Thursday, August 6, 2009

From Time Out to Hard Time: Young Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System

“This report provides the first-ever comprehensive look at how the nation treats young children who commit serious crimes, analyzes the available data with regard to the transfer of young children to adult criminal court, documents the extremely harsh and tragic consequences that follow when young children go into the adult criminal justice system, examines international practices, and offers policy recommendations to address this situation” (p. xiii). Chapters in addition to an executive summary are: introduction; children are different; pre-adolescents in adult court -- transfer policies and practices; sentencing policies and practices affecting young children in adult court; when transfer policies and adult sentencing statutes collide -- a focus on states with harsh outcomes for pre-adolescent offenders; problems associated with trying young children as adults; the juvenile justice system works; considering the global context -- an international consensus against treating pre-adolescent children as adults; and policy recommendations. An appendix provides information about international practices regarding the treatment of children as adults in a table showing the country, minimum age of criminal responsibility, other protections for children, and citation/law.

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