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A Study of Juvenile Transfers to Criminal Court in Florida

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1999
2 pages
This paper provides an overview of the four components of a study of Florida's juvenile transfers to criminal court.
In 1994 the Florida legislature expanded both the methods by which juvenile cases are transferred to criminal court and the scope of eligibility criteria. These reforms expanded discretionary direct-file criteria for 14- and 15-year-olds. The legislature also mandated direct file of certain repeat and violent offenders and established a presumptive judicial waiver for other repeat offenders. The first component of the study is exploring the impact of these changes. Using automated data from multiple sources for 1993 and 1995, researchers are assessing transfer trends, generating profiles of transferred offenders, exploring the processing of transfer cases in criminal courts, and examining sentences. The Florida legislature also mandated that prosecutors in each of the State's 20 judicial circuits develop written guidelines for transfer. The second component of the study is analyzing these guidelines to determine how the law has been interpreted and translated into local policy. The study's third component is designed to learn about the experiences and reactions of transferred juveniles in the criminal justice system and how they compare with the experiences and reactions of juveniles processed in the juvenile justice system. The fourth component involves collecting detailed data from police and court records in four judicial circuits. Data are being obtained for transferred juveniles and for a sample of juveniles retained in the juvenile justice system. Results from the first phase of the project will be available later in 1999.

Date Published: August 1, 1999