Trying Juveniles as Adults: An Analysis of State Transfer Laws and Reporting Patrick Griffin, Sean Addie, Benjamin Adams, and Kathy Firestine

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1 U.S. Departmet of Justice Office of Justice Programs Office of Juveile Justice ad Deliquecy Prevetio Natioal Report Series September 2011 This bulleti is part of the Juveile Offeders ad Victims Natioal Report Series. The Natioal Report offers a comprehesive statistical overview of the problems of juveile crime, violece, ad victimizatio ad the respose of the juveile justice system. Durig each iterim year, the bulletis i the Natioal Report Series provide access to the latest iformatio o juveile arrests, court cases, juveiles i custody, ad other topics of iterest. Each bulleti i the series highlights selected topics at the forefrot of juveile justice policymakig, givig readers focused access to statistics o some of the most critical issues. Together, the Natioal Report ad this series provide a baselie of facts for juveile justice professioals, policymakers, the media, ad cocered citizes. Tryig Juveiles as Adults: A Aalysis of State Trasfer Laws ad Reportig Patrick Griffi, Sea Addie, Bejami Adams, ad Kathy Firestie A Message From OJJDP I the 1980s ad 1990s, legislatures i early every state expaded trasfer laws that allowed or required the prosecutio of juveiles i adult crimial courts. The impact of these historic chages is difficult to assess iasmuch as there are o atioal data sets that track youth who have bee tried ad seteced i the crimial justice system. Moreover, state data are hard to fid ad eve more difficult to assess accurately. I additio to providig the latest overview of state trasfer laws ad practices, this bulleti comprehesively examies available state-level data o juveiles adjudicated i the crimial justice system. I documetig state reportig practices regardig the crimial processig of youth ad idetifyig critical iformatio gaps, it represets a importat step forward i uderstadig the impact of state trasfer laws. Curretly, oly 13 states publicly report the total umber of their trasfers, ad eve fewer report offese profiles, demographic characteristics, or details regardig processig ad setecig. Although early 14,000 trasfers ca be derived from available 2007 sources, data from 29 states are missig from that total. To obtai the critical iformatio that policymakers, plaers, ad other cocered citizes eed to assess the impact of expaded trasfer laws, we must exted our kowledge of the prosecutio of juveiles i crimial courts. The iformatio provided i these pages ad the processes used to attai it will help iform the focus ad desig of additioal federally sposored research to that ed. Jeff Slowikowski Actig Admiistrator Access OJJDP publicatios olie at ojjdp.gov

2 All states set boudaries where childhood eds ad adult crimial resposibility begis Trasfer laws alter the usual jurisdictioal age boudaries for exceptioal cases State juveile courts with deliquecy jurisdictio hadle cases i which juveiles are accused of acts that would be crimes if adults committed them. Geerally, these terms are defied solely by age. I most states, youth accused of violatig the law before turig 18 years old come uder the origial jurisdictio of the juveile courts, whereas those accused of violatig the law o or after their 18th birthdays have their cases processed i crimial courts. Some states draw the juveile/adult lie at the 17th birthday, ad a few draw it at the 16th birthday. However, all states have trasfer laws that allow or require crimial prosecutio of some youg offeders, eve though they fall o the juveile side of the jurisdictioal age lie. Trasfer laws are ot ew, but legislative chages i recet decades have greatly expaded their scope. As a result, the trasfer exceptio has become a far more promiet feature of the atio s respose to youthful offedig. Most states have multiple trasfer mechaisms Trasfer laws vary cosiderably from state to state, particularly i terms of flexibility ad breadth of coverage, but all fall ito three basic categories: Judicial waiver laws allow juveile courts to waive jurisdictio o a caseby-case basis, opeig the way for crimial prosecutio. A case that is subject to waiver is filed origially i juveile court but may be trasferred with a judge s approval, based o articulated stadards, followig a formal hearig. Eve though all states set miimum thresholds ad prescribe stadards for waiver, the waiver decisio is usually at the discretio of the judge. However, some states make waiver presumptive i certai classes of cases, ad some eve specify circumstaces uder which waiver is madatory. Prosecutorial discretio or cocurret jurisdictio laws defie a class of cases that may be brought i either juveile or crimial court. No hearig is held to determie which court is appropriate, ad there may be o formal stadards for decidig betwee them. The decisio is etrusted etirely to the prosecutor. Statutory exclusio laws grat crimial courts exclusive jurisdictio over certai classes of cases ivolvig juveile-age offeders. If a case falls withi a statutory exclusio category, it must be filed origially i crimial court. All states have at least oe of the above kids of trasfer law. I additio, may have oe or more of the followig: Oce adult/always adult laws are a special form of exclusio requirig crimial prosecutio of ay juveile who has bee crimially prosecuted i the past usually without regard to the seriousess of the curret offese. Reverse waiver laws allow juveiles whose cases are i crimial court to petitio to have them trasferred to juveile court. Bleded setecig laws may either provide juveile courts with crimial setecig optios (juveile bleded setecig) or allow crimial courts to impose juveile dispositios (crimial bleded setecig). Nearly all states give courts discretio to waive jurisdictio over idividual cases A total of 45 states have laws desigatig some category of cases i which waiver of jurisdictio may be cosidered, geerally o the prosecutor s motio, ad grated o a discretioary basis. This is the oldest ad still the most commo form of trasfer law, although most states have other, less traditioal forms as well. Discretioary waiver statutes prescribe broad stadards to be applied, factors to be cosidered, ad procedures to be followed i waiver decisiomakig ad require that prosecutors bear the burde of provig that waiver is appropriate. Although waiver stadards ad evidetiary factors vary from state to state, most take ito accout both the ature of the alleged crime ad the idividual youth s age, maturity, history, ad rehabilitative prospects. I additio, most states set a miimum threshold for waiver eligibility: geerally a miimum age ad a specified type or level of offese, ad sometimes a sufficietly serious record of previous deliquecy. Waiver thresholds are ofte quite low, however. I a few states such as Alaska, Kasas, ad Washigto prosecutors may ask the court to waive virtually ay juveile deliquecy case. As a practical matter, however, eve i these states, waivers are likely to be relatively rare. Natioally, the proportio of juveile cases i which prosecutors seek waiver is ot kow, but waiver is grated i less tha 1% of petitioed deliquecy cases. 2 Natioal Report Series Bulleti

3 Most states have multiple ways to impose adult sactios o offeders of juveile age State Judicial waiver Prosecutorial Statutory Reverse Oce a adult Bleded setecig Discretioary Presumptive Madatory discretio exclusio waiver always a adult Juveile Crimial Number of states Alabama Alaska Arizoa Arkasas Califoria Colorado Coecticut Delaware Dist. Of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illiois Idiaa Iowa Kasas Ketucky Louisiaa Maie Marylad Massachusetts Michiga Miesota Mississippi Missouri Motaa Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolia North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Orego Pesylvaia Rhode Islad South Carolia South Dakota Teessee Texas Utah Vermot Virgiia Washigto West Virgiia Wiscosi Wyomig Note: Table iformatio is as of the ed of the 2009 legislative sessio. September

