Jacksonville non-profit works to keep young girls out of juvenile detention centers

  • In US
  • 2022-07-21 20:25:04Z
  • By WJAX

An alarming number of young girls are being arrested in the state of Florida, according to a newly released study by a Jacksonville nonprofit.

On Wednesday, Action News Jax reported the findings from the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center's latest study. It shows many young girls are being arrested for crimes that don't necessarily require jail time. The organization suggests therapy and other programs instead.

Action News Jax reporter, Meghan Moriarty, sat down with 14-year-old Ariyhanna Johnson on Thursday. She went through one of the nonprofit's programs, alongside her mother.

"Its brought us closer together, this program," Ariyhanna Johnson said.

Two years ago, Ariyhanna's mother, Cynthia Orduna, lost custody of her. Ariyhanna struggled in school and ended up failing her classes. Then at 12 years old, she was arrested.

"I got in trouble about two years ago for assault and battery," Ariyhanna said.

"I was thankful for the judge," Orduna said. "He wasn't gonna sentence her to any time in a detention center."

Instead, her public defender suggested the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center. The nonprofit has a variety of programs to reengage girls who have been arrested, suspended from school, or are struggling with trauma. There are five model programs; two are specially designed for girls in elementary and middle school.

Ariyhanna completed her court-ordered therapy but has decided to stick with the program further.

"I've become a lot happier with myself, and a lot more self-confident," Ariyhanna said.

Right now, the 14-year-old is doing great in school. She serves as an example to her younger siblings, and she said she hopes to one day become a psychologist or a dentist.

"She's actually caught up. [She's] starting in her correct grade this year, after failing and getting into trouble," Orduna said. "I'm just so proud of her."

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Click here to download the free Action News Jax news and weather apps, click here to download the Action News Jax Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Action News Jax live.


More Related News

Browns' Harris 'likely' needs season-ending knee surgery

Cleveland Browns starting center Nick Harris will likely need season-ending surgery on his right knee that was injured on the second play of the exhibition...

Watson apologizes, then struggles in Browns preseason debut
Watson apologizes, then struggles in Browns preseason debut

Deshaun Watson apologized before his preseason debut with the Cleveland Browns and then got an earful from opposing fans. Watson apologized Friday "to all...

Deshaun Watson apologizes
Deshaun Watson apologizes 'to all the women that I have impacted in this situation'

"I'm truly sorry to all the women that I have impacted in this situation," Deshaun Watson said prior to the Browns' first preseason game.

Two homicide victims on way to work
Two homicide victims on way to work 'crossed paths with evil,' Florida sheriff says
  • US
  • 2022-08-12 17:03:59Z

"The victims were specifically targeted," officials say.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US