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Juveniles Prosecuted in State Criminal Courts

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 1997
7 pages
C J DeFrances; K J Strom
Publication Series
Publication Type
This report presents information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics 1994 National Survey of Prosecutors and other Bureau of Justice Statistics statistical series, as well as data collected by the National Center for Juvenile Justice about juveniles who are processed as adults in criminal court.
Findings show that nationwide 94 percent of State court prosecutors' offices had responsibility for handling juvenile cases. Of these offices, almost two-thirds transferred at least one juvenile case to criminal court in 1994. Of these offices, 37 percent transferred at least one aggravated assault case, 35 percent at least one burglary case, 34 percent at least one robbery case, and 32 percent at least one murder case. Nineteen percent of prosecutors' offices that handled juvenile cases had a specialized unit that dealt with juvenile cases transferred to criminal court. Sixteen percent of the prosecutors' offices that handled juvenile cases had written guidelines about the transfer of juveniles to criminal court. States have developed several mechanisms to permit proceeding against alleged juvenile offenders as adults in criminal court. These mechanisms include judicial waiver, concurrent jurisdiction statutes, and statutorily excluding certain offenses from juvenile court jurisdiction. The percentage of petitioned cases judicially waivered to criminal court has remained relatively constant at about 1.4 percent since 1985. From 1985 to 1991, property offenses comprised the largest number of cases judicially waived. Since 1991 violent offenses have outnumbered property offenses as the most serious charge. Currently, no national data describe the number of juvenile cases processed in criminal court under concurrent jurisdiction or statutory exclusion provisions. 6 tables and 3 figures
Date Created: December 28, 2009