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Unformatted text preview: NOTE: CHILDREN AS ADULTS: THE TRANSFER OF JUVENILES TO ADULT COURTS AND THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF ROPER V. SIMMONS Enrico Pagnanelli * American Criminal Law Review Winter, 2007 44 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 175 Three independent studies conducted across the nation concluded that the automatic transfer process of juveniles to the adult criminal system increased the recidivism rate of these juveniles. Enrico Pagnanelli explains: In his study, Jeffrey Fagan examined the recidivism rates of fifteen and sixteen-year-olds charged with robbery. He compared the recidivism rate of such youths charged in criminal court under New York's automatic transfer statute to those charged in New Jersey's juvenile court and found a significant increase in the recidivism of juveniles who had been transferred to the adult system. Another study, analyzing recidivism rates among 2,738 juvenile offenders in Florida, found that recidivism was more likely and more severe for juveniles transferred to criminal courts. Similarly, a study in Minnesota found higher recidivism over a two-year period among juveniles who had been waived to adult court when compared to those who had stayed within the juvenile system. n67 Arguably, the transfer of violent juvenile offenders only increases their likelihood of re-offending and has thus failed the inherent objective of transfer: protecting the public. Placing juveniles in the adult criminal justice system integrates the criminal ideology into their identity. Enrico Pagnanelli explains: Transfer has a significant negative effect on a juvenile's development and may, therefore, be a direct cause of increased recidivism among transferred violent juvenile offenders relative to their counterparts...
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