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State Attorney's Office Changes the Way Youth in Orange and Osceola Counties Get Processed

The Orange and Osceola counties' office is processing juvenile cases differently under its Project No/No Program. Photo: Renata Sago.
The Orange and Osceola counties' office is processing juvenile cases differently under its Project No/No Program. Photo: Renata Sago.

Official court case records will no longer follow some kids into adulthood under a new program being implemented by the state attorney’s office for Orange and Osceola counties. Project No/No, which stands for "No arrest, no official record," calls for juvenile cases that do not involve a police arrest to be processed internally, through the state attorney's office, rather than getting an official case number through the Orange and Osceola clerk's offices.

The purpose of the program is to keep youth from ending up with a criminal record for charges that were never filed.

"Under those circumstances, there should be no criminal record that follows juveniles into adulthood. We are giving those juveniles the opportunity to have a clean record” said Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Ayala in a press release. “We believe this program will make a difference in the lives of our youth and eliminate unnecessary case processing by the clerk.”

In the past, youth whose records had been processed by the clerk had already fulfilled their requirements by partaking in diversion programs.

Veteran attorneys have been assigned to the new intake process, which began in April in Orange County. So far 767 youth have been processed internally.

“This is no different from the adult system. Any of the non-arrest cases have never gotten an official court record in the adult system. They received an internal numbering system,” said Terri Mills-Uvalle, chief of the juvenile bureau for the ninth judicial state attorney's office.

The initiative is in response to a growing push statewide to reduce the number of youth who enter the juvenile justice system.