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Juveniled Justice System Structure & Process
Juveniles Tried as Adults
Q: How do juvenile court blended sentencing provisions vary by state?
A: As with transfer laws, state's juvenile court blended sentencing provisions are limited by age and offense criteria.

Juvenile court blended sentencing offense and minimum age criteria, 2011

State Minimum age for juvenile court blended sentencing
    Juvenile court blended sentencing offense and minimum age criteria    
Any criminal offense Certain felonies Capital crimes Murder Certain person offenses Certain property offenses Certain drug offenses Certain weapon offenses

Alaska 16 16
Arkansas NS 14 NS 14 14
Colorado NS NS NS

Connecticut NS 14 NS
Illinois 13 13
Kansas 10 10

Massachusetts 14 14 14 14
Michigan NS NS NS NS NS NS
Minnesota 14 14

Montana NS 12 NS NS NS NS NS
New Mexico 14 14 14 14 14
Ohio 10 10 10

Rhode Island NS NS
Texas NS NS NS NS NS

Note: Ages in the minimum age column may not apply to all offense restrictions, but represent the youngest possible age at which a juvenile may be judicially waived to criminal court. "NS" indicates that no minimum age is specified.

  • Blended sentencing laws address the correctional system (juvenile or adult) in which certain offenders of juvenile age will be sanctioned. Such statutes can be placed into two general categories: juvenile court blended sentencing and criminal court blended sentencing.
  • With juvenile court blended sentencing, the juvenile court has the authority to impose adult criminal sanctions on certain juvenile offenders. The majority of such laws authorize the juvenile court to combine a juvenile disposition with a criminal sentence that is suspended. If the youth successfully completes the juvenile disposition, the criminal sanction is not imposed. If, however, the youth does not cooperate or fails in the juvenile sanctioning system, the adult criminal sanction is imposed.
  • As of the end of the 2011 legislative session, 14 states had blended sentencing laws that enable juvenile courts to impose criminal sanctions on certain juvenile offenders.
  • Although the impact of juvenile blended sentencing laws depends on the specific provisions - which vary by state - in general, juvenile court blended sentencing expands the sanctioning powers of the juvenile court such that juvenile offenders may face the same penalties as adult offenders.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/qa04113.asp?qaDate=2011. Released on December 17, 2012.

 

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