Fifty Delinquents in Juvenile and Adult Court


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From an analysis of developmental assessments of 50 delinquents, the author found that those who received long adult sentences showed the same disabilities, past trauma, and immaturity as those who remained in the juvenile system. Half of those sent to adult prison had no prior arrests, including three 13-year-olds, a 14-year-old, and two 15-year-olds. A majority of the 50 youth had characteristics of teenagers likely to outgrow delinquency, yet more than half of them were sentenced to adult prison. The author encouraged experts to present specific recommendations for rehabilitative services to address the juveniles' disabilities, recovery from trauma, and development of mature thinking in response to the court's concerns about future reoffending.