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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118383 Find in a Library
Title: Transferring Juveniles to Adult Court for Trial
Author(s): B Flicker
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: Vincent Astor Foundation
New York, NY 10022
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This policy paper considers statutory schemes for transferring juveniles to adult courts and the systemic consequences of such a waiver.
Abstract: Early statutes gave the juvenile court absolute discretion to dismiss a delinquency petition and transfer the juvenile to the adult criminal court. Some States also gave nonjudicial officers (prosecutors and probation officers) the same discretion to transfer a case to criminal court. Most statutes did not prescribe substantive criteria or procedures for the waiver process. Various U.S. Supreme Court decisions pertinent to due process requirements in juvenile transfers to criminal court compelled juvenile courts to decide the waiver issue at the preadjudication stage, before the case would be heard on its merits. Statutes also became more precise regarding factors to be considered in the decision to waive juveniles to an adult court. Some State laws mandate that juveniles be tried in adult courts when they are charged with selected serious offenses. Positing the waiver decision within the discretion of the juvenile judge is apparently the most appropriate strategy. Certain trends have accompanied the expanded use of the waiver. These include a shift in the juvenile court's focus from rehabilitation to public safety, the detention of waived juveniles in juvenile facilities and subsequent confinement there upon conviction, and longer terms of secure confinement. Other impacts include mandatory minimum commitment statutes, greater involvement of prosecutors in juvenile cases, determinate dispositions, fiscal problems, and criminal court overload. Some anticipated consequences of the waiver are also identified in the areas of personnel, dispositions, programs, services, facilities, procedural safeguards, and public safety. Relevant juvenile justice standards are presented. 58-item bibliography.
Main Term(s): Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): Juvenile court procedures; Serious juvenile offenders; State laws
Note: From the series on "Current Policy Issues."
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