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Juvenile Transfer to the Adult System

Youth younger than 18 prosecuted in criminal court: National estimate, 2015 cases

Author: Charles Puzzanchera, Melissa Sickmund, Anthony Sladky Organization: National Center for Juvenile Justice, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Research from National Center for Juvenile Justice provides an estimate of youth transferred to criminal court by judicial waiver in 2015.

The Impact of Prosecuting Youth in the Adult Criminal Justice System

Author: UCLA School of Law Juvenile Justice Project

The findings of this literature review indicate that justice is not served by forcing juveniles through a system never intended to process youth and that transfer laws have exacerbated the problems they sought to address. 

Juveniles on Trial: Mode of Conviction and the Adult Court Sentencing of Transferred Juveniles

Author: Peter S. Lehmann

Several studies have compared the criminal court sentences given to transferred juveniles with those given to adults, but this research has reported inconsistent findings. Additionally, some research has found that mode of conviction can interact with offenders’ characteristics, resulting in stronger or weaker effects of these factors among defendants convicted at trials. The current study explores the direct effects of juvenile status on sentence severity and whether these effects are conditioned by mode of conviction. Examination of data from Florida circuit courts (N = 1,107,233) shows that transferred juveniles are less likely to be incarcerated than adults but are given longer incarceration sentences. Interaction analyses reveal that these disparities are weaker among trial cases than among plea cases.

Juveniles in Adult Court Repercussions and Benefits for Juveniles and the Community

Author: Rebecca Gulstad

The aim of this paper is to address what possible costs and benefits may be associated with transferring juveniles to adult criminal court. Any costs or benefits would not only apply to the juvenile being sentenced, but also their families, the public, and any potential social worker assigned to work with the juvenile.

How Tough on Crime Became Tough on Kids: Prosecuting Teenagers for Drug Offenses in Adult Court

Author: Josh Rovner

This policy report reviews the methods by which juveniles can be tried as adults for drug offenses and the consequences of the unchecked power of some local prosecutors.

Looking Back and Thinking Forward: Examining the Consequences of Policies and Practices that Treat Juveniles as Adults

Author: Jeffrey J. Shook

This article examines the consequences of legislative changes that eased the process of treating juveniles as adults. Overall, it finds evidence that there has been an increase in the number of juveniles sent to the criminal court and the majority either remain in the community or return to the community shortly after serving a jail or prison sentence. In light of geographic and racial/ethnic disparities in transfer, differences in the programs and services offered to youth in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, and higher rates of recidivism among transferred offenders, the article supports the contention of many scholars and advocates that there is a need for policy and practice reform.

OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book: Juveniles Tried as Adults

Author: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

This table presents the juvenile court blended sentencing offense and minimum age criteria, for each state in 2011.

Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics: 1985-2013

Author: National Center for Juvenile Justice

This tool was developed to facilitate independent analysis of national estimates of delinquency cases processed by the nation's juvenile courts. With this application, users can perform unique analyses on the age, sex, and race of juveniles involved in these cases as well as the referral offense, the use of detention, adjudication and case disposition. Users can also view pre-formatted tables describing the demographic characteristics of youth involved in the juvenile justice system and how juvenile courts process these cases.

From Time-Out to Hard Time: Young Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System

Author: Michele Deitch Amanda Barstow Leslie Lukens Ryan Reyna

This policy research report analyzes the available data with regard to the transfer of young children to adult criminal court, documents the extremely harsh and tragic consequences that follow when young children go into the adult criminal justice system, profiles practices in states with particularly severe outcomes for these young children, looks at international practices and offers policy recommendations.

You’re An Adult Now: Youth in Adult Criminal Justice Systems

Author: U.S Department of Justice: National Institute of Corrections

This report focuses on issues managing youth offenders in an adult corrections system.

Juvenile Justice, Geography, Policy, Practice and Statistics

Author: National Center for Juvenile Justice

This interactive web-based tool of the National Center for Juvenile Justice charts national changes in juvenile justice policy, practices, and statatistics to better understand reform. Changes are tracked in 6 areas of reform including Jurisdictional Boundaries, Juvenile Defense, Racial & Ethnic Fairness, Juvenile Justice Services, Status Offense Issues and Integrated Services.