skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 209572 Find in a Library
Title: Childhood on Trial: The Failure of Trying & Sentencing Youth in Adult Criminal Court
Author(s): Jill Wolfson
Corporate Author: Coalition for Juvenile Justice
United States of America
Project Director: Nancy Gannon Hornberger
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 104
Sponsoring Agency: Coalition for Juvenile Justice
Washington, DC 20036
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Chicago, IL 60603
Sale Source: Coalition for Juvenile Justice
1710 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
10th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book challenges the policy of placing more juveniles under the jurisdiction of adult criminal courts in the belief that the juvenile justice system is incapable of rehabilitating them or of imposing sufficiently severe sanctions.
Abstract: In the 1990's, the pervasive belief that crime is best dealt with by increasing the punitive response of the criminal justice system led almost every State to enact laws that make it easier to place juvenile offenders under the jurisdiction of the adult criminal justice system instead of the juvenile justice system. The types of offenses that mandate or make youth eligible for transfer to adult court have continued to expand, and many States have shifted the decision about whether to transfer a youth to adult court from the juvenile court judge to the prosecutor, who often proceeds with few guidelines and limited formal review of the decisions. This trend has continued despite evidence that this practice is very costly, is not implemented systematically, has a disproportionately adverse impact on minority youth, and does little to increase public safety. The bulk of relevant research has discounted the rationales for removing more and more youth from the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system. Research has shown that even the most hardened juvenile offenders are amenable to treatment, which the juvenile justice system is better able to provide than the adult system; and juvenile courts and corrections systems are fully capable of imposing sanctions that match and even exceed those available to adult courts. A number of chapters document the efforts of many States to reform current policies and rebuild their juvenile justice systems. A 64-item bibliography and reports from the Coalition for Juvenile Justice
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Juvenile court waiver; Juvenile justice system; Juvenile offenders; Juvenile rehabilitation; Juvenile sentencing; Serious juvenile offenders; Violent juvenile offenders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.