Automatic Transfer History

1899 – The first juvenile court was established in Chicago, Illinois.
1903 – Illinois started transferring youth to the adult court in the limited cases. Transfers to adult court were initiated by the prosecutor.
1973 – The Illinois legislature amended the juvenile transfer provisions and juvenile court judges began making the transfer decisions.
1982 – The legislature created automatic transfer laws and allowed youth age 15 or older to be automatically prosecuted as adults for murder, criminal sexual assault, and armed robbery with a firearm.
1985 – The legislature expanded the automatic transfer provisions to include drug and weapon violations on or within 1,000 feet of a school.
1990 – The automatic transfer laws expanded to include drug and weapon violations within 1,000 feet of public housing.
1995 – The legislature added to the automatic transfer laws a new category of youth age 13 or older charged with first degree murder in the course of a sexual assault, and aggravated vehicular hijacking for 15 year olds or older.
1999 – The legislature decided to automatically prosecute children as adults for any subsequent offenses once they were convicted as adults.

For more information, please see the JJI’s recent report on automatic transfer.