Juvenile Transfers to Adult Criminal Court

All States allow juveniles under certain conditions to be tried in criminal courts through one or more transfer mechanisms (e.g., judicial waiver, pro-secutorial direct file, statutory exclusion). By 1996, every State in the country had enacted policies or legislation designed to increase the number of juveniles whose cases could be sent to criminal court. What is the impact of these practices? Under what circumstances are juveniles transferred to criminal court? What are the outcomes of these cases? The Research Division currently has three studies under way seeking answers to these and other questions. Practices in selected jurisdictions in Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Utah are being studied. Some issues being examined include characteristics that determine whether a case is transferred, dynamics of jurisdictions in which case transfers occur, and differences between transferred and nontransferred cases in terms of sentencing, services, and recidivism.

Juvenile Transfer Studies

  • Comparative Impact of Juvenile versus Criminal Court Sanctions on Recidivism Among Adolescent Felony Offenders: A Replication and Extension, conducted by Jeffrey Fagan, Ph.D., Columbia School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY.

  • Juvenile Transfers to Criminal Court Studies, conducted by Stephen Walters-Chapman, Ph.D., Juvenile Justice Advisory Board of Joint Legislative Management Committee, Tallahassee, FL.

  • Project to Study the Outcome of Juvenile Transfer to Criminal Court, conducted by Howard N. Snyder, Ph.D., The National Center for Juvenile Justice, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Pittsburgh, PA.

OJJDP Research: Making a Difference for Juveniles August 1999