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Bulletin 1: From Juvenile Delinquency to Young Adult Offending (Study Group on the Transitions Between Juvenile Delinquency and Adult Crime)

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2013
39 pages
This first of six bulletins on the findings from the National Institute of Justice Study Group on the Transitions From Juvenile Delinquency and Adult Crime (the "Study Group") presents an overview of the main findings.
The Study Group's research shows that a small percentage of out-of-control children become life-course delinquents; however, the Study Group also found evidence that many juvenile delinquents tend to desist from offending in late adolescence and early adulthood; this decrease is accompanied by a decrease in juvenile's impulsive behavior and an increase in their self-control. The Study Group examined the differences between juvenile offenders who tend to persist in offending between adolescence and early adulthood and those who tend to desist from offending, as well as individuals who have an early adult-onset of offending. In addition, Study Group members reported on explanations of persistence in and desistance from offending, as well as how the justice system deals with offenders in the period from adolescence into early adulthood. Drawing on studies in both North America and Europe, including contributions from 32 scholars, the Study Group's focus is on the age period between mid-adolescence and early adulthood (approximately ages 15 -29). The four key groups of interest are juveniles/adults whose offending persists from adolescence into early adulthood; adults who were juvenile offenders who desisted from offending during adolescence and do not continue to offend into early adulthood; adult-onset offenders who did not offend during adolescence but who became offenders during early adulthood; and non-offenders who do not offend in either adolescence or early adulthood. These four groups are examined in general population samples, with an additional focus on special offender groups, such as drug dealers, gang members, homicide offenders, and sex offenders. Summaries are provided on various topics related to the four groups of interest, and action plans are proposed. 36 references

Date Published: July 1, 2013