4 Most states allow juveile court judges to waive jurisdictio over certai cases ad trasfer them to crimial court State Ay crimial offese Alabama 14 Alaska Arizoa NS Certai feloies NS Capital crimes Murder Certai perso offeses Certai property offeses Certai drug offeses Certai weapo offeses Arkasas Califoria 16 Colorado Delaware NS Dist. of Columbia NS Florida 14 Georgia Hawaii 14 NS Idaho 14 NS NS NS NS NS Illiois 13 Idiaa Iowa 14 Kasas 10 Ketucky Louisiaa Maie NS Marylad 15 NS Michiga 14 Miesota 14 Mississippi 13 Missouri 12 Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey North Carolia 13 North Dakota Ohio 14 Oklahoma NS Orego 15 NS NS 15 Pesylvaia 14 Rhode Islad NS 16 NS South Carolia NS NS South Dakota Teessee 16 NS NS NS Texas Utah 14 Vermot Virgiia 14 Washigto NS West Virgiia NS NS NS NS NS Wiscosi Wyomig 13 Notes: A etry i the colum below a offese category meas that there is at least oe offese i that category for which a juveile may be waived from juveile court to crimial court. The umber idicates the yougest possible age at which a juveile accused of a offese i that category may be waived. NS meas o age restrictio is specified for a offese i that category. Table iformatio is as of the ed of the 2009 legislative sessio. I presumptive waiver cases, the burde of proof shifts to the juveile I 15 states, presumptive waiver laws defie a category of cases i which waiver from juveile to crimial court is presumed appropriate. Statutes i these states leave the decisio i the hads of a judge but weight it i favor of trasfer. A juveile who meets age, offese, or other statutory thresholds for presumptive waiver must preset evidece rebuttig the presumptio, or the court will grat waiver ad the case will be tried i crimial court. State laws may require juveile court judges to waive jurisdictio i certai cases Fiftee states require juveile courts to waive jurisdictio over cases that meet specified age/offese or prior record criteria. Cases subject to madatory waiver are iitiated i juveile court, but the court has o other role tha to cofirm that the statutory requiremets for madatory waiver are met. Fuctioally, a madatory waiver law resembles a statutory exclusio, removig a desigated category of cases from juveile court jurisdictio. However, the juveile court may retai power to make ecessary orders relatig to appoitmet of cousel, detetio, ad other prelimiary matters. Nojudicial trasfer cases bypass juveile courts altogether Oly 15 states ow rely solely o traditioal hearig-based, judicially cotrolled forms of trasfer: Coecticut, Hawaii, Kasas, Ketucky, Maie, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolia, 4 Natioal Report Series Bulleti

5 North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Islad, Teessee, Texas, ad West Virgiia. I these states, all cases agaist juveile-age offeders (except those who have already bee crimially prosecuted oce) begi i juveile court ad must be literally trasferred, by idividual court order, to courts with crimial jurisdictio. I all other states, cases agaist some accused juveiles are filed directly i crimial court. Youth subject to direct crimial filig i these states may evertheless be etitled to make a idividualized case for juveile hadlig at reverse waiver hearigs before crimial court judges. Not all states allow this, however, ad others do ot allow it i some categories of cases. Prosecutors discretio to opt for crimial hadlig is ofte ufettered Laws i 15 states desigate some category of cases i which both juveile ad crimial courts have jurisdictio, so prosecutors may choose to file i either oe court or the other. The choice is cosidered to be withi the prosecutor s executive discretio, comparable with the chargig decisio. I fact, prosecutorial discretio laws are usually silet regardig stadards, protocols, or appropriate cosideratios for decisiomakig. Eve i those few states where statutes provide some geeral guidace to prosecutors, or at least require them to develop their ow decisiomakig guidelies, there is o hearig, o evidetiary record, ad o opportuity for defedats to test (or eve to kow) the basis for a prosecutor s decisio to proceed i crimial court. As a result, it is possible that prosecutorial discretio laws i some places operate like statutory exclusios, sweepig whole categories ito crimial court with little or o idividualized cosideratio. Some states desigate circumstaces i which the burde of proof i a waiver hearig is shifted to the juveile State Alaska Ay crimial offese Certai feloies Capital crimes Murder Certai perso offeses NS Certai property offeses Certai drug offeses Certai weapo offeses Califoria Colorado* Dist. Of Columbia Illiois Kasas Maie NS NS Miesota 16 Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey North Dakota Pesylvaia Rhode Islad* NS Utah * I Colorado ad Rhode Islad, the presumptio is applied agaist juveiles with certai kids of histories. I the District of Columbia, Kasas, ad Nevada, the presumptio applies to ay offese committed with a firearm. Notes: A etry i the colum below a offese category meas that there is at least oe offese i that category for which a juveile is presumed to be a appropriate cadidate for waiver to crimial court. The umber idicates the yougest possible age at which a juveile accused of a offese i that category is subject to the presumptio. NS meas o age restrictio is attached to the presumptio for a offese i that category. Table iformatio is as of the ed of the 2009 legislative sessio. I some states, waiver is madatory oce the juveile court judge determies that certai statutory criteria have bee met Certai Certai Certai Certai State Certai feloies Capital crimes Murder perso offeses property offeses drug offeses weapo offeses Coecticut Delaware 15 NS NS Georgia Illiois 15 Idiaa NS 16 Ketucky 14 Louisiaa New Jersey North Carolia 13 North Dakota Ohio Rhode Islad South Carolia 14 Virgiia West Virgiia Notes: A etry i the colum below a offese category meas that there is at least oe offese i that category for which waiver to crimial court is madatory. The umber idicates the yougest possible age at which a juveile accused of a offese i that category is subject to madatory waiver. NS meas o age restrictio is specified for a offese i that category. Table iformatio is as of the ed of the 2009 legislative sessio. September

