U.S. Department of Justice, Office Of Justice Programs, Innovation - Partnerships - Safer Neighborhoods
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Working for Youth Justice and Safety
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logo jump over products navigation bar
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logoAbout SSBFrequently Asked QuestionsPublicationsData Analysis ToolsNational Data SetsOther ResourcesAsk a Question
Juvenile Population Characteristics
Juveniles as Victims
Juveniles as Offenders
Juvenile Justice System Structure & Process
Related FAQs
Related Publications
Related Links
Case Flow Diagram
Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juveniles in Court
Juveniles on Probation
Juveniles in Corrections
Juvenile Reentry & Aftercare
Special Topics
Data Snapshot
Statistical Briefing Book Home

OJJDP logo

Juveniled Justice System Structure & Process
Jurisdictional Boundaries
Q: Are emancipated juveniles tried in the adult criminal justice system?
A: Not always. Of the 36 states that have statutory emancipation procedures, juvenile emancipation implies automatic adult status and trial in the criminal justice system in 5 states (Connecticut, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Wyoming).

Juvenile Emancipation, 2011

State Allow
juvenile emancipation
Emancipation implies
adult status
Emancipation does not
imply adult status

Number of states 36 5 8

Alabama X
Alaska X
Arizona X

Arkansas X X
California X
Colorado X

Connecticut X X
District of Columbia

Florida X
Georgia X
Hawaii* X X

Illinois X
Indiana X X

Iowa X X
Kansas X
Kentucky* X

Louisiana X
Maine X

Michigan X

Mississippi X
Missouri* X
Montana X

Nevada X X
New Hampshire

New Jersey
New Mexico X
New York

North Carolina X X
North Dakota
Ohio* X

Oklahoma X
Oregon X X

Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota X

Tennessee X
Texas X
Utah X X

Vermont X X
Virginia X
Washington X X

West Virginia X X
Wyoming X X

*These 4 states have limited emancipation procedures.

  • Juvenile emancipation is a legal mechanism by which a juvenile is freed from parental or guardian control.
  • States differ in their policy and procedures for emancipating juveniles. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have no statutory emancipation procedures.
  • An "X" in a column denotes that the state explicitly addresses emancipation in statute. States that do not have an "X" may have practices that are related to the status of emancipated juveniles; however these practices are not explicitly addressed in statute.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/qa04126.asp?qaDate=2011. Released on September 24, 2013.

Developed for the State Training and Technical Assistance Center by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ), with funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The following NCJJ staff contributed to this state profile: Sean Addie, Teri Deal, Kathy Firestine, Anne Fromknecht, Hunter Hurst, Anne Rackow, Crystal Robson, Linda Szymanski, Lauren Vessels, and Andrew Wachter.


USA.gov | Privacy | Policies & Disclaimers | FOIA | Site Map | Ask a Question | OJJDP Home
A component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice