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NCJ Number: 189750 Find in a Library
Title: Florida Experiment: An Analysis of the Impact of Granting Prosecutors Discretion To Try Juveniles as Adults
Author(s): Vincent Schiraldi; Jason Ziedenberg
Corporate Author: Justice Policy Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Justice Policy Institute
Washington, DC 20005
Sale Source: Justice Policy Institute
1012 14th Street, NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the impact on statewide crime control, individual recidivism, racial equity, and juveniles' perception of future delinquent behavior of Florida's experiment that allows prosecutors discretion to select juveniles for adjudication in adult courts.
Abstract: When prosecutorial waiver was introduced in Florida in 1981, the percentage of delinquency cases transferred to adult court increased from 1.2 percent to nearly 9 percent by 1987. Although waiver provisions for juveniles were originally designed to ensure that violent juvenile offenders were being detained, a 1991 study of two representative Florida counties found that only 28 percent of the youths prosecutors waived to adult court had been charged with violent crimes. Five percent were tried as adults for misdemeanors, and almost 25 percent of the cases waived were first-time property offenders. The most striking feature of the waived juvenile population was the extent to which minority youth were overrepresented. One study conducted by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice found that Black youths were 2.3 times more likely than white youths to be waived to adult court. A 1998 survey of the waived juvenile population found that a majority of these youths sent to adult court for property, drugs, and weapons offenses received jail sentences or probation terms well within the range of what could have been prescribed to them in the juvenile court. Further, a study published in the journal "Crime and Delinquency" found that youth transferred to adult court in Florida were a third more likely to reoffend than those sent to the juvenile justice system. Overall, the juveniles waived to and sentenced in adult courts faced greater threats to their lives, their physical safety, their emotional well-being, and their futures than those who remained in the juvenile justice system. 3 figures and 29 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): Discretionary decisions; Florida; Juvenile offenders; Juvenile processing; Juvenile Recidivism; Juvenile sentencing; Juvenile statistics; Prosecutorial discretion; Racial discrimination; Serious juvenile offenders
Note: Downloaded August 17, 2001
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