6 Statutory exclusio laws restrict juveile courts deliquecy jurisdictio A total of 29 states have statutes that simply exclude some juveile-age offeders from the jurisdictio of their juveile courts, geerally by defiig the term child for deliquecy purposes to leave out youth who meet certai age/offese or prior record criteria. Because such youth caot by defiitio be deliquet childre, their cases are hadled etirely i crimial court. May states make o distictio betwee miors ad adults i eforcig traffic, boatig, hutig, fishig ad similar laws ad ordiaces ad may process all violatios i crimial courts. Statutory exclusio laws are differet, however, i that they make special exceptios for offedig behavior that would otherwise be the resposibility of juveile deliquecy courts. Murder is the offese most commoly sigled out by statutory exclusio laws. I Massachusetts, Miesota, ad New Mexico, exclusio laws apply oly to accused murderers. I all other states with exclusio statutes, murder is icluded alog with other serious or violet feloies. Some states exclude less serious offeses, especially where older juveiles or those with serious deliquecy histories are ivolved. Motaa law excludes 17-year-olds accused of a wide rage of offeses, icludig attempted burglary, attempted arso, ad attempted drug possessio. Mississippi excludes all feloies that 17-year-olds commit as well as armed feloies that juveiles 13 or older commit. Utah excludes all feloies committed by 16-year-olds who have already bee securely cofied oce, ad Arizoa excludes all feloies committed by those as youg as 15, provided they have previously bee disposed as juveiles more tha oce for feloy-level offeses. Some states allow prosecutors to file certai categories of cases i juveile or crimial court Ay Certai Certai Certai Certai crimial Certai Capital perso property drug weapo State offese feloies crimes Murder offeses offeses offeses offeses Arizoa 14 Arkasas Califoria Colorado Dist. of Columbia Florida NS Georgia NS Louisiaa Michiga Motaa Nebraska 16 NS Oklahoma Vermot 16 Virgiia Wyomig Notes: A etry i the colum below a offese category meas that there is at least oe offese i that category that is subject to crimial prosecutio at the optio of the prosecutor. The umber idicates the yougest possible age at which a juveile accused of a offese i that category is subject to crimial prosecutio. NS meas o age restrictio is specified for a offese i that category. Table iformatio is as of the ed of the 2009 legislative sessio. May states exclude certai serious offeses from juveile court jurisdictio Ay Certai Certai Certai Certai crimial Certai Capital perso property drug weapo State offese feloies crimes Murder offeses offeses offeses offeses Alabama Alaska Arizoa Califoria Delaware 15 Florida 16 NS Georgia Idaho Illiois Idiaa Iowa Louisiaa Marylad Massachusetts 14 Miesota 16 Mississippi Motaa Nevada 16* NS NS 16 New Mexico 15 New York Oklahoma 13 Orego Pesylvaia NS 15 South Carolia 16 South Dakota 16 Utah Vermot Washigto Wiscosi * I Nevada, the exclusio applies to ay juveile with a previous feloy adjudicatio, regardless of the curret offese charged, if the curret offese ivolves the use or threateed use of a firearm. Notes: A etry i the colum below a offese category meas that there is at least oe offese i that category that is excluded from juveile court jurisdictio. The umber idicates the yougest possible age at which a juveile accused of a offese i that category is subject to exclusio. NS meas o age restrictio is specified for a offese i that category. Table iformatio is as of the ed of the 2009 legislative sessio. 6 Natioal Report Series Bulleti

7 I most states, crimial prosecutio reders a juveile a adult forever There is a special form of automatic trasfer i 34 states for juveiles who have previously bee prosecuted as adults. Most of these oce adult/always adult laws are comprehesive, madatig crimial hadlig of all posttrasfer offeses. However, Marylad, Michiga, Miesota, ad Texas have laws that apply oly to posttrasfer feloies, whereas Iowa, Califoria, ad Orego require that the juveiles ivolved be at least 16. Geerally, oce adult/always adult laws apply oly to juveiles who were covicted of the offeses for which they were origially trasferred. However, this is ot ecessary i all states, at least if the origial trasfer was based o a idividualized judicial determiatio. Rhode Islad NS May states give courts special flexibility i hadlig youth subject to trasfer Eve states with automatic or prosecutorcotrolled trasfer laws ofte have compesatig mechaisms that itroduce some form of idividualized judicial cosideratio ito the process. The most straightforward of these corrective mechaisms is the reverse waiver. A total of 24 states have reverse waiver laws, which allow juveiles whose cases are filed i crimial court to petitio to have them removed to juveile court, either for trial or dispositio. Crimial court judges decidig reverse waiver motios usually cosult the same kids of stadards ad weigh the same factors as their juveile court couterparts i discretioary waiver proceedigs but the burde of proof may be shifted to the juveile as Some states give juveile courts power to impose crimial sactios i certai categories of cases Ay crimial Certai Capital Certai perso Certai property Certai drug Certai weapo State offese feloies crimes Murder offeses offeses offeses offeses Alaska 16 Arkasas 14 NS Colorado NS NS Coecticut 14 NS Illiois 13 Kasas 10 Massachusetts Michiga NS NS NS NS NS Miesota 14 Motaa 12 NS NS NS NS NS New Mexico Ohio Texas NS NS NS NS Notes: A etry i the colum below a offese category meas that there is at least oe offese i that category for which a juveile may receive a bleded setece i juveile court. The umber idicates the yougest possible age at which a juveile committig a offese i that category is subject to bleded setecig. NS idicates that, i at least oe of the offese restrictios idicated, o miimum age is specified. Table iformatio is as of the ed of the 2009 legislative sessio. the movig party. Moreover, eve i states that have a reverse waiver optio, it is ot ecessarily afforded to all trasferred youth: 10 states with reverse waiver laws explicitly limit its availability. Bleded setecig laws are also desiged to provide a measure of idividualizatio ad flexibility i cases subject to trasfer. Laws i 18 states authorize their crimial courts, i setecig juveiles who have bee tried ad covicted as adults, to impose juveile dispositios rather tha crimial oes uder some circumstaces. Such crimial bleded setecig statutes ca fuctio somewhat like reverse waiver laws, returig trasferred juveiles o a idividual basis to the juveile correctioal system for treatmet ad rehabilitatio. However, they ofte require that a trasferred juveile receive a suspeded crimial setece, over ad above ay juveile dispositio. I ay case, here agai, crimial bleded setecig is commoly authorized oly for a subset of those youth who are crimially covicted. Juveile bleded setecig laws i 14 states are sometimes see as providig a last chace alterative for youth who would otherwise be trasferred. A youth subject to the most commo form of juveile bleded setecig is tried i juveile court ad give a juveile dispositio but i combiatio with a suspeded crimial setece. Although this may be preferable to straight crimial hadlig, the practical effects of juveile bleded setecig statutes are ot well uderstood. Because juveile bleded setecig thresholds are actually lower tha trasfer thresholds i most states, there is a possibility that such laws, istead of providig a mitigatig alterative to trasfer, are istead beig used for a ibetwee category of cases that would ot otherwise have bee trasferred at all. September

