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Juvenile Transfer and Recidivism: A Propensity Score Matching Approach

NCJ Number
Journal of Crime and Justice Volume: 35 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2012 Pages: 53-67
Kareem L. Jordan
Date Published
March 2012
15 pages
This study investigated the impact of juvenile transfer to adult court on subsequent recidivism.

There has been research conducted which focused on the topic of juvenile transfer to adult court. However, less research has been done focusing on the effectiveness of juvenile transfer in reducing recidivism for transferred offenders. Of the research that has been done, most may not have adequately addressed selection bias. The current study investigates the impact of juvenile transfer on subsequent recidivism, using an 8-year follow-up period. The research is based on 308 violent youth legislatively waived to adult court in Pennsylvania. Propensity score matching is used to minimize the impact of selection bias, and sensitivity analysis is performed to determine the effect of hidden bias on the results. The findings indicate that youth processed in juvenile court have a higher recidivism rate than youth processed in adult court. Implications for subsequent research and policy are discussed. (Published Abstract)