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Needs Statement for Renaissance Village

4/28/ 2 10:33: QKW_RITE: GatherM3Ms: Data ID 3157

Needs Statement for Renaissance Village

(this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

Renaissance Village is a proposed new facility and program to help address the personal and societal problems of troubled teenagers. This document is intended to gather and present information that identifies the symptoms of these problems to help in thinking out the mission for the proposed new facility. This document is not intended to discuss or even identify programs, but simply to identify needs. It is expected that this document will be revised periodically as new information becomes available. (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

The FBI publishes "Uniform Crime Reports" every year reporting in greatest detail for "indexed crimes". Indexed crimes include violent crimes (murder & nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and property crime (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson). (Note: arson is normally not included in the "crime index" because it is inconsistently reported by various jurisdictions, but it is included in the "modified crime index".)

Teenagers are 3.5 times for more likely to commit serious crimes than the average American. The highest crime rate of all is for youngsters 16 and 17 years old, four times the rate for all Americans. (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

Crime Rate by Age (total U.S., 1990)

  Crimes Population Crimes/1000 People
Under 9 19474 36,453,622 0.5
10 - 12 73167 10,489,917 7
Subtotal 12 & under 92641 46,943,539 2
13 - 14 169630 6,624,332 25.6
15 120903 3,321,609 36.4
16 134482 3,304,890 40.7
17 137721 3,410,062 40.4
18 133622 3,641,238 36.7
19 118435 4,076,216 29.1
Subtotal 13-19 814793 24,378,347 33.4
20 99501 4,009,414 24.8
21 86814 3,817,220 22.7
22 77921 3,731,226 20.9
23 74258 3,731,226 19.9
24 72062 3,731,226 19.3
Subtotal 20-24 410556 19,020,312 21.6
25 - 29 337643 21,313,045 15.8
30 - 34 268812 21,862,887 12.3
35 - 39 174187 19,963,117 8.7
Subtotal 25-39 780642 63,139,049 12.4
40 - 44 97441 17,615,786 5.5
45 - 49 51184 13,872,573 3.7
50 - 54 29455 11,350,513 2.6
55 - 59 19000 10,531,756 1.8
60 - 64 13548 10,616,167 1.3
64+ (99) 18961 31,241,831 0.6
Subtotal 40 & over 229589 95,228,626 2.4
Total 2,328,221 248,709,873 9.4

There was a 57 percent increase in violent crimes committed by juveniles aged 10 through 17, and a 43 percent increase in unmarried girls aged 15 through 19 having babies. Florida is ranked 48th overall in the 1995 Kids Count Book, which compares state statistics on youth issues. (BNA, page 8.36) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

"Serious and violent crime dropped in the first half of last year, continuing a pattern that began five years ago, according to preliminary statistics to be released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The five-year decline is the longest in 25 years." (N.Y. Times, Jan. 5, 1997, p. 8) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

5,243 youths were referred to the Palm Beach County Department of Juvenile Justice for a total of 8,594 cases. (Report of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, CP-PBC 1996 Executive Summary, p. 15) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

"Turning around the lives of young criminals has been largely unsuccessful. To date, most rehabilitation efforts around the country have occurred while teenagers were still incarcerated, using boot camps, adult prisons or vocational programs intended to teach new skills. But experts are beginning to realize that these approaches have little lasting influence outside of prison. About two-thirds of juvenile offenders are arrested again within 18 months of their release, and many become adult criminals." (N.Y. Times, Nov. 17 1996, p. 1) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

"Historical statistics on relationships of victims to offenders showed that the majority of murder victims knew their killers. During the 1990s, however, the relationship percentages have changed." An increasing percentage of murders are committed by persons with no prior relationship to the victim. (FBI, Uniform Crime Reports, 1995, page 17). (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

"The juvenile violent crime arrest rate in 1988 was nearly identical to the rate in 1980; in fact, this rate had changed little since the early 1970's. However, between 1987 and 1994, the rate increased 71%. This steady increase after years of stability focused national attention on the juvenile violent crime problem. Since 1980, juvenile property crime arrest rates (as measured by the Property Crime Index) remained constant. Therefore, juvenile arrests from 1980 through 1995 can be conceptualized as a large, stable base of property arrests supporting a relatively small, but growing layer of violent crime arrests." (Juvenile Justice Bulletin, Juvenile Arrests 1995, by Howard N. Snyder, pages 4 & 6) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

Trends in Juvenile Crime Arrest Rates

  Violent Crime Index Property Crime Index
1980 334.1 2562
1981 322.6 2443
1982 314.5 2373
1983 296 2244
1984 297.5 2221
1985 303 2371
1986 316.7 2427
1987 310.6 2451
1988 326.5 2419
1989 381.5 2434
1990 428.6 2565
1991 461.6 2615
1992 482.6 2525
1993 509.7 2456
1994 532 2571
1995 510.3 2454

