U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 1992; How Juveniles Get to Criminal Court; The Juvenile Court's Response to Violent Crime (From Exploring Delinquency: Causes and Control, P 9-12, 1996, Dean G Rojek and Gary F Jensen, eds. -- See NCJ-165981)

NCJ Number
J A Butts; M Sickmund; V L Speirs
Date Published
4 pages
Excerpts from government reports illustrate the processing of delinquency cases, the mechanisms for trying juveniles as adults, and the outcome of adult versus juvenile processing of similar cases of serious crimes.
The first section of this paper focuses on data for delinquency cases in U.S. juvenile courts in 1992. Data on court case processing address detention; the intake decision, adjudication and disposition; and the gender, age, and race of juvenile offenders processed in 1992. The second section of the paper discusses how juveniles get to criminal court. It notes that all States allow juveniles to be tried as adults in criminal court under certain circumstances. A juvenile's case can be transferred to criminal court for trial in one of three ways: judicial waiver, prosecutorial discretion, or statutory exclusion from juvenile court jurisdiction. In any State, one or a combination of these three mechanisms may be in place. Information and data on the use of each of these mechanisms are provided. The third and final section of the paper focuses on the juvenile court's response to violent crime. The author argues that many assume that for similar offenses adults receive more severe dispositions in criminal court than do juveniles in juvenile court; researchers compared the handling of similar cases in both courts to assess this view. Researchers, using data collected by the Offender-Based Tracking System, compared the processing of adults in criminal court with the processing of older youth (16 and 17 years old) in juvenile court. Overall, 59 percent of the juveniles charged with violent acts were transferred to criminal court or placed in residential facilities or on formal probation, while only 46 percent of adults charged with a violent crime were incarcerated or placed on probation.