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NCJ Number: 221196 Find in a Library
Title: Reverse Waiver and the Effects of Legal, Statutory, and Secondary Legal Factors on Sentencing Outcomes for Juvenile Offenders
Journal: Crime & Delinquency  Volume:54  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:34-64
Author(s): John Burrow
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 31
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines how factors unrelated to the instant offense might affect whether offenders are sentenced as juveniles or adults.
Abstract: Findings indicate that: judges are sentencing the most violent and serious offenders as adults; factors outside of the offense influence the sentencing decisions of judges, such as the offender's history, and the amount of experience that judges have in handling waiver cases significantly influences the sentencing decision. Waiver is premised on the belief that serious and violent juvenile offenders should be prosecuted and sentenced as adults. Juveniles who committed homicides were significantly more likely to be sentenced as adults when they committed violent, person offenses of the greatest severity; had multiple charges stemming from the initial offense brought against them; were more likely to victimize strangers as opposed to family members; and had prior out-of -home placements. Because the results suggest that juveniles who have multiple prior felony adjudications are more likely than comparable offenders to be sentenced as adults, it is reasonable to believe that judges view these chronic offenders as more responsible than juveniles with shorter careers. Judges may be reserving the reverse waives for juveniles who are still early in their careers, and may yet benefit from the services and beneficence of the juvenile court system. The findings suggest that judges have additional information at their disposal that is unavailable to prosecutors which increases the certainty that not only the right decision is made, but also the right juveniles are being focused on. Offenders who come from single-parent households are less likely to be sentenced as adults as compared with offenders who come from intact homes where there is potential supervision available to the juvenile. The experience level of the judges, in terms of how many previous waiver cases they have tried and disposed of, also appears to be an important predictor of the final sentencing outcome. Suggestions for further research are discussed. Tables, appendix, notes, references
Main Term(s): Juvenile sentencing; Serious juvenile offenders; Violent juvenile offenders
Index Term(s): Juvenile courts; Juvenile offenders; Juveniles in adult facilities; Sentencing factors; Sentencing guidelines
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