"Between 1985 and 1995, violent crime arrest rates increased substantially for all ages..., with the rates for juveniles ages 14, 15 or 16 up more than 80%. The violent crime arrest rate for 17-year-olds increased more than 70%." The only other age group with with increases this great was the 35-39 year old age group. Regardless of the age of those arrested, property crime arrest rates changed little between 1985 and 1995. (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

Trends in Juvenile Crime Arrest Rates by Age

Age Violent Crimes - 1985 Violent Crimes - 1995 Violent Crimes - % Change Property Crimes - 1985 Property Crimes - 1995 Property Crimes - % Change
Under 12 56.39 88.56 157 774.56 729.94 94.2
12-14 251.91 460.2 182.7 2495 2825 113.2
15 446.1 808.99 181.3 3549 3882 109.4
16 565.91 1023 180.7 3778 4151 109.9
17 651.12 1114 171.1 3756 3900 103.8
18 649.47 1162 179 3361 3554 105.8
19 622.49 995.28 159.9 2695 2652 98.4
20 590.74 902.39 152.8 2202 2048 93
21 585.9 884.79 151 1933 1787 92.5
22 568.19 845.34 148.8 1748 1596 91.3
23 541.55 784.29 144.8 1587 1474 92.9
24 523.4 727.37 139 1434 1368 95.4
25-29 434.3 656.54 151.2 1182 1265 107
30-34 310.69 547.1 176.1 872.61 1092 125.2
35-39 219.64 409.25 186.3 600.89 842.26 140.2
40-44 159.5 266.62 167.2 414.67 565.54 136.4
45-49 112.74 165.36 146.7 310.34 333.95 107.6
50-54 76.43 106.06 138.8 244.52 201 82.2
55-59 50.54 67.99 134.5 179.02 128.49 71.8
60-64 31.78 43.4 136.6 131.53 87.08 66.2

"The number of riots across the United States increased to nearly one a month last year," and is expected to continue rising. "Many riots are fueled by young men, and ... the teenage population will increase 17 percent over the next nine years, with higher rates of increase among minority populations in urban areas." (The Stuart News, Martin Co. Ed., Nov. 21, 1996, p. A-1) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

Teenage gangs are becoming an increasing threat to the safety of responsible teens and to the futures of young people drawn into gangs. Increasing gang activity is reported even in prosperous communities like Boca Raton, Florida, and Santa Barbara, California. (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

In March, 1994, "local youth gang experts" estimated that Broward had 30-40 gangs (with up to 60 smaller, less developed gangs) and as many as 3000 youths affiliated with a gang (including youths classified as associates or "wannabe's" who had not yet reached full membership).

In December, 1993, 63 youth gangs were charted by Broward County law enforcement agencies throughout the County. Gang infiltration was discovered in 18 Broward cities and in unincorporated Broward County. Some type of gang activity was found in almost every community within Broward County.

Police estimates show an enormous increase in street gang activity in Broward County since organized gangs were first detected in 1987, when there were an estimated 5 gangs. In 1995, that estimate had increased to 60 gangs in Broward County.

From an interview of 50 randomly selected Broward County youth who were active gang members during late 1992 and 1993, the respondents, representing a cross-section of 23 different gangs, reported that: (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

89% of their fellow gang members had been arrested at least once since joining;

66% of respondents had been arrested 1-10 times (average 8); of these, almost two-thirds had been arrested for at least one violent felony crime;

76% sold drugs (of these, 38% reported they sold drugs on a daily basis);

47% admitted they personally owned at least one gun (of these, almost 91% of the weapons were more lethal than small-caliber handguns); and

two-thirds admitted that most of their fellow gang members owned guns.

(from the Interim Report of the Broward County Grand Jury, Fall Term, 1993, on Youth Gang Investigation). (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

"Six percent (of murders in the U.S. in 1995) were juvenile gang killings, which were up 38% over the past 5 years." 96% of juvenile gang killings in 1995 were by means of firearms. (FBI, Uniform Crime Reports, 1995, pages 17, 20, 21, 58). (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

Trends in Indexed Crimes

  1991 1992 1993 1994 1995
Total number          
Juvenile gang killings 840 813 1145 1157 1157
Total murders 21676 22716 23180 22084 20043
Total indexed crimes 14,872,900 14,438,200 14,144,800 13,989,500 13,867,100
% change vs. 1991          
Juvenile gang killings   -3.2 36.3 37.7 37.7
Total murders   4.8 6.9 1.9 -7.5
Total indexed crimes   -2.9 -4.9 -5.9 -6.8

According to the 22nd national survey in the ongoing Monitoring the Future Study, illicit drug use among American schoolchildren rose again in 1996.

