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August 14, 2008

NYTimes editorial makes pitch for juve courts

Highlighting what is often really a sentencing issue, the New York Times recently published this editorial headlined, "The Case for Juvenile Courts."  Here are excerpts:

This country made a terrible mistake when it began routinely trying youthful offenders as adults. This get-tough approach was supposed to deter crime. But a growing number of government-financed studies have shown that minors prosecuted as adults commit more crimes — and are more likely to become career criminals — than ones processed through juvenile courts.

The value of specialized courts for young people is underscored in a new report from the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  After evaluating the available research, it concludes that transferring juveniles for trial and sentencing to an adult criminal court has increased recidivism, especially among violent offenders, and has led many young people to a permanent life of crime....

Nearly every state now has laws that encourage prosecutors to try minors as adults.  The recent studies of this approach should lead legislatures to abandon these counterproductive policies.

The report referenced here is titled "Juvenile Transfer Laws: An Effective Deterrent to Delinquency?" and is available at this link.   Here is a summary paragraph from that report:

Several studies have found higher recidivism rates for juveniles convicted in criminal court than for similar offenders adjudicated in juvenile courts. The research is less clear, however, in regard to whether transfer laws deter potential juvenile offenders.

August 14, 2008 at 02:28 PM | Permalink


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"The research is less clear, however, in regard to whether transfer laws deter potential juvenile offenders."

That's the same research problem with capital punishment serving as a general deterrence.

Posted by: | Aug 14, 2008 7:19:44 PM

Lascio un salutino. Ciao! Andrea

Posted by: Forza Juventus | Oct 28, 2008 7:55:17 AM

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