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Predicting Sentencing Outcomes and Time Served for Juveniles Transferred to Criminal Court in a Rural Northwestern State

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 33 Issue: 6 Dated: November/December 2005 Pages: 601-610
Date Published
November 2005
10 pages
Using data from Idaho, a primarily rural northwestern State, multivariate analyses sought to identify variables that predicted sentencing outcomes and the amount of time served by juveniles waived to adult criminal court.
Information was collected on all of the offenders under 18 years old who entered the Idaho Department of Corrections system between 1995 and 1999. A total of 102 juveniles 17 years old and under were waived to criminal court between 1995 and 1999; 98 percent were male. Since juveniles in Idaho could be waived to adult criminal court only when they reached the age of 14, the sample included only juveniles ages 14 to 17 years old. Those waived were typically older and charged with violent offenses. Sentencing options for convicted waived juveniles were prison, probation, and retained jurisdiction (rider). The "rider" was a boot camp style facility intended to foster confidence and self-esteem. The length of time served consisted of the total number of days in custody, since Idaho has a parole system. Forty-eight percent of the sample received the rider sentence, compared to 32 percent who received probation and 20 percent who were imprisoned. The juveniles waived to criminal court did not typically serve long periods in adult facilities; the median amount of time served was 188 days. With few exceptions, the multivariate analyses showed that the variables assessed did not individually improve the prediction of whether or not a juvenile would receive a particular sentence or serve more time. This study supports findings from previous studies that suggest waiving juveniles to adult criminal court does not necessarily mean they will be incarcerated or serve long periods in prison, even though the Idaho waiver legislation likely intended that this should be the consequence. 5 tables and 36 references


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