Data on juvenile felony defendants in criminal courts in the United States were obtained from State Court Processing Statistics (SCPS) for 1990-94.
The sample of juvenile defendants in criminal courts were selected from combined SCPS surveys from 1990, 1992, and 1994. Data for juvenile defendants processed in the juvenile courts of the 75 largest counties in 1990, 1992, and 1994 were provided by the National Center for Juvenile Justice; the data were provided for counties matching those in the SCPS program for the respective years. Data show that in the Nation's 75 largest counties, juveniles transferred to criminal courts were approximately 1 percent of all felony defendants. Juveniles transferred to criminal court were generally violent felony offenders. Sixty-three percent of juveniles transferred to criminal courts were black males, 29 percent were white males, 3 percent were black females, and 2 percent were white females. Fifty-nine percent of juveniles transferred to criminal courts were convicted of a felony, and 52 percent of those convicted of a felony were sentenced to prison. Approximately one-third of juveniles in criminal courts sentenced to State prison received a sentence of 4 years or less. The average prison sentence for juveniles convicted in criminal courts was approximately 9 years; for those convicted of a violent offense, the average prison sentence was nearly 11 years. In the 75 largest counties, nearly 2 percent of juveniles age 15 or older formally handled in juvenile courts were transferred to criminal courts by judicial waiver. Fifty-five percent of juvenile defendants formally processed in juvenile courts were adjudicated delinquent. Among juvenile defendants adjudicated delinquent, 40 percent received a disposition of residential placement, and 50 percent received formal probation. 17 tables and appended supplementary data
Date Published: September 1, 1998