Wednesday, and as a bonus our program chair Penny Kievet just sent me a note that Michael is bringing a friend, Melissa Ross!  This program is one you won’t want to miss so please join us!

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