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Problem of Fit: Extreme Delinquents, Blended Sentencing, and the Determinants of Continued Adult Sanctions

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Policy Review Volume: 22 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2011 Pages: 263-284
Chad R. Trulson; Jonathan W. Caudill; Scott H. Belshaw; Matt DeLisi
Date Published
September 2011
22 pages
This study reviewed blended sentencing in juvenile justice processing.
One of the most significant changes to juvenile justice processing in recent decades has been blended sentencing. Unlike traditional juvenile court or adult court waiver processes, blended sentencing statutes provide authority to juvenile or adult court judges to sanction delinquent offenders with juvenile and adult dispositions. Although state variations abound, most blended sentencing schemes feature a fail-safe postadjudication stage where decisions are made to suspend or invoke the adult portion of the original blended sentence. Based on data from 1,504 serious and violent male delinquents sanctioned via a blended sentencing statute, this study explored the relationship of a battery of delinquent background, commitment offense, and postadjudication institutional misconduct variables on decisions to invoke or suspend the adult portion of a blended sentence. Results of the analysis revealed that commitment offense type, age at commitment and, to a lesser extent, institutional misconduct behavior weighed most heavily in decisions to invoke the adult portion of the blended sentence. (Published Abstract)