TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Juvenile delinquency is continuing to drop in Florida.
Preliminary figures released this week show a 10 percent decline in delinquency referrals during the budget year ending June 30.
An exact figure hasn't yet been determined, but Department of Juvenile Justice officials expect it to be less than 110,000.
That compares to 121,689 in the previous fiscal year.
Delinquency referrals peaked 16 years ago at 123 for every 1,000 children aged 10 through 17.
The rate has dropped almost every year since and was down to just 59 in 2010-11 - less than half the 1994-95 rate.
Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters says her agency, with backing from Gov. Rick Scott, is taking steps to further reduce referrals.
They include issuing civil citations instead of filing criminal charges and community-based treatment.
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