The increase in the proportion of students using any illicit drug in the 12 months prior to the survey continued a steady increase which began in 1991 among eighth-graders and in 1992 among 10th- and 12th-graders. For eighth-graders, the proportion using any illicit drug in the prior 12 months has more than doubled since 1991 (from 11 percent to 24 percent), and since 1992 it has nearly doubled among 10th-graders (from 20 percent to 38 percent) and risen by about half among 12th-graders (from 27 percent to 40 percent). (The prevalence rates are higher with the inclusion of inhalant use.)

The Monitoring the Future Study began with a series of annual nationwide surveys of American high school seniors between 1975 and 1990. In 1991 nationally representative samples of eighth- and 10th-grade students were added to the study. Each annual survey since 1991 has been based on about 50,000 eighth-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students in approximately 424 public and private secondary schools nationwide. The authors of the forthcoming report of the 1996 results are social psychologists Lloyd Johnston, Patrick O'Malley, and Jerald Bachman.

Marijuana use accounted for much of the overall increase in illicit drug use, as it continued its strong resurgence. All measures of marijuana use showed an increase at all three grade levels in 1996. Among eighth-graders, annual prevalence (use in the prior 12 months) tripled from 6 percent in 1991 to 18 percent in 1996. Among 10th-graders, annual prevalence more than doubled from a low point in 1992 of 15 percent to 34 percent in 1996. Among 12th-graders it increased by nearly two-thirds, from a low point of 22 percent in 1992 to 36 percent in 1996. While the rate of increase in 1996 remained high in grades 8 and 10 in 1996, the rate may be decelerating at the 12th-grade level.

Of particular concern, according to Johnston, is the continuing rise in daily marijuana use. Nearly one in 20 (4.9 percent) of today's high school seniors is a current daily marijuana user, and one in every 30 10th-graders (3.5 percent). While "only" 1.5 percent of eighth-graders use at that level, that still represents a near doubling of the rate in 1996 alone.

It is clear, however, that marijuana use has moved up sharply in the 90s. At the low point in 1992, only 22 percent said they had used marijuana in the prior 12 months (versus 36 percent in 1996) and only 2 percent were using it daily (versus about 5 percent today). Further, the proportional increases have been even greater for the younger children.

A number of the illicit drugs other than marijuana also continued longer-term increases into 1996, although in general their increases have been much more gradual.

The annual prevalence of LSD rose in all three grade levels in 1996, continuing longer-term increases which began at least as early as 1991. (In the 1996 survey the proportions reporting any LSD use in the prior 12 months were 4 percent, 7 percent, and 9 percent for eighth- 10th- and 12th-grades, respectively.) However, the 30-day prevalence rates, which tend to be more sensitive to very recent change, suggest that there may have been a recent turnaround in LSD use; the data show no change at the eighth-grade level and statistically significant declines in use among 10th- and 12th-grades.

Hallucinogens other than LSD, taken as a class, continued gradual increases in 1996 at all three grade levels, though the annual prevalence rates are considerably lower than for LSD: 2 percent, 3 percent, and 4 percent, respectively.

The use of cocaine in any form continued a gradual upward climb; however, most of the 1995 to 1996 changes do not reach statistical significance. Crack cocaine also continued a gradual upward climb among eighth- and 10th-graders, but not 12th-graders. The annual prevalence rates for use of cocaine in any form are 3 percent, 4 percent, and 5 percent for grades 8, 10, and 12, respectively, while for crack use specifically, they are 2 percent, 2 percent, and 2 percent.

Several other classes of illicit drugs also have shown very gradual increases since the early 1990s, including tranquilizers and two drug classes reported only for 12th- graders--- barbiturates and opiates other than heroin. All three continued to increase very modestly in 1996, although few comparisons reached statistical significance for the one-year interval.

The longer-term gradual rise in the use of amphetamine stimulants also continued at the eighth-and 10th-grade levels, but use has been fairly level among 12th-graders for two years now. Annual prevalence rates are 9 percent, 12 percent, and 10 percent for grades 8, 10, and 12, respectively. However, two forms of methamphetamine have been on the increase over the past two years---crystal methamphetamine or "ice," which is usually burned in rock form with the fumes being inhaled, and MDMA, known more commonly as ecstasy.