8 State trasfer laws chaged radically i the closig decades of the 20th cetury Before 1970, trasfer i most states was courtordered o a case-bycase basis Laws allowig juveile courts to waive jurisdictio over idividual youth, sedig hard cases to crimial courts for adult prosecutio, could be foud i some of the earliest juveile codes ad have always bee relatively commo. Most states had eacted such judicial waiver laws by the 1950s, ad they had become early uiversal by the 1970s. Automatic trasfer laws proliferated i the decades after 1970 Pre-1970: DC For the most part, these laws left trasfer decisios to the discretio of juveile court judges. Laws that made trasfer automatic for certai categories either by madatig waiver or by requirig that some charges be filed iitially i crimial court were rare ad teded to apply oly to rare offeses such as murder or capital crimes. Before 1970, oly eight states had such laws. 1985: "Automatic" trasfer laws (8) DC Laws givig prosecutors the optio to charge some juveiles i crimial court were eve rarer. Oly two states Florida ad Georgia had prosecutorial discretio laws before : "Automatic" trasfer laws (20) States adopted ew trasfer mechaisms i the 1970s ad 1980s DC Durig the ext two decades, automatic ad prosecutor-cotrolled forms of trasfer proliferated steadily. I the 1970s aloe, five states eacted ew prosecutorial discretio laws, ad seve more states adopted some form of automatic trasfer. "Automatic" trasfer laws (38) By the mid-1980s, early all states had judicial waiver laws, 20 states had automatic trasfer laws, ad 7 states had prosecutorial discretio laws. Sources: Pre-1970 ad 1985 maps adapted from Feld s The Juveile Court Meets the Priciple of the Offese: Legislative Chages to Juveile Waiver Statutes ad Hutzler s Juveiles as Crimials: 1980 Statutes Aalysis. 8 Natioal Report Series Bulleti

9 The surge i youth violece that peaked i 1994 helped shape curret trasfer laws as did prosecutorial discretio laws Pre-1970: Prosecutorial discretio laws (2) DC State trasfer laws i their curret form are largely the product of a period of itese legislative activity that bega i the latter half of the 1980s ad cotiued through the ed of the 1990s. Prompted i part by public cocer ad media focus o the rise i violet youth crime that bega i 1987 ad peaked i 1994, legislatures i early every state revised or rewrote their laws to lower thresholds ad broade eligibility for trasfer, shift trasfer decisiomakig authority from judges to prosecutors, ad replace idividualized discretio with automatic ad categorical mechaisms. 1985: 2000: Prosecutorial discretio laws (7) DC Betwee 1986 ad the ed of the 1990s, the umber of states with automatic trasfer laws jumped from 20 to 38, ad the umber with prosecutorial discretio laws rose from 7 to 15. Moreover, may states that had automatic or prosecutorcotrolled trasfer statutes expaded their coverage i such a way as to chage their essetial character. I Pesylvaia, for example, a exclusio law had bee o the books sice 1933 but had applied oly to cases of murder. Amedmets that took effect i 1996 trasformed what had bee a arrow ad rarely used safety valve ito a broad exclusio coverig a log list of violet offeses. DC I recet years, trasfer laws have chaged little Prosecutorial discretio laws (15) Sources: Pre-1970 ad 1985 maps adapted from Feld s The Juveile Court Meets the Priciple of the Offese: Legislative Chages to Juveile Waiver Statutes ad Hutzler s Juveiles as Crimials: 1980 Statutes Aalysis. Trasfer law chages sice 2000 have bee mior by compariso. No major ew expasio has occurred. O the other had, states have show little tedecy to reverse or eve recosider the expaded trasfer laws already i place. Despite the steady declie i juveile crime ad violece rates sice 1994, there has as yet bee o discerible pedulum swig away from trasfer. September

10 For every 1,000 petitioed deliquecy cases, about 9 are judicially waived to crimial court Juveile court data provide a detailed picture of waiver i the U.S. Each year juveile courts provide detailed deliquecy case processig data to the Natioal Juveile Court Data Archive that the Natioal Ceter for Juveile Justice maitais. Usig this iformatio, NCJJ geerates aual estimates of the umber ad characteristics of cases that juveile court judges waive to crimial court i the atio as a whole. I 2007, usig data cotributed by more tha 2,200 juveile courts with jurisdictio over 81% of the atio s juveile populatio, juveile courts are estimated to have waived jurisdictio i about 8,500 cases less tha 1% of the total petitioed deliquecy caseload. Nearly half of all cases judicially waived to crimial court i 2007 ivolved a perso offese as the most serious charge. Youth whose cases were waived were overwhelmigly males ad teded to be older tees. Although a substatial proportio (37%) of waivers ivolved black youth, racial disparity i the use of judicial waiver has dimiished. I 1994, juveile courts waived cases ivolvig black youth at 1.5 times the rate at which cases ivolvig white youth were waived. By 2007, the disparity was reduced to 1.1 times the white rate. The use of judicial waiver has declied steeply sice 1994 The umber of judicially waived cases hit a historic peak i 1994 whe about 13,100 cases were waived ad has falle 35% sice that year. There are two sets of causes that might accout for this tred: The likelihood of judicial waiver amog petitioed deliquecy cases was lower i 2007 tha i 1994 for all offese categories ad demographic groups Profile of judicially waived Percetage of petitioed cases deliquecy cases judicially waived to crimial court Offese/demographic Total cases waived 13,100 8,500 13,100 8,500 Most serious offese 100% 100% Perso % 1.7% Property Drugs Public order Geder 100% 100% Male Female Age at referral 100% 100% 15 or youger or older Race/ethicity 100% 100% White Black Note: These data o cases judicially waived from juveile court to crimial court do ot iclude cases filed directly i crimial court via other trasfer mechaisms. Source: Authors aalysis of Puzzachera et al. s Juveile Court Statistics Decreases i juveile violet crime reduced the eed for waiver. Juveile arrests for most crimes, ad particularly for Violet Idex offeses, have falle almost every year sice Because judicial waiver has historically served as a mechaism for removig serious ad violet offeders from a juveile system that was see as illequipped to accommodate them, a reductio i serious ad violet crime should aturally result i some reductio i the volume of waivers. New trasfer mechaisms displaced waiver. The atiowide proliferatio ad expasio of otraditioal trasfer mechaisms also may have cotributed to the reductio i waivers. I states with prosecutorial discretio or statutory exclusio laws, cases ivolvig juveile-age offeders ca origiate i crimial courts, bypassig the juveile courts altogether. Durig the 1990s, law revisios i most states exposed more youth to these forms of trasfer. Because these ew laws were geerally operatig already by the mid 1990s, may juveiles who would previously have bee cadidates for waiver were subject to owaiver trasfer istead. Overall trasfer volume after 1994 could have stayed the same or eve cotiued to rise eve as waiver volume declied. It is probable that both of these causes were at work ad that decliig waiver umbers reflect both overall juveile crime treds ad the dimiished importace of judicial waiver relative to other trasfer mechaisms. 10 Natioal Report Series Bulleti

11 Juveile arrest ad judicial waiver treds for serious violet offeses had similar patters over the past two decades Number of arrests 160, , , ,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 Juveile Violet Crime Idex arrests Number of cases 5,000 4,500 4,000 3,500 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 Judicially waived Violet Crime Idex cases 1, * The Violet Crime Idex icludes the offeses of murder ad oegliget maslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, ad aggravated assault. From the mid-1980s to the peak i 1994, the umber of juveile arrests for Violet Crime Idex offeses early doubled ad the declied substatially through 2004 (dow 39%). This decade-log declie was followed by a 11% icrease over the ext 2 years, ad the a 4% declie betwee 2006 ad Similarly, the umber of cases judicially waived for Violet Crime Idex offeses tripled betwee 1988 ad 1994 ad the declied 57% through Betwee 2003 ad 2007, the umber of cases waived icreased 47%. Sources: Authors aalyses of FBI upublished reports for 1980 through 1997, the FBI s Crime i the Uited States reports for 1998 through 2007, ad Sickmud et al. s Easy Access to Juveile Court Statistics September

