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NCJ Number: 206117 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Penalty: A Comparison of Juvenile and Young Adult Sentencing Outcomes in Criminal Court
Journal: Criminology  Volume:42  Issue:2  Dated:May 2004  Pages:485-517
Author(s): Megan C. Kurlychek; Brian D. Johnson
Date Published: May 2004
Page Count: 33
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study analyzed juvenile and young adult sentencing outcomes in criminal court.
Abstract: This study used criminal court data from the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to investigate the sentencing of juvenile offenders processed in adult criminal court by comparing their sentencing outcomes to those of young adult offenders in similar situations. The study’s primary research question focused on the influence of juvenile status on adult court sentencing outcomes, therefore all selected cases involved offenders under the age of 18 at the time of their offense. Adult offenders, ages 18 to 24 were also selected. The study was limited to these age groups to make the adult age sample as comparable to the juvenile age sample as possible, and to account for previous research that found a curvilinear relationship for age and sentencing with probability of incarceration increasing through the mid-20’s, but then decreasing. The study found an increased sentencing severity for juveniles were specific to the sentencing phase of the adult court processing and may miss leniency, such as decisions to grant bail, reduce charges, or dismiss cases altogether that are applied earlier in the young adult process. It is important for future research to try and duplicate this study’s findings over time. Future research should continue to investigate the impact of juvenile transfer on adult court processes to better inform the policy debate surrounding the potentially unhealthy marriage of juvenile offending and adult criminal sanctions. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Juveniles in adult facilities; Sentencing reform
Index Term(s): Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile sentencing; Pennsylvania; Sentencing disparity
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