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NCJ Number: 200079 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Adjudicating and Sentencing Juveniles as Adults: Research and Policy Implications
Journal: Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice  Volume:1  Issue:2  Dated:April 2003  Pages:128-155
Author(s): Richard E. Redding
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 28
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the legal consequences of the adjudication of juveniles in criminal court and presents a comprehensive review of research findings on the deterrent effects of transfer laws, conviction and sentencing patterns, and recidivism rates from processing in juvenile courts compared with criminal courts, along with the conditions and programming in juvenile correctional facilities compared with adult correctional facilities.
Abstract: Although research findings have produced conflicting findings on whether juvenile transfer laws deter juvenile crime over the long term, the adjudication of juveniles in criminal court and the incarceration of juveniles in adult prisons apparently provide few advantages and carry the risk of many disadvantages. Existing research indicates that criminal adjudication and incarceration reduce rather than enhance community protection over time and diminish rather than enhance juvenile offenders' accountability and development of positive and law-abiding behaviors. More research is needed before strong policy statements can be made. Further, research shows that criminal court adjudication takes longer than juvenile court disposition and that juveniles awaiting trial in criminal courts are often released with little supervision and rearrested for additional offenses. Research also shows that although juveniles often are more likely to receive longer and more serious sentences in criminal court, they may actually serve only a portion of those sentences. In addition, research that has compared recidivism rates for juveniles tried in criminal court compared with juvenile courts indicates that recidivism rates are generally higher for those tried in criminal court. Research findings therefore suggest that policies should be designed to minimize the number of juvenile cases transferred to criminal court, particularly those cases that involve first-time offenders charged with crimes against persons. This might be achieved by giving juvenile courts the authority to dispense limited adult sentences and to supervise rehabilitation or probation that continues into adulthood. This expansion of the sentencing authority of juvenile courts may reduce the number of transfers to criminal court made solely to ensure continued incarceration. Research recommendations are offered. 2 tables, 7 notes, and 36 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Deterrence effectiveness; Juvenile Recidivism; Juvenile sentencing; Prison conditions
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