12 Natioal iformatio o juveile cases filed directly i crimial court is fragmetary No atioal data set tracks cases that bypass juveile courts No data source exists that is comparable to the Natioal Juveile Court Data Archive for owaiver cases those i which juveiles are processed i crimial court as a result of statutory exclusios or prosecutors discretioary choices. Because they are filed i crimial court like other cases, ivolve defedats who are adults at least for crimial hadlig purposes, ad represet a isigificat proportio of the crimial justice system s overall caseload, juveile cases origiatig i crimial court ca be very difficult to isolate statistically. Legal, defiitioal, ad reportig variatios from state to state also make it hard to aggregate what iformatio is available. Although several federally sposored crimial processig data collectio efforts have shed some light o cases ivolvig juveile-age offeders, to date oe has bee desiged to yield reliable atioal estimates of the overall volume ad characteristics of these cases. As a result, at the atioal level, a big part of the picture of trasfer is missig. BJS research provides glimpses of trasfer case characteristics Available atioal statistics o crimial processig of juveiles come primarily from a hadful of large-scale data gatherig efforts that the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) sposors. Both the State Court Processig Statistics (SCPS) program ad the Natioal Judicial Reportig Program (NJRP) periodically collect detailed iformatio o feloy cases i state crimial courts. Special aalyses of data from both programs have yielded iformatio o the relatively small subset of feloy cases that ivolve youth. The BJSsposored Natioal Survey of Prosecutors (NSP) has likewise bee used to collect basic iformatio o crimial prosecutio of juveiles i the states. The SCPS collects demographic, offese, processig, ad setecig iformatio o feloy defedats from a sample of 40 large urba jurisdictios that are represetative of the atio s 75 largest couties. For the 1998 SCPS, BJS used a oversamplig techique to capture sufficiet iformatio o crimially processed juveiles to support a special aalysis of this subgroup. Although it did ot produce a sample that was represetative of the atio as a whole ad so caot tell us about juveiles charged i crimial court with misdemeaors rather tha feloies, or those processed outside the atio s 75 largest couties the study did provide useful isight ito urba trasfer cases i which serious offeses are alleged: Volume. About 7,100 juveiles were crimially processed for feloies i the 40 sampled couties durig Trasfer mechaism. Less tha a quarter of the cases reached crimial court via judicial waiver. More commo were exclusio cases (42%) ad prosecutorial direct files (35%). Charges. The most serious charge at arrest i about half of the cases was either robbery (31%) or assault (21%). The ext most commo charges were drug traffickig (11%) ad burglary (8%). Demographics. Defedats were overwhelmigly male (96%) ad predomiatly black (62%). The NJRP collects iformatio o feloy seteces i state courts. The 1996 NJRP collected data from 344 couties, geeratig a subsample of juveile-age feloy cases that, while ot statistically represetative of all trasferred juveiles, was large eough to eable researchers to explore ways i which juveile cases differed from those of other covicted felos. Compared with adult felos, the special aalysis foud, trasferred juveiles were more likely tha their adult couterparts to be male (96% versus 84%) ad black (55% versus 45%). Juveiles were more likely tha adults to have a perso offese as their most serious offese at covictio (53% versus 17%) ad far less likely to have a drug offese (11% versus 37%). The majority of juveile feloy defedats i the 75 largest couties reached crimial court through ojudicial trasfer Percetage of juveile feloy Demographic defedats Volume 7,100 Trasfer mechaism 100.0% Judicial waiver 23.7 Prosecutor direct file 34.7 Statutory exclusio 41.6 Most serious charge 100.0% Violet offese 63.5 Property offese 17.7 Drug offese 15.1 Public order offese 3.5 Geder 100.0% Male 95.8 Female 4.2 Race 100.0% White 19.9 Black 62.2 Other 1.8 Hispaic 16.2 Source: Authors adaptatio of Raiville ad Smith s Juveile Feloy Defedats i Crimial Courts: Survey of 40 Couties, Natioal Report Series Bulleti

13 Most prosecutors offices report tryig juveiles as adults The NSP is a regular BJS-sposored survey of chief prosecutors who try feloy cases i state courts of geeral jurisdictio. Its primary purpose is to collect basic iformatio o office staffig, fudig, caseloads, etc., but several recet surveys have asked respodets whether their offices proceeded agaist juveiles i crimial court ad, if so, how may such cases were prosecuted i the 12 moths precedig the survey. The 2005 NSP, which was a survey of a atioally represetative sample of 310 prosecutors, foud that about two-thirds of prosecutors offices tried juveiles i crimial court. O the basis of the 2005 resposes, it was estimated that about 23,000 juveile cases had bee crimially prosecuted atiowide durig the 12 moths precedig the survey. Although the NSP iformatio is useful as a startig poit i assessig the crimial processig of youth, it must be hadled with a certai amout of cautio. Respodets were asked to give either the actual umber of crimially prosecuted juveile cases over the precedig 12-moth period or their best estimates, but there is o way of kowig the basis for ay estimates provided. I ay case, the iformatio elicited gives oly a aggregate case total ad does ot cotribute to uderstadig the characteristics or processig of those cases. Trasferred juveile felos were far more likely tha adult felos to be covicted of violet offeses Trasferred Demographic juveile felos Adult felos Most serious feloy charge 100% 100% Violet offese Property offese Drug offese Weapos offese 3 3 Other offese 6 14 Geder 100% 100% Male Female 4 16 Race 100% 100% White 43 53% Black Other 2 2 Source: Authors adaptatio of Levi, Laga, ad Brow s State Court Setecig of Covicted Felos, A ew BJS survey will help fill iformatio gaps o crimial processig of juveiles atioally BJS recetly awarded a ew atioal survey effort to Westat ad subcotractor, the Natioal Ceter for Juveile Justice, with the goal of geeratig accurate ad reliable case processig statistics for juveiles charged as adults. The Survey of Juveiles Charged as Adults i Crimial Courts will be the first effort of its kid that focuses solely o geeratig atioal data o youth i crimial court; it is likely to cotribute substatially to the kowledge regardig the crimial processig of youth. Drawig from a sample of feloy ad misdemeaor cases filed agaist youth i crimial courts who were youger tha 18 icludig both trasfer cases ad cases ivolvig youth who are cosidered adults uder their states jurisdictioal age laws the survey will gather iformatio o offeder demographics ad offese histories, arrest ad arraigmet charges, trasfer mechaisms, ad case processig ad dispositio. September

