Report: Does Transferring Kids to Adult Court Deter Future Offenses?

Tuesday, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) released “Transfer of Juveniles to Adult Court: Effects of a Broad Policy in One Court,” a new bulletin culling data from the Pathways to Desistance Study. The longitudinal report examined outcomes for juveniles transferred to adult courts in Maricopa County, Ariz., with the authors concluding that 77 percent of young people that returned to their community after being sent to adult facilities reengaged in at least some level of “antisocial activity,” with approximately two-thirds eventually arrested or placed in an “institutional setting.”

“Adolescents in the adult system may be at risk for disruptions in their personal development, identity formation, relationships, learning, growth in skills and competencies and positive movement into adult status,” the report’s authors wrote. Researchers said transferring young people to adult courts might have a “differential” effect, with some juveniles becoming likelier to offend again, depending on the young person’s presenting offense and previous offense history. Researchers state that adolescent offenders transferred to adult courts, without any prior petitions, were much likelier to be re-arrested than young people that remained in the juvenile justice system. “Most of the youth in the study who were sent to adult facilities returned to the community within a few years, varying widely in their levels of adjustment,” the report says.

Immigrant Voices: Young, Ambitious, Proud of the Nation and Illegal

Immigration is an explosive topic in this nation. It has deep implications for the economy and the social and cultural landscape of the country. It has and will continue to have a huge impact on politics, especially for the presidential election. We know all that, of course. Anyone who follows the news the least bit, knows that.

Leonard Witt

Show Me Your Papers, It’s Not Kids Play, It’s UnAmerican

Martin Castro, chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, while giving a talk recently in Lawrenceville, Ga., made a little joke. He said one in six Americans is a Latino -- he paused and then added that the other five out of six Americans soon will be related to that one. He is correct. Your neighbors and co-workers today will likely become your in-laws tomorrow. Hence, I, and lots of others folks, would argue that any political group that angers the Latino community does so at its own peril.

Conference Explores Adolescent Brain Development

PHOENIX -- Science and legal experts from across the nation gathered at a Phoenix courtroom on Thursday to present research on neuroscience that could help decide future juvenile-committed crimes on Thursday. Arizona State University’s school of law hosted the “Adolescent Brains and Juvenile Justice” national conference, a biennial event, which brought an array of people together from policy-makers to judges. The aim of the event, held at the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse, was to explore research into adolescents’ brain development and the constitutionality of trying minors as adults. “This is an opportunity to explore the facts,” said Andrew Askland, a director at the law school. Currently, states such as Georgia can try minors as adults in serious crimes.