Questions about the students' own use of MDMA (ecstasy) were added for the first time in the 1996 survey. They resulted in quite high levels of self-reported use, with nearly 5 percent of the 10th- and 12th-graders reporting some use in the prior 12 months, and about 2 percent of the eighth-graders. (Other sources have suggested that MDMA has been popular at raves and in the club scene.)

"The fact that there are other non-controlled substances which have adopted the ecstasy name---like herbal ecstasy---gives us some pause in reporting these findings," Johnston cautions. "While we ask specifically about MDMA, and note that it goes by the name of 'ecstasy,' some youngsters may be including these other substances in their answers; but even if they are, they are still trying to get a similar high."

Only the 12th-graders are asked about the use of ice, but since 1992 their annual prevalence rate has more than doubled, from 1.3 percent to 2.8 percent.

While the annual prevalence rates for heroin remain quite low in 1996 compared to most other drugs, they are nevertheless two to two and one-half times higher than they were a few years ago. Annual prevalence rates are 1.6 percent, 1.2 percent, and 1.0 percent in eighth-, 10th-, and 12th-grades, respectively. Use of heroin by means other than injection no doubt accounts for much of the increase in use. Use without a needle is now more prevalent at each grade level than use with a needle. "Many of these young people may be laboring under the dangerous misconception that they cannot become addicted to heroin if they use it in a non-injectable form," observes Johnston. "Unfortunately, they can."

Alcohol use among American secondary students generally has remained fairly stable in the past few years, though at rates which most adults would probably consider unacceptably high. This remains true in 1996. The measures of self-reported drunkenness and occasions of having five or more drinks in a row during the prior two weeks, however, have inched up by 2 to 4 percentage points at all three grade levels in recent years (though self-reported drunkenness actually declined some in 1996 among 12th- graders). In 1996 the proportions of students having five or more drinks in a row during the two weeks preceding the survey were 16 percent, 25 percent, and 30 percent for the eighth-, 10th-, and 12th-graders, respectively.

Attitudes and Beliefs about Drugs

This research team has shown that, in general, when young people come to see a drug as more dangerous, or more disapproved by their peers, they are less likely to use it. The inhalant results, just mentioned, provide the most recent example; similar patterns were evident previously when marijuana use declined from the late 70s to the early 90s, and when cocaine use declined from the mid-80s to the early 90s. Then, in the early 90s, when perceived risk and peer disapproval began to decline, particularly for marijuana, the use of these drugs began to rise again.

In 1996 disapproval of marijuana use continued to decline sharply; but the perceived dangers, while continuing to decline, did so much more slowly than in the past few years. "We view this as an encouraging sign," comments Johnston. "Also encouraging is the fact that the decline in the degree of risk associated with the use of crack and powder cocaine appears to have ended at all grade levels. Although peer disapproval of the use of these drugs still is declining, particularly among the 12th-graders, I think there is a good chance that it, too, will stabilize next year, which could well translate into an end to the increase in cocaine use."

The 12th-graders are the only ones asked about the dangers they perceive to be associated with heroin use, and, as with the inhalants, there is a significant increase in perceived risk in 1996, perhaps presaging a halt in the gradual rise in heroin use, as well.

And, while both the risks perceived to be associated with LSD use and disapproval of use had been declining steadily in recent years, they showed little further decline in 1996 in any grade. (Recall that there are indications of a possible recent decline in LSD use.)

"For many of the illicit drugs there is encouragement in what we are seeing happen to key attitudes and beliefs, even if they have not translated yet into changed behavior," according to Johnston. "With marijuana, however, we are still in a period of sharp increase in use among the younger teens, and their attitudes and beliefs about the harmfulness of marijuana continue to migrate in the wrong direction."

The Causes of the Increase

"The erosion of peer norms against drug use, and the declines in the proportions of students who see them as dangerous, undoubtedly have several explanations," states Johnston. "Among the most likely, in my opinion, is the fact that this most recent crop of youngsters grew up in a period in which drug use rates were down substantially from what they had been 10 to 15 years earlier. This gave youngsters less opportunity to learn from others' mistakes and resulted in what I call 'generational forgetting' of the hazards of drugs, as the process of generational replacement has taken place."

