Child Advocates Attack Routine Shackling of Florida’s Juveniles in Courtroom

Which criminal defendants are shackled in the courtroom?

In Florida, that would be juveniles, including young children facing minor charges.

Adults? Probably not.

Adults are protected by their due process rights and concern about possible prejudice in the eyes of the jury.

But most juvenile defendants are routinely shackled in Florida. Their cases will not be decided by a jury. They are treated as though they don’t have due process rights.

The Florida Bar is trying to end this practice of near-automatic shackling of kids in court. Broward and Miami-Dade counties have already altered their policies to eliminate routine shackling of juveniles.

Legislation is anticipated to initiate state-wide changes in the not-too-distant future.

Read more in this Jacksonville Financial News & Daily Record article: State examines juvenile shackling practice.