Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board December 9, 2017
Two years ago the Orange County League of Women Voters launched a commendable campaign to promote civil citations as an alternative for police to arresting kids who commit minor criminal offenses. Updated totals for Orange and Osceola counties, highlighted in a news conference this week, show the campaign is making progress — but has farther to go.
The share of civil citations for first-time misdemeanor offenders in the 9th Judicial Circuit, which covers Orange and Osceola counties, more than doubled from 18 percent in the 2014-15 budget year to 43 percent in the 2016-17 budget year, according to the state Department of Juvenile Justice. Even so, law-enforcement agencies in the two counties still chose to arrest more than 800 kids last year who could have been issued civil citations instead.