A second likely cause, according to the investigators, is that in recent years youngsters have heard less about the dangers of drugs from a number of sectors that have paid less attention to the issue, including parents, schools, and the media. Schools are receiving less federal funding for drug abuse prevention; parents appear to be talking less about drugs to their children, according to other surveys; media news coverage of the drug issues plummeted in the early 90s; and the placement of anti-drug public service ads by the media also declined appreciably. In sum, in the 90s, youngsters have been hearing fewer cautions about drugs from many key sectors of the society. (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

The following table was excerpted from the "Monitoring the Future Study" and published in Newsweek Magazine, August 26, 1996, page 56). (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

Eighth Graders Who Have Used Drugs in their Lifetime

from a 22 year study conducted by the Univ. of Michigan

(in percentages of all eighth graders)
  1991 1995 % change
Crack 1.3 2.7 208
Heroin 1.2 2.3 192
Marijuana 10.2 19.9 195
Cocaine 2.3 4.2 183
Hallucinogens 3.2 5.2 163
Stimulants 10.5 13.1 125
Tranquilizers 3.8 4.5 118
Cigarettes 44 46.4 105
Been drunk 26.7 25.3 95

The U.S. Department of Education has asked for more money to fight drug abuse despite disappointing results in their own study. $10 per pupil is now spent in federal, state, and local funds for drug prevention in schools. A report released by the Department also says that schools don't carefully choose their programs. For instance, the report found better results at schools where students took part in programs other than 'D.A.R.E.", which operates in about 70 percent of school districts. D.A.R.E., which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, relies on police officers and other law-enforcement officials who visit fifth-grade classrooms for 17 hours each year. The program receives federal money through school districts. (by Robert Greene, Associated Press, published in the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, February 25, 1997) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

Southeast Florida is defined as the eight counties from Indian River and Okeechobee to Monroe, equivalent to Districts 9, 10, 11 and 15 of the Florida Department of Children and Families. That area included 4.5 million people and 307,000 children ages 13-18 in 1990.

Data on educational accomplishments is available from "The 1996 Florida Kids Count Data Book". 29% of kids entering 9th grade drop out of school without receiving a high school or a general equivalency diploma. In 1996, 11,117 children over the age of 16 were not attending school, had not graduated, and were not considered exempt. (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

In 1995, 17 to 18 percent of public school students in grades 6 to 12 were absent from school for 21 or more days during the academic year. In the same year, 18 percent of the same group of students were suspended in-school; 16 percent of students were suspended out-of-school. In 1994, 16 percent of all arrests were of children. In 1990, 14 percent of people in Florida lived in poverty, and 18 percent of all children lived in poverty. In 1994, the overall population living in poverty totaled 15 percent; while data is currently unavailable, it can be surmised that the percentage of children in poverty has likewise increased. (statistics abstracted from "The Florida Benchmarks Report" published by the Florida Commission on Government Accountability to the People, Feb. 1996) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

Lots of young people won't be able to function in the information society we are becoming. "Economists say the swift pace of high tech advances will only drive a further wedge between... youngsters (who are computer literate and those who are not)... Nearly every American business from Wall Street to McDonald's requires some computer knowledge. Taco Bell is modeling its cash registers after Nintendo controls..."

"Like it or not, America is a land of inequities. And technology, despite its potential to level the social landscape, is not yet blind to race, wealth and age. The richer the family, the more likely it is to own and use a computer, according to 1993 census data."

"In public schools, the computer gap is closing. More than half the students have some kind of computer, even if its obsolete. But schools with the biggest concentration of poor children have the least equipment... Prosperous Montgomery County, Md., has an $81 million plan to put every classroom online. Next door, the District of Columbia public schools have the same ambitious plan but less than $1 million in the budget to accomplish it." (Newsweek, February 27, 1995, pages 50-53)

A new book by William Julius Wilson called When Work Disappears offers further insight into the dilemna of the changing work world. "'For the first time in the 20th century,' Mr. Wilson writes, 'most adults in many inner-city ghetto neighborhoods are not working in a typical week.' Difficult as life was for many urban blacks in the 1940's and 50's, they at least enjoyed reasonable hopes of landing steady, if low-paying, work. Now, mainly because of global economic reorganization and the disappearance of unskilled factory jobs, he asserts, those hopes have nearly vanished. The collapse of the low-wage economy has, in turn, destroyed neighborhood businesses and encouraged the departure of upwardly mobile young adults. In a little more than a generation, formerly viable if relatively lowly black communities have become chaotic, crime-infested, welfare-dependent slums... Without the spiritual and financial anchor of respectable employment, there is little chance that the acute social disorganization of the black inner cities will improve.... The technological advances and global economic shifts of the past 30 years have had devastating effects at the bottom of American society." (reviewed by Sean Wilentz in the New York Times Book Review, p.7). (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

"The National Center for Health Statistics reported that in 1993, 50.2% of the births in New York City were to single mothers (43% among white women and 71% among blacks) -- an illegitimacy rate that is actually smaller than that in other major cities. The rate was 72% in Detroit, 70% in St. Louis, 68% in Newark and Washington, 67% in New Haven and Cleveland, and 65% in Baltimore and New Orleans. Nationally, 31%, or nearly 1 in 3, of all births are to unwed mothers." (by Sam Roberts, New York Times, October 1, 1995)

"A new survey by the Florida Family Council draws a direct link between juvenile crime and missing fathers... Nearly three out of four juvenile offenders come from homes where their mothers and father were not married. Two-thirds of the offenders surveyed said their fathers were gone at least some of the time. More than half said their fathers had either a negative influence or no influence at all. 'Father absences is a problem that has no basis in class, ethnic group or geography,' said Peter Schweizer, co-author of the study. 'It affects all communities and is equally damaging in all communities.'"

