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Juveniles Processed in Criminal Court and Case Dispositions

NCJ Number
Date Published
93 pages
The frequency with which juveniles were sent to criminal court and the dispositions in juvenile courts were estimated using data from the National Center for Juvenile Justice for 1988 through 1992.
The analysis included estimates of the age, sex, race, and offense profiles of juveniles transferred to criminal court by juvenile court judges in seven States. Results revealed that fewer than 2 percent of the juvenile delinquency cases filed in juvenile court were transferred to criminal court. Over the study period, cases transferred by judges increased from 1.2 to 1.6 percent of formal delinquency cases. Because data were not available on the number of cases excluded by statute from juvenile court, State statutes were reviewed to identify their possible impact on juveniles. The review revealed that the laws focused mainly on serious violent offenses, juveniles with prior court records, or both. New laws enacted in many States have generally increased the population of juveniles potentially subject to being sent to criminal court, although some States have enacted laws that have not affected or have reduced these numbers. The analysis of juvenile court dispositions revealed that 43 percent of the juveniles were placed on probation, 27 percent of the cases were dismissed, 17 percent were placed in residential treatment, 12 percent received some other disposition, and about 1 percent were transferred to criminal court. Site visits to four States revealed that juveniles sentenced to adult prisons were to be subject to the same policies and procedures as adults, but youthful offenders were housed in separate prisons in three States. Tables, footnotes, and appended tables and summary of individual State laws