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NCJ Number: 228188 Find in a Library
Title: From Time Out to Hard Time: Young Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System
Author(s): Michele Deitch; Amanda Barstow; Leslie Lukens; Ryan Reyna
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 134
Sponsoring Agency: University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
Publication Number: ISBN 978-0-89940-922-1
Sale Source: University of Texas at Austin
Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs
Drawer Y
University Station
Austin, TX 78712
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study - which was conducted in the fall of 2007 and the spring of 2008 by students in a juvenile justice research class at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas - examined the plight of preadolescent children (primarily those 12 years old and under) caught up in the adult criminal justice system.
Abstract: The study found that just over half of U.S. States permit children under age 12 who commit serious crimes to be processed as adults for the purposes of prosecution, trial, sentencing, and punishment. Twenty-two States and the District of Columbia allow children as young as 7 years old to be processed in adult court and be subjected to harsh adult sanctions, including long terms in an adult prison. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to consider the case of a 13-year-old from Florida who received a sentence of life without parole for a noncapital crime. The study determined that every year approximately 80 children ages 13 and younger are judicially transferred to an adult court for criminal justice processing. The study cites a number of reasons why the adult criminal justice system is inappropriate and does not work for children. Adult criminal procedures and facilities are not designed to address the needs and developmental limitations of child defendants and convicted child offenders; young children are incapable of understanding adult criminal proceedings and actively participating in their defense; and their limited intellectual and emotional development makes them incompetent to stand trial as adults. The study argues that juvenile courts are better suited to manage the processing of young offenders, since their procedures and case dispositions are tailored to the developmental level, backgrounds, and needs of children and adolescents. 2 tables, 9 figures, appended charts, and 210 bibliographic listings
Main Term(s): Serious juvenile offenders
Index Term(s): Juvenile court waiver; Juvenile courts; Juvenile processing; Juvenile sentencing; Juveniles in adult facilities; State laws; Young juvenile offenders
Note: Downloaded August 31, 2009
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