"'Most of our kids come from single family homes where the parent is usually working and there's lack of supervision.' said Johnny Brown, Broward County district administrator of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. 'Without the supervision, the youngsters end up violating the law and wind up in our system." (Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, March 3, 1997). (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide rates for youths 15-19 quadrupled in this country between the years of 1950 (2.7 per 100,000) and 1988 (11.3 per 100,000).

As part of the 1990 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of U.S. high school students in grades 9-12, students in the study were asked whether they had seriously thought about suicide in the previous 12 months, whether they had made a specific plan about how they would accomplish suicide, how many times they had attempted it, and whether the suicide attempt(s) required medical attention. 27.3% of U.S. high school students reported they had thought seriously about suicide, 16.3% had made specific plans, 8.3% had made one or more suicide attempts, and 2.1% had required medical attention because of their suicide attempt(s).

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in Broward County of persons 15-24 (accidents being the leading cause). The rate per 100,000 population for persons 15-24 is 15.3 in Broward. In Florida, the rate is 14.4 and is the third most frequent cause of death (Florida Vital Statistics, 1993). (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

The law defines an "abused or neglected child" as one whose physical, mental health, or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm by the acts of omissions of the parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare.

In 1994, there were 986 Broward County youths in foster care placement. HRS estimates the need for 265 beds in a variety of special foster care programs and indicates that many of these youths are not in the recommended type of placement. Many youths are placed out of the County or State each year at a cost of $1,092,118 for special foster/group home placement. Many of these foster care placements are a result of either physical or sexual abuse having occurred in the home.

The Broward County Child Protection Team, which is responsible for providing medical examinations and consultant services to HRS in the area of physical abuse cases reported 1064 cases for 1994. This is a decrease of 46% from the 1956 cases referred to the Child Protection Team in 1992.

Information collected by the Broward County Sexual Assault Treatment Center, now the Phoenix Centre, indicates a trend in reported adult sexual abuse cases versus those involving children. Child sexual abuse case medical examinations increased dramatically from 1980 (175 cases) through 1992 (1381 cases), nearly a sevenfold increase. Reports of adult cases of sexual assault have decreased over this period of time with 337 cases reported in 1980 vs. 242 cases in 1992, a 28% decrease.

Since 1992, reported cases of both physical and sexual child abuse have decreased. Individuals working in these areas believe that both increased public awareness and prevention activities over the last ten years, along with improvements to the state's anonymous Child Abuse Hotline, are having a positive impact on the incidence of child abuse in our community. (Broward Needs Assessment) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

The fastest growing age group in Florida in the past 15 years was kids below fifteen years of age. Now those kids are becoming teenagers and young adults. The fastest growing segment of the Florida population between now and the year 2010 will be kids 15-19. There were 1.2 million teenagers in 1995 in Florida and there will be nearly 1.7 million by the year 2010, an increase of 36%. The total population of Florida is expected to increase by 26% during this time (from 14.1 to 17.8 million). (Florida Demographic Estimating Conference database). (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

Florida Population by Age Group and Fifteen Year Growth

  1980 1995 2010
Under 4 570287 993051 1,058,176
4 - 9 621601 898399 1,028,316
9 - 14 685082 855167 1,062,673
14 - 17 482915 453959 648444
17 - 19 328494 347803 491743
19 - 24 811475 895074 1,112,793
25+ 6,247,107 9,705,864 12,433,926
All people 9,746,961 14,149,317 17,836,071
Percent change      
Under 4 100 174.1 106.6
4 - 9 100 144.5 114.5
9 - 14 100 124.8 124.3
14 - 17 100 94 142.8
17 - 19 100 105.9 141.4
19 - 24 100 110.3 124.3
25+ 100 155.4 128.1
All people 100 145.2 126.1