14 Most states do ot track ad accout for all of their juveile trasfer cases The Trasfer Data Project documeted state trasfer reportig practices I the absece of ay oe data source that would make it possible to arrive at a accurate estimate of the umber of juveileage offeders prosecuted i crimial courts atiowide, it is ecessary to look istead to a variety of state sources. Ufortuately, iformatio from these scattered sources is fragmetary, hard to fid, ad harder to aalyze. I a effort to documet reliable sources of state-level data o juveile trasfers, idetify crucial gaps i available iformatio o trasferred youth ad, if possible, fill i the atioal data picture o trasfer, NCJJ coducted a Trasfer Data Project i The project, a compoet of the OJJDP-fuded Natioal Juveile Justice Data Aalysis Project, bega with a structured search for ay published or olie reports that official sources regularly issued withi the time frame ad cotaiig ay state-level statistics o crimial prosecutio of juveiles. Followig this iitial search, project staff coducted a sowball survey of likely data keepers i idividual states, icludig cotributors to the Natioal Juveile Court Data Archive, askig for further iformatio, clarificatio, ad leads. I all, 63 officials were cotacted via ad telephoe followups, icludig represetatives of state juveile justice agecies, state judicial admiistrative offices, state prosecutors agecies, ad state statistical aalysis ceters. Most state respodets referred NCJJ staff to published reports cotaiig pertiet statistics, redirected queries to other state officials, or cofirmed that the iformatio sought was ot collected at the state level. However, officials i ie states were able to supply NCJJ directly with trasfer umbers that resided i state iformatio systems or had otherwise bee collected at the state level but were ot made available i public reports. These data were aalyzed alog with state-published statistics o trasfer, yieldig the most complete picture curretly available of juveile trasfer ad trasfer-reportig practice i the states. I additio to beig summarized i this report, project fidigs regardig state trasfer ad reportig practice will be icorporated ito the olie summary of state trasfer laws foud o OJJDP s Statistical Briefig Book Web site, ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/ faqs.asp. Oly 13 states publicly report all trasfers From the iformatio that the Trasfer Data Project assembled, it appears that oly a small miority of states curretly track ad report comprehesive iformatio regardig crimial prosecutios of juveiles. Ideed, oly 13 states were idetified as publicly reportig eve the total umber of their trasfers, icludig cases of juveiles who reach crimial courts as a result of statutory exclusios or prosecutors discretioary choices as well as judicial waiver decisios. States that publish iformatio o the offese profiles or demo-graphic characteristics of these youth, or provide details regardig their processig or setecig, are eve rarer. With respect to their reportig of the umber of trasfers oly, states fall ito four categories: Publicly report all trasfers (13 states). A few of these states report oly a bare aual total the umber of crimially prosecuted youth, the umber of crimial cases ivolvig youth, or both but most report somethig more, such as age, race, or geder iformatio o trasferred youth, how they reached crimial court, what their offeses were, or how their cases were resolved. Publicly report some but ot all trasfers (10 states). Commoly, these states report the umber of cases that are set to crimial court, followig waiver proceedigs i juveile court, but ot the umber that are filed directly i crimial court. Cotribute data to the Natioal Juveile Court Data Archive but do ot otherwise report trasfers (14 states). States that cotribute aual juveile case processig data to the Archive that NCJJ maitais are, i effect, reportig iformatio o judicially waived cases, although ot to the public. NCJJ uses these data to prepare atioal waiver estimates but does ot publish idividual state waiver totals. Accordigly, Archive reportig does ot help the field ad members of the public uderstad how idividual states waiver laws are operatig i practice. Do ot report trasfers at all (14 states). These states do ot cotribute data o waived cases to the Archive, ad NCJJ was uable to locate ay other official reports cotaiig their waiver ad/or trasfer totals. However, officials i five of these states respoded to NCJJ s iformatio requests by sharig recet data o trasfer cases which suggests that they already collect the pertiet iformatio at the state level or, at least, are capable of collectig it. 14 Natioal Report Series Bulleti

15 About half of the states publicly report at least some iformatio regardig crimial prosecutios of juveiles Publicly report some but ot all trasfers Cotribute to the Natioal Juveile Court Data Archive but do ot otherwise report trasfers Publicly report State all trasfers Number of states Alabama Alaska Arizoa Arkasas Califoria Colorado Coecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illiois Idiaa Iowa Kasas Ketucky Louisiaa Maie Marylad Massachusetts Michiga Miesota Mississippi Missouri Motaa Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolia North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Orego Pesylvaia Rhode Islad South Carolia South Dakota Teessee Texas Utah Vermot Virgiia Washigto West Virgiia Wiscosi Wyomig Note: Table iformatio is as of Do ot report trasfers at all States are more likely to track judicial waiver cases tha other kids of trasfers Relatively speakig, states do a better job of trackig cases that origiate i juveile court ad are trasferred to crimial court o a idividualized basis. Trasfer cases that bypass juveile courts altogether are more commoly lost i states geeral crimial processig statistics: Of the 46 states that have judicial waiver laws, 20 publicly report aual waiver totals ad 13 more report waivers to the Natioal Juveile Court Data Archive. By cotrast, of the 29 states with statutory exclusio laws requirig crimial prosecutio of some juveiles, oly 2 publicly report the total umber of excluded cases, ad 5 others report a combied total of all crimially prosecuted cases, without specifyig the trasfer mechaism employed. Of the 15 states that have prosecutorial discretio laws, oly 1 publicly reports the total umber of cases filed i crimial court at prosecutors discretio, ad 4 others report a udifferetiated total of all crimially prosecuted cases. The scarcity of iformatio o cases ivolvig youth prosecuted uder exclusio ad prosecutorial discretio laws presets a serious problem for those wishig to assess the workigs, effectiveess, ad overall impact of these laws. Eve the few states that provide a cout of excluded or direct-filed cases seldom report the kid of demographic, offese, setecig, ad other detail that is eeded to iform judgmets about whether laws etrustig trasfer decisios to prosecutors rather tha judges are beig applied fairly ad cosistetly. It is ot clear whether these laws are targetig the most serious offeders ad resultig i the kids of sactios lawmakers iteded. Ad if these September

