Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents

Via Scoop.itJuvenile Defendants

Bartow, Fla. — Adult criminals and juveniles all under one roof in Polk County has the NAACP and the ACLU fired-up.
“It’s a very frightening idea, and if we’re frightened- imagine how these children feel!” ACLU attorney Julie Ebenstein told us.
Polk County moved its juveniles out of the state juvenile detention facility and, therefore, out of state control on Oct. 1. The Polk Sheriff placed them in a separate area of the county’s formerly all-adult jail after a change in state law.
“[The bill] was passed in April, very late in the legislative session,” Julie Ebenstein noted. “We don’t feel like there was sufficient time to comment on or think through the policy implications.”
However, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd takes issue with that, saying, “Just because there’s a common roof over the building doesn’t mean we’re housing juveniles with adults. That is absurd, and it’s illegal. And it’s not happening. It’s just that simple.”
Sheriff Judd even drew a map of the facility for 10 News to show just how separated juveniles are from any adults. He also pointed out the much better condition of his county jail compared to the older, dirtier state juvenile justice facility just down the street.
Still, the ACLU & NAACP don’t like the idea at all.

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