Center on Sentencing and Corrections

The Color of Youth Transferred to the Adult Criminal Justice System: Policy & Practice Recommendations

The Color of Youth Transferred to the Adult Criminal Justice System: Policy & Practice Recommendations

Thomas, Jeree Michele, and Mel Wilson. The Color of Youth Transferred to the Adult Criminal Justice System: Policy & Practice Recommendations. Issue brief. 2018.

In every state in the United States, youth under the age of 18 can be transferred from juvenile court to adult court, where their social or brain development is not taken into account. Black youth in particular are disproportionately represented in the adult criminal justice system. “In this brief, the Campaign for Youth Justice and the National Association of Social Workers outline how black youth end up at the front door of adult courts through three state case studies of Oregon, Florida, and Missouri.” They explore how America’s history of slavery and racial terror have shaped systemic policies, practices, and procedures that perpetuate this disproportionality. The authors then highlight what advocates and government officials are doing to combat the impact of racism, and also make “recommendations for what social workers and advocates can do to redress racial disproportionality in black youth transferred to adult court through clinical practice and policy advocacy.”

Click here to read the brief.

Key words: segregated housing, segregation, juveniles, juvenile detention, juvenile justice, conditions of confinement, youth, child abuse, discrimination, racism