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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69676 Find in a Library
Title: Guidelines for Statutes for Transfer of Juveniles to Criminal Court
Journal: Pepperdine Law Review  Volume:4  Issue:3  Dated:(Summer 1977)  Pages:479-495
Author(s): E W Browne
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 18
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Guidelines are presented for composing statutes on the transfer of juveniles to adult courts that are consistent with recent court decisions.
Abstract: Most jurisdictions have always provided a method of transferring juveniles from the juvenile court to the criminal court if the offender is found to be incapable of benefiting from the juvenile system. According to a Supreme Court decision, transfer of a juvenile must be considered before an adjudicatory hearing. Most States provide that only the juvenile court can determine whether to retain or transfer jurisdiction. Although some states have brought children into the criminal courts by lowering the age of juvenile court jurisdictions or giving criminal courts jurisdiction over certain crimes. In Kent v. United States, the Supreme Court made a significant decision, stating that a juvenile was entitled to a transfer hearing with legal representation before jurisdiction could be waived. Initially, a statute must address the age at which a juvenile is eligible for transfer to criminal court and standards concerning the type of offense which is not conducive to rehabilitation treatment available from the juvenile court. One of the first requirements of a transfer proceeding should be a probable cause hearing which should take place within a prescribed period of time following arrest and preferably coincide with the detention hearing. Counsel should be appointed in adequate time to prepare for this hearing. Only the district attorney, the child, and the child's attorney should be permitted to file a motion for transfer. Judges should remain as arbitrators and not consider transfer as a dispositional alternative. The failure of most statutes to define transfer criteria has been attacked by the courts. This decision should be based primarily on the child's amenability to juvenile court rehabilitation facilities, as determined by psychological examinations, school records, family history, medical records, and previous contacts with the law. The transfer order should be appealable by the same parties who are entitled to file the motion. It is further recommended that juvenile courts be required to support their decisions by findings of fact. Court rulings indicate that the evidence required in a transfer proceeding should be clear and convincing proof that the child is not amenable to juvenile court treatment, but no statute at the present time contains this specification. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Judicial decisions; Juvenile codes; Juvenile court waiver; Juvenile courts
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