Juvenile Transfer to Criminal Court info

Juvenile Transfer to Criminal Court info - Juvenile...

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Juvenile Transfer to Criminal Court Over the past 20 years, States have significantly expanded legislation allowing for prosecution of juveniles in adult criminal court. This trend has increased in recent years to permit transfer to adult court at lower ages and for more offenses. 221 According to NCSL, 17 States in 1995 further expanded or amended their waiver statutes. 222 Today, all 50 States and the District of Columbia allow for juvenile prosecution in criminal court by one or more transfer mechanisms, according to GAO. 223 The most common mechanism is judicial waiver, which gives juvenile court judges discretion to waive juvenile cases to adult criminal court. Other transfer mechanisms include direct file, which provides prosecutorial discretion to file criminal charges against juveniles directly in criminal court, and statutory exclusion, which mandates juvenile prosecution in adult court. 224 The widespread enactment of legislation enhancing juvenile exposure to criminal prosecution is a direct response to reported escalations of juvenile violent crime in recent years. According to OJJDP, the number of serious crimes, such as murder and aggravated assault, committed by juveniles increased 68 percent from 1988 to 1992. 225 Despite recent declines, these rates may worsen, according to reports cited by the Campaign for an Effective Crime Policy (CECP), which predicts that juvenile violent offenses will continue to rise as the number of youth ages 14 to 17 increases 20 percent by the year 2005. 226 The dramatic expansion in transfer legislation is based on the premise that some offenses warrant criminal prosecution and some juveniles are beyond rehabilitation. Consequently, State legislation emphasizing accountability by violent juvenile offenders focuses on transferring serious, violent juvenile offenders and habitual offenders, according to GAO. 227 The impact of recent legislation providing for enhanced transfer is unclear. Less than 2 percent of all formal juvenile delinquency cases -- were judicially waived each year from 1988 to 1992. In 1988, only 1.2 percent of all cases were waived to adult criminal court, or 7,005 of 569,596 cases. The number of judicially waived cases steadily climbed to 11,748 of 743,673 cases in 1992, to comprise 1.6 percent of all cases. 228 Of the small number of juvenile cases waived to criminal court, more nonviolent offenders were waived than violent offenders. Nonviolent offenders comprised 66 percent of all juveniles waived to adult court in 1992, according to GAO. 229 CECP reports that nonviolent offenders represented 57 percent of all cases waived in 1993. 230 These statistics do not include juvenile transfers to criminal court via a prosecutor's exercise of concurrent jurisdiction (direct file) authority and statutory exclusion. It is unlikely that the above-mentioned statistics would change significantly, however,
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given a recent GAO survey indicating that judicial waiver accounts for the majority of juveniles prosecuted in adult court. 231
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2011 for the course EDF 2130 taught by Professor Snyder during the Fall '11 term at University of Central Florida.

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Juvenile Transfer to Criminal Court info - Juvenile...

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