Of major concern in Florida and Broward County, specifically, is the fact that the number of boys ages 15 to 19 -- those most likely to break the law -- will increase by 30 percent in Florida over the next decade. Adding to the problem is the fact that kids are committing violent crimes at an earlier age than ever before. The population increase in this age group stems from the fact that (the children of) baby boomers started having children in near record numbers around 1980. Those kids are now reaching the 15 to 19 age group. Criminologists say this age group commits more crimes than any other. Seventeen was the peak age to be arrested for robbery and burglary in 1992. Seventeen year olds are about five times more likely to be arrested for robbery and burglary than people age 32. Nearly the same ratio holds true for murder. In Florida, the 15 to 19 year old population is growing almost twice as fast as the overall population. In Dade, it is predicted that juvenile arrests will rise from a record 21,200 this year to more than 30,000 by the year 2000. Broward will follow the same pattern according to the numbers noted in the 17th Judicial Circuit Public Defenders' juvenile caseload, which has more than doubled since 1988. (BNA, p. 8.36) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

If present trends continue, out of a 40 member class graduating high school in the year 2000: 2 class members will give birth before graduation; 8 will drop out of school; 11 will be unemployed after graduation; 15 will be living in poverty; 36 will have used alcohol; 17 will have tried marijuana; 8 will have used cocaine; 6 will have run away from home; and 1 will have committed suicide. (MHA of PBC newsletter) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

"Florida's teenage population is expected to increase 32 percent by the year 2010. Florida already has one of the nation's worst high school dropout rates." ("Florida Crossroads" newsletter, Florida Public Television) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

"When informed that Florida's population of teenagers will grow an unprecedented 30 percent over the coming decade, 89 percent of the respondents said that Florida is not prepared for this surge and its impact on the education and justice systems." (from "12 Questions for Candidates" survey of Florida Senate and House candidates, by Florida Center for Children and Youth) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

(births to teen age mothers will be discussed in the next draft) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

(life outcomes of low birthweight babies will be discussed in a future draft) (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

The Vietnam War cost the nation the lives of 58,000 young people, and the national debt increased by $146 trillion dollars in the seven years 1967-1973. Adjusted for inflation, the increase in national debt during the Vietnam War was $500 trillion (1992 dollars).

In the seven years 1989-1995 (a time of peace), the national debt increased by $2360 trillion, four times the amount of the increase during the seven years of the Vietnam War.

The number of lives lost, including those lost to drugs and to future non-productivity has been very great during these last seven years. In the next draft, we'll try to quantify this. (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

The Florida Kids Count Data Book is published annually by the Florida Center for Children and Youth in Tallahassee and the Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida. It provides information for each county in Florida on population by age, education, birth indicators, children in poverty, child well-being, and youth and the law. The following information is provided for the eight counties of southeast Florida. (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

Status of Children

  Total Indian River Okeechobee St. Lucie Martin Palm Beach Broward Dade Monroe
Total Population 4,756,877 97415 32325 166803 110227 937190 1,340,220 1,990,445 82252
Children <18 1,069,788 18686 9049 38900 20484 191935 281056 494907 14771
Children 15-19 253696 5063 2295 9251 4858 43510 66252 119144 3323
Persons age 20-24 272722 4766 2183 9071 5352 45526 71752 129655 4417
Student enrollment (pre-K to 12) 717911 13165 6305 26213 13654 127506 199362 322326 9380
Graduation rate (%) 71 66 67.6 63 79.8 66.2 70.6 73.9 66.5
Non-promotions 25932 476 349 903 483 6364 3869 13328 160
Dropouts 11117 135 123 397 117 1872 1699 6637 137
Number of disciplinary actions 116123 3675 1564 6072 3155 17424 28856 53854 1523
Corporal punishments 132 63 69            
In-school suspensions 62008 2106 493 2578 1783 8532 14626 30997 893
Out-of-school suspensions 53828 1485 981 3392 1372 8882 14230 22857 629
Other disciplinary actions 155 21 21 102   10     1
Births 70837 937 478 2212 1137 12758 19488 32913 914
Birth rate (per 1000 population) 14.8 9.5 14.7 13.1 10.3 13.5 14.5 16.5 11
Births to unwed mothers 26310 324 177 838 413 4350 6568 13349 291
Births to unwed mothers (%) 37.1 34.6 37 37.9 36.4 34.1 33.7 40.6 31.8
Births to unwed mothers <20 6598 131 67 252 120 1177 1607 3189 55
Births to unwed mothers <20 (%) 9.3 14 14 11.4 10.6 9.2 8.2 9.7 6
Births to unwed mothers over 20 19702 193 110 586 292 3172 4958 10155 236
Births to unwed mothers over 20 (%) 27.8 20.6 23 26.5 25.7 24.9 25.4 30.9 25.8
Births to mothers <20 7986 163 115 332 147 1405 1837 3909 78
Births to mothers <20 (%) 11.3 17.4 24.1 15 13 11 9.4 11.9 8.5
Teen birth rate age 15-19 65.6 66.8 107.7 71 63.2 63.7 54.2 65.1 54.5
Births with early prenatal care 57065 713 370 1719 858 10095 16149 26379 782
Births with early prenatal care (%) 81.4 77.1 77.7 77.9 75.7 79.9 84.7 80.8 86.6
Low birth weight births 5589 55 38 168 82 1024 1582 2585 55
Low birth weight births (%) 7.9 5.9 7.9 7.6 7.2 8 8.1 7.9 6
Child deaths age 1-14 323 9 7 15 6 53 82 147 4
Teen violent deaths age 15-19 174 2 1 6 4 30 41 88 2
Teen violent death rate age 15-19(/10k) 6.9 3.9 4.3 6.4 8.2 6.9 6.2 7.4 6
Runaways 14405 348 129 690 290 2758 4188 5840 162
Children in poverty age <18 190594 2087 2253 7301 2417 25176 37717 111739 1904
Children in poverty age <18 (%) 20.5 12.4 29.5 21.4 14 15.1 15 24.3 14.5
Delinquency cases received 51127 1020 487 1839 1037 8594 15090 22538 522
Delinquency cases received-youths 30817 665 283 1280 651 5243 8907 13453 335
Juvenile detentions 8522 198 122 514 161 2026 2776 2615 110
Juvenile detentions-youths 5623 126 72 374 99 1331 1763 1769 89
Transfers to adult court 2486 15 18 77 52 525 432 1352 15
Transfers to adult court-youths 1784 14 16 60 36 383 321 945 9