16 laws are operatig as iteded i oe state, are they doig so i all the states that rely o such provisios? The absece of iformatio o cases trasferred at prosecutors discretio is particularly troublig. Some prosecutorial discretio laws are very broadly writte. For example, i Nebraska ad Vermot either of which curretly publish aual trasfer statistics ay youth who is at least 16 may be prosecuted as a adult at the prosecutor s optio, regardless of the offese alleged. However, eve states that limit prosecutors discretioary authority to cases ivolvig serious offeses do ot thereby elimiate the possibility of ufair or iappropriate use of the authority. Because statutory exclusio laws apply automatically to all juveiles who come withi their provisios, they preset less dager of icosistet, ufair, or iappropriate eforcemet. However, eve apparetly eutral laws may, i practice, fall more heavily o certai groups. Agai, may exclusio laws apply to very broadly defied categories all feloy-grade offeses, for example, or all offeses i high-volume categories like assaults, robberies, burglaries, ad drug offeses that may, i practice, cover a variety of actual crime scearios, from the very serious to the relatively trivial. Whether or ot exclusio laws are workig as iteded icreasig the likelihood of prosecutio, covictio, icarceratio, ad log seteces, ad servig as a deterret is a questio of fact that caot be aswered without more iformatio tha is geerally available at preset. Additioal data are also eeded to determie whether exclusio laws (1) impact certai groups more tha others, (2) impact large umbers of youth whose offese profiles may be less serious tha those origially evisioed, or (3) work differetly from oe state to aother. Few states publicly report data o cases trasferred by statutory exclusio or prosecutorial discretio State Has judicial waiver Reports judicial waiver to public l Partial reportig (ot all jurisdictios). Reports judicial waiver to Archive Has prosecutorial discretio Reports statutory discretio to public Has statutory exclusio Reports statutory exclusio to public Number of states Alabama Alaska Arizoa k k Arkasas Califoria k k Colorado Coecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida k k Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illiois l l Idiaa Iowa Kasas Ketucky Louisiaa Maie Marylad Massachusetts Michiga Miesota Mississippi Missouri Motaa k k Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolia North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Orego k k Pesylvaia Rhode Islad South Carolia South Dakota Teessee Texas Utah Vermot Virgiia Washigto West Virgiia Wiscosi Wyomig k Combied total of trasfer mechaisms (ot separated out). Note: Table iformatio is as of Natioal Report Series Bulleti

17 There are wide variatios i the ways states documet juveile trasfers Oly a few states report sigificat details about trasfer cases The Trasfer Data Project s search for official state data o youth prosecuted as adults ucovered a broad rage of approaches to reportig o trasfers, particularly i terms of the completeess ad level of detail of the iformatio reported. Arizoa, Califoria, ad Florida ca be regarded as exemplary states whe it comes to collectig ad regularly reportig detailed statistics o juveiles tried as adults. Although they do ot report exactly the same thigs i the same ways, they do provide the field ad the public with most of the basic iformatio eeded to assess the workigs ad impact of their juveile trasfer laws. Most other states eve amog those that regularly track ad report their aual juveile trasfer totals report far fewer details regardig those cases. Although there is o oe right way to report iformatio o juveile trasfer cases, reasoably complete documetatio could be expected to cover each of the followig geeral categories: Total volume. As oted previously, oly 13 states report the total umber of cases i which juveile-age offeders are prosecuted i crimial court, the total umber of juveiles prosecuted, or both. Pathways. Of these 13 states, 5 provide iformatio showig how trasfer cases reached the crimial system whether by way of judicial waiver, prosecutors discretioary decisios, or as a result of statutory exclusios. I six others, judicial waiver was the oly trasfer mechaism available. Demographics. Eight of the 13 states provide age, race/ethicity, geder, or other demographic iformatio o crimially prosecuted youth. Offeses. Oly three of these states provide iformatio o the offeses for which youth were trasferred. Processig outcomes. Oly oe of these states Califoria reports iformatio o crimial court hadlig ad dispositio of trasfer cases. Available data show dramatic differeces i states trasfer rates Although the atioal picture is far from complete, rough comparisos amog the subset of states that do track total trasfers make it clear that there are strikig variatios i idividual states propesity to try juveiles as adults, eve whe differeces i juveile populatio sizes are take ito accout. Offese ad processig iformatio o trasfers is rarely reported State Total volume Pathways Demographics Offeses Processig outcomes Number of states Arizoa Califoria Florida Kasas k Michiga Missouri k Motaa North Carolia k Ohio k Orego Teessee k Texas k Washigto k Waiver-oly states. Note: Table iformatio is as of Some state-to-state differeces i per capita trasfer rates are udoubtedly liked to differeces i jurisdictioal age boudaries. The lowest trasfer rates amog the 13 full-reportig states ted to be foud i the states that set lower age boudaries for crimial court jurisdictio (Michiga, Missouri, North Carolia, ad Texas). I these states, 17-year-olds (or i the case of North Carolia, 16- ad 17-year-olds) must be take out of the mix: They caot be trasferred for crimial prosecutio because they are already withi the origial jurisdictio of the crimial courts. That leaves a trasfereligible populatio that is youger ad statistically less likely to be ivolved i serious offedig. (Of course, if oe were simply measurig the extet to which states crimially prosecute youth who are youger tha 18, these states rates would be amog the highest.) Differeces i state trasfer rates may also be explaied, i part, by broad differeces i the way trasfer mechaisms September

18 work. I the six reportig states (Kasas, Missouri, North Carolia, Ohio, Teessee, ad Texas) that have oly judicial waiver laws eve icludig those i which some waivers are madated average trasfer rates are geerally lower tha those i the remaiig seve states, which have statutory exclusio laws, prosecutorial discretio laws, or both. However, it ca be difficult to accout for state trasfer rate variatios o the basis of legal structures aloe. For istace, Teessee appears to trasfer juveiles far more ofte tha Kasas (although both are waiver-oly states) ad, if aythig, Teessee law imposes more restrictios o the juveile court s power to waive jurisdictio. Average aual trasfer rate,* : Florida Orego 95.6 Arizoa 83.7 Teessee 42.6 Motaa 41.6 Kasas 25.3 Washigto 21.2 Missouri 20.9 Califoria 20.6 Ohio 20.4 Michiga 12.4 Texas 8.6 North Carolia 7.1 *Cases per 100,000 juveiles ages 10 to upper age of juveile court jurisdictio. Notes: Table is iteded for rough compariso oly. Uit of cout varies from state to state. Some states report by fiscal year, some by caledar year. Trasfer volume was uavailable for Motaa i 2005, 2006, ad 2008 ad for Washigto i Detailed trasfer reportig i some states makes idepth compariso possible Because they documet their juveile trasfers more thoroughly tha other states, data from Arizoa, Califoria, ad Florida provide a cosiderably more uaced picture of trasfer i practice. Eve though all three are populous subelt states with large urba ceters, sigificat crime, ad a broadly similar array of trasfer laws, official reports from the three states make clear that they have markedly differet approaches to trasfer. Overall rates. The three states differ dramatically i their per capita trasfer rates with Florida beig the clear outlier. Over the period from 2003 through 2008, Florida trasferred youth at about twice the rate of Arizoa ad about eight times the rate of Califoria. (I fact, Florida s rate was about five times the average trasfer rate i the other 12 states that publicly reported total trasfers durig this period.) Oe part of the explaatio is udoubtedly Florida s expasive prosecutorial discretio law, which permits prosecutors to opt for crimial hadlig of, amog others, all 16- ad 17-year-olds accused of feloies. (Oly Nebraska ad Vermot give prosecutors more Adult dispositios ( ) 4,604 Covictios 3,407 (74%) Acquitted 23 (0.5%) Dismissal/ diversio 1,112 (24%) Certified to juveile court 62 (1%) discretioary authority.) However, both Arizoa ad Califoria prosecutors also have broad prosecutorial discretio provisios, suggestig that aggressive use of prosecutorial discretio i Florida may be a factor as well. Trasfer pathways. Although Florida has a extremely broad ad flexible judicial waiver provisio authorizig waiver for ay offese, providig the juveile was at least 14 at the time of commissio judicial waiver is a relatively isigificat trasfer mechaism there, accoutig for oly about 4% of total trasfers from 2003 to I Arizoa, 14% of trasfers came by way of waiver, but waivers steadily declied over that period, both i absolute terms ad as a proportio of total trasfers. I Califoria, by cotrast, about 40% of trasfers from 2003 to 2008 were Califoria reports detailed case-processig outcomes for trasferred youth Source: Authors aalyses of Califoria Office of the Attorey Geeral reports available olie. Priso/Youth Authority setece 1,455 (43%) Probatio 296 (9%) Probatio with jail 1,136 (33%) Jail 68 (2%) Fie 333 (10%) Other/ot reported 110 (3%) 18 Natioal Report Series Bulleti

