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Crossover Youth: What Do We Know?

NCJ Number
Denise C. Herz Ph.D.
Date Published
October 2009
30 pages
This document is a slide presentation on crossover youth that was presented at the Policy Forum on Crossover Issues in October 2009.
This slide presentation discusses what is known in criminal justice research about crossover youth, youth with a history of maltreatment and/or substance abuse who are involved with the juvenile justice system. The slides present a brief summary of the research examining the relationship between maltreatment and delinquency; that maltreated youth have a higher risk of delinquency and higher rates of delinquency than non-maltreated youth. In addition, the research has found that certain factors play a role in the relationship between maltreatment and delinquency, namely, age at time of maltreatment, type of placement, number of placements, and type and degree of social bonds. Other issues included in the slide presentation include the possible pathways that youth take to become crossover youth, previous research examining the prevalence of crossover youth, key characteristics of crossover youth, and demographics and characteristics of youth involved in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. The slides also present information on how the crossover youth are processed through the juvenile justice system, how various States are handling crossover youth, promising practices for identifying and working with crossover youth, and key challenges to handling crossover youth effectively.