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Juveniled Justice System Structure & Process
Jurisdictional Boundaries
Q: Do juvenile courts lose jurisdiction over juvenile offenders when they turn 18?
A: Juvenile court authority over a youth for dispositional purposes in delinquency matters may extend beyond the upper age of original jurisdiction.

Extended age of juvenile court jurisdiction, 2009

State Age 18 Age 19 Age 20 Age 21 Age 22 Age 24 Full term of
disposition order

Number of states 7 1 34 1 1 4 3

Alabama X
Alaska X
Arizona* X

Arkansas X
California X
Colorado X

Connecticut X
Delaware X
District of Columbia X

Florida X
Georgia X
Hawaii X

Idaho X
Illinois X
Indiana X

Iowa X
Kansas X
Kentucky X

Louisiana X
Maine X
Maryland X

Massachusetts X
Michigan X
Minnesota X

Mississippi X
Missouri X
Montana X

Nebraska X
Nevada** X
New Hampshire X

New Jersey X
New Mexico X
New York X

North Carolina X
North Dakota X
Ohio X

Oklahoma X
Oregon X
Pennsylvania X

Rhode Island X
South Carolina X
South Dakota X

Tennessee X
Texas X
Utah X

Vermont X
Virginia X
Washington X

West Virginia X
Wisconsin X
Wyoming X

Notes: Extended jurisdiction may be restricted to certain offenses or juveniles. * Arizona statute extends jurisdiction through age 20, but a 1979 state supreme court decision held that juvenile court jurisdiction terminates at age 18. ** The Nevada statute extends jurisdiction until the full term of the disposition order for sex offenders.

  • Through extended jurisdiction mechanisms, legislatures enable the court to provide sanctions and services for a duration of time that is in the best interests of the juvenile and the public, even for older juveniles who have reached the age at which original juvenile court jurisdiction ends.
  • Extended jurisdiction may be restricted to certain offenses or juveniles (such as violent offenses, habitual offenders, and juveniles under correctional commitment).
  • In some States, the juvenile court may actually impose adult correctional sanctions on certain adjudicated delinquents that extend the term of confinement well beyond the upper age of juvenile jurisdiction. Such sentencing options are included in the set of dispositional options known as blended sentencing.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/qa04106.asp?qaDate=2009. Released on April 22, 2011.

Material originally compiled by P. Griffin for the National Center for Juvenile Justice's State Juvenile Justice Profiles website.

 

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