19 waivers. Califoria prosecutors may make a motio for fitess hearigs for ay 16- or 17-year-old, regardless of the offese alleged, ad for youger offeders accused of more serious offeses. Moreover, where youth are accused of serious offeses or have serious prior records, they may be presumed to be ufit for juveile court hadlig ad must affirmatively prove otherwise. Perhaps because this shiftig of the burde of proof makes the fitess hearig route easier for prosecutors, it is frequetly used ad is frequetly successful: 71% of all fitess hearigs from 2003 to 2008 resulted i remad to crimial court. Demographics. I 2008, a majority of trasfers ivolved youth who were at least age 17 i Florida (65%), Arizoa (55%), ad Califoria (56%), but the racial ad ethic mix was quite differet. I Florida, most trasferred youth i 2008 were black (54%), whereas whites (29%) ad Hispaics (12%) were cosiderably uderrepreseted. By cotrast, trasfers were predomiatly Hispaic i Arizoa (57%) ad Califoria (56%). Offeses. I all three states, the vast majority of trasfers ivolved feloies rather tha misdemeaors. I 2008, 98% of reported trasfers i Arizoa, 89% i Califoria, ad 94% i Florida ivolved feloies, but trasfer offeses i the three states differed substatially. I Florida, oly 44% of reported 2008 trasfers ivolved perso offeses, whereas 31% ivolved property offeses ad 11% ivolved drug offeses. Trasfers were far more likely to ivolve perso offeses i Arizoa (60%) ad Califoria (65%). Trasfers for property offeses were less commo i those states (25% i Arizoa, 15% i Califoria), as were trasfers for drug offeses (6% i Arizoa, 4% i Califoria). Case outcomes. As oted above, o compariso is possible amog the three states with regard to the crucial issue of what happes to trasferred youth oly Califoria reports processig outcomes i trasfer cases. However, because processig outcome iformatio o trasfer cases is so rare, it is worth otig that, over the period from 2003 through 2008, about three-quarters of cases ivolvig juveiles disposed i Califoria s crimial courts resulted i covictios. Followig covictio, youth were seteced to some form of icarceratio (i a priso, jail, or Califoria Youth Authority facility) i almost 8 of 10 cases. September

20 Nearly 14,000 trasfers ca be accouted for i 2007 but most states are missig from that total The size of the gaps i available trasfer data ca be broadly estimated O the basis of juveile court case processig data reported to the Natioal Juveile Court Data Archive, 8,500 judicial waivers are estimated to have occurred atiowide i The six states that track ad report all of their ojudicial trasfers as well Arizoa, Califoria, Florida, Michiga, Orego, ad Washigto reported a additioal 5,096 ojudicial trasfer cases i Upublished state-level iformatio that Idaho provided to the Trasfer Data Project cotributed some 20 additioal ojudicial trasfers to the 2007 total of 13,616. A great deal is missig from this total, however icludig ojudicial trasfers i the 29 other states that have statutory exclusio or prosecutorial discretio laws but do ot publish statistics o crimial prosecutio of juveiles ad were ot able to provide the Trasfer Data Project with data from which 2007 totals could be derived. These 29 states fall ito three basic groups. States with extremely arrow ojudicial trasfer laws. I five of these states, trasfer by meas other tha judicial waiver must be a very rare evet. Massachusetts, Miesota, ad New Mexico have statutory exclusio provisios, but they apply oly to juveiles accused of homicide. Utah has a exclusio law that, apart from homicide cases, covers oly feloies that imates i secure custody commit. Wiscosi s exclusio applies oly to homicides ad cases ivolvig assaults committed agaist correctios, probatio, ad parole persoel. Eve without kowig more, the authors ca predict that the cotributio to the atio s ojudicial trasfer total from these five states would be isigificat. States with extremely broad ojudicial trasfer laws. At the other extreme, laws i two states Nebraska ad Vermot authorize crimial prosecutio of ay 16- or 17-year-old youth, at the prosecutor s optio, regardless of the offese alleged. I a third state Wyomig prosecutors have discretio to prosecute all misdemeaats i crimial court, as log as they are at least 13 years old. Laws of this exceptioally broad type are likely to geerate large umbers of trasfer cases, eve though the states ivolved are ot populous oes. I fact, crimial court data from Vermot, aalyzed by NCJJ as part of a oe-time study for that state s Agecy for Huma Services, foud early 1,000 cases i which 16- ad 17-year-old Vermot youth were hadled as adults i a sigle year a cotributio to the atio s trasfer total that would be comparable to Califoria s published total i a typical year. Other states. I the remaiig 21 states, ojudicial trasfer provisios are much broader i scope tha those i the first group but ot so broad as those i the secod. Youth are subject to ojudicial trasfer i these states for a rage of offeses or offese types, all far more commo tha homicide. Nevertheless, they must meet some miimum threshold of offese seriousess. Some states withi this middle group list specific offeses qualifyig for ojudicial trasfer. I others, ojudicial trasfer laws do ot merely apply to amed offeses but also to feloy offeses geerally, or at least to feloies of a particular grade or grades. Amog states that do ot track ad report ojudicial trasfers, the umber uaccouted for depeds o the scope of each state s laws State Nojudicial trasfer oly for extremely rare offeses Nojudicial trasfer for listed offeses Nojudicial trasfer for all feloies or rage of feloies Prosecutorial discretio limited solely by age Number of states Alabama Alaska Arkasas Colorado Delaware Dist. Of Columbia Georgia Illiois Idiaa Iowa Louisiaa Marylad Massachusetts Miesota Mississippi Motaa Nebraska Nevada New Mexico New York Oklahoma Pesylvaia South Carolia South Dakota Utah Vermot Virgiia Wiscosi Wyomig Note: Table iformatio is as of the ed of the 2009 legislative sessio. 20 Natioal Report Series Bulleti

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