skip navigation


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

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. 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: 202275 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Prosecuting Adolescents in Criminal Courts: Criminal or Juvenile Justice?
Journal: Social Problems  Volume:50  Issue:3  Dated:August 2003  Pages:439-460
Author(s): Aaron Kupchik
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Grant Number: 2001-IJ-CX-0005; SES-0004334
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study analyzed how court actors mobilize models of justice to shape the court proceedings when adolescents are prosecuted in adult criminal court.
Abstract: During the past 20 years, States have revised their laws to facilitate the transfer of adolescents out of juvenile courts and into adult criminal courts. However, when adolescents are prosecuted in adult criminal courts, there is a potential tension between the juvenile model of justice, which rests on a rehabilitative format, and the criminal model of justice, which focuses on punishment in proportion to the offense. Despite the increasing frequency of the transfer of adolescents to adult criminal court, little is known about how court actors prescribe accountability to adolescents in these adult courts. As such, the author drew on observational research in a specialized criminal court that prosecutes adolescents and on interviews with courtroom decisionmakers to analyze how this incongruity of justice models is overcome. The analysis revealed that courtroom actors divide the court proceedings into two phases: the initial phase follows the traditional criminal justice model while the sentencing phase follows the juvenile justice model. In this way, a hybrid form of justice is created that relies on a sequential justice model to prosecute adolescents in adult criminal court. This study produced unique results in that the author argued that the model of justice followed in these types of cases is dependent upon the stage of case processing. The results falsify the repeated hypothesis that adolescents who are transferred to adult criminal court face a criminal model of justice. Future research should expand this line of inquiry to different jurisdictions. References
Main Term(s): Criminal justice ideologies; Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Court procedures; Court studies
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.