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Statement of James Knapp on May 19, 1983 Concerning Prosecution of Juveniles as Adults (Title XVI, Part A of S. 829) Before Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice

NCJ Number
J Knapp
Date Published
9 pages
The juvenile offender amendments of S. 829, the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1983, contain six changes to current law which are designed to strengthen the ability to proceed against juveniles who commit serious Federal offenses.
The amendments lower from 18 to 17 the age at which a person is to be prosecuted as an adult. They also permit the retention of Federal jurisdiction over a juvenile if the youth has committed a felony and the Attorney General certifies the existence of a substantial Federal interest in the case or the offense. The amendments also lower the minimum age for possible adult prosecution from 16 to 14. They also change the criteria for prosecuting a juvenile as an adult by permitting prosecution only for offenses that are crimes of violence or specified drug trafficking offenses. The proposed law also provides that a judicial determination that prosecution is in the interest of justice is not required where the juvenile has previously been found guilty of committing a violent crime or a drug trafficking offense. The amendments also enhance Federal prosecutors' ability to photograph and fingerprint juveniles who have committed serious offenses. This statement was issued by the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.