Lack of Data From States Hinders Implementation of Effective Juvenile Justice

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) released a report this month that discusses juvenile transfers to adult court and the problem of gathering reliable information about this practice. The authors give a brief history of the practice of transferring youth, and an overview of the wide variety of laws and practices that states use when trying kids as adults. Several of their conclusions stand out. The practice of transferring youth to criminal court through anything other than a case-by-case court order grew nationally from the mid-1980s until the mid 1990s. Laws allowing for judicial transfer have existed since nearly the beginning of the separation of juvenile and adult cases in the 19th century.