This article traces the evolution of the youth justice system in Canada and the United States and examines the practice of transferring juveniles to criminal court. Experts disagree about whether the goals of rehabilitation and retribution can be satisfactorily reconciled within the bounds of the juvenile system, and whether juvenile transfer significantly deters youth crime. Equally controversial is the appropriateness of exposing youth--who are in the midst of development--to the criminal system and to the possibility of receiving a lengthy adult sanction. We argue that it is neither efficacious nor ethical to transfer youth to adult court and deny them the protections afforded by the juvenile system. Concepts from developmental psychology, risk assessment, and juvenile psychopathy are integrated into this argument. Recommendations for policy and future research are noted, including a need to develop systematic guidelines that bridge legal and psychosocial constructs in the assessment of risk, amenability to treatment, and maturity of character in youth.
Penney, S., & Moretti, M. M. (2005). The transfer of juveniles to adult court in Canada and the United States: Confused agendas and compromised assessment procedures. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 4(1), 19-37. doi:10.1080/14999013.2005.10471210 This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health on July 5th, 2005, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14999013.2005.10471210
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
The transfer of juveniles to adult court in Canada and the United States: Confused agendas and compromised assessment procedures
Taylor & Francis
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