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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164591 Find in a Library
Title: Trying Violent Juveniles as Adults
Journal: Law Enforcement Quarterly  Dated:(November 1996-January 1997)  Pages:25-29
Author(s): P C Deddeh; R O Amador
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 5
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article profiles California's law that permits the waiver of a juvenile to adult court as well as the procedure for implementing the law.
Abstract: In 1994 the California Legislature enacted a law that allows prosecutors to try minors as young as 14 years old as adults. The new law amended Welfare and Institutions (W and I) Code Section 707 to allow prosecutors to request a judicial determination that a minor be waived from juvenile to adult court. The law was occasioned by the increasing violent crime committed by ever younger juveniles. Judges are guided by five statutory criteria in determining whether to keep a juvenile offender in juvenile court or transfer him/her to the jurisdiction of the adult court. The judge assesses the degree of criminal sophistication exhibited by the minor, whether the minor can be rehabilitated prior to the expiration of the juvenile court's jurisdiction, the minor's previous delinquent history, the success of previous attempts by the juvenile court to rehabilitate the minor, and the circumstances and gravity of the offense alleged in the petition. Law enforcement officers' reports, field interviews, and other documented contacts and information that address these five areas are particularly helpful. Preparation for the fitness hearing in which these criteria are considered is the key to the waiver decision. This article includes suggestions for appropriate preparation for the hearing.
Main Term(s): Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): California; Juvenile processing; State laws; Violent juvenile offenders
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