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Field Initiated Research Program

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 1999, $229,587)

Project Summary for 1999-JR-VX-0002

Although every state in the nation has adopted one or more statutory strategies to transfer some juveniles to criminal court jurisdiction, there is little information on the efficacy of various waiver policies. Columbia University will conduct a study to learn whether differences in the sanctioning patterns for adolescent offenders in juvenile and criminal court have produced differences in the age distribution of crimes where youth of similar ages are sanctioned differently in different court jurisdictions. Researchers will examine age-specific offending rates for an age range of adolescents and young adults, for violent and other serious crimes under different sanctioning contexts and court jurisdictions. The research will be conducted in two ways. First, researchers will compare age-specific arrest rates across multiple states from 1984-1996, essentially comparing different transfer mechanisms. Second, they will conduct pre- and post-tests in approximately 10 states that have undergone significant changes in the age boundary between juvenile and criminal court. They methodology includes matching criteria to compare states and jurisdictions. This research will provide a foundation for legislators attempting to formulate waiver policy regarding decisions about which systems (juvenile versus adult) should respond to what type of serious young offenders. Products will include journal articles and a research bulletin.

Date Created: June 3, 1999