Key Facts About the Children, The Florida Kids Count Data Book, 1994-1996, Florida Center for Children & Youth, The Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida. P.O.Box 6646, Tallahassee, FL 32314, 904-222-7140.

Kids Count Data Book, State (and National) Profiles of Child Well-Being, 1994-1995, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 701 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, 410-223-2890.

The Florida Benchmarks Report, February 1996, The Florida Commission on Government Accountability to the People, Executive Office of the Governor, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001, 904-922-6907.

The State of the Child in Palm Beach County, several volumes 1991-1996, The Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County, 3111 S. Dixie Highway. West Palm Beach, FL 33405, 561-655-1010.

(BNA) Broward Needs Assessment, Community Resources Coordinating Council, 1300 S. Andrews Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316, 954-462-4875.

(CP-PBC) Community Profile, Palm Beach County, 1996, Health & Human Services Planning Association, Inc., P.O.Box 3166, West Palm Beach, FL 33402-3166, 561-655-6566, ext. 17 for Tanya Palmer.

1990 Census of Population and Housing.

Making the Case for Prevention, Emerging Cost of Failure Methodologies, Child & Family Policy Center, Charles Bruner, 1993, 218 6th Ave., Fleming Bldg., Suite 1021, Des Moines, Iowa 50309, 515-280-9027.

Wasting America's Future, The Children's Defense Fund, 25 E Street N.W., Washington, DC 20001, 202-628-8787. Also other documents from the Children's Defense Fund.

When the Bough Breaks, The Cost of Neglecting Our Children, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Basic Books, Harper Collins Publishers, 1991, ISBN 0-465-09165-2.

Children of the Shadows, New York Times, April 4-25, 1993.

Uniform Crime Reports, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20535, 1990, Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.

Uniform Crime Reports, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20535, 1995, Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.

Juvenile Arrests 1995, U.S. Department of Justice, Howard N. Snyder, National Center for Juvenile Justice, and supporting spreadsheets from Melissa Sickmund, 412-227-6950.

Domestic Violence Needs Assessment for Florida, 1996, Governor's Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, M. Sharon Maxwell, Ph.D., FSU, 904-921-2168.

Sexual Assault Needs Assessment for Florida, 1996, Governor's Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, M. Sharon Maxwell, Ph.D., FSU, 904-921-2168.

Florida Demographic Estimating Conference database, updated 6/96, Kathy McCarren, 904-487-1402.

Monitoring the Future Study, University of Michigan, contact Joyce Buchanan, 313-763-5043, ( (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

The Cost of Poverty in Sandtown-Winchester and Baltimore City in 1990, Carl House, January, 1995, funded by The Enterprise Foundation, Community Building in Partnership, 218 W. Saratoga St., Baltimore, MD 410-727-8535.

The Cost of Poverty in Overtown and in Dade County in 1990, Carl House, January, 1995, funded by The W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Overtown Neighborhood Partnerships, Miami.

Comparison of 14 Inner City Areas Using "Urban Key Measures", Carl House, DEVPLAN, Inc. 5970 S.W. 18th St., #302, Boca Raton, FL 33433, 561-368-7445. (this report was created 11/18/14 22:25)

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