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The Recidivism of Violent Youth in Juvenile and Adult Court: A Consideration of Selection Bias

NCJ Number
Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice Volume: 1 Issue: 1 Dated: 2003 Pages: 79-101
Date Published
23 pages

The results of this study suggest heightened recidivism among youths transferred to the adult criminal justice system.


This study examined whether increased efforts to transfer juveniles to the adult criminal justice system backfire because waived youths generally exhibit greater recidivism compared to similar offenders retained in juvenile court. The findings suggest heightened recidivism among the transferred youths. This study examined this issue for 494 violent youths from Pennsylvania, of whom 79 were waived to adult court and 415 were retained in juvenile court. The likelihood, seriousness, and timing of their recidivism were analyzed, with a statistical control for selection bias included. One concern with this research is the possibility of selection bias, meaning that the findings could be explained as merely a simple consequence of the highest risk youth being transferred.  (Published Abstract Provided) 

Date Published: January 1, 2003