Over the past a few decades, research has only found negative consequences of the adult prosecution of children:

  • Children prosecuted as adults are 34% more likely to reoffend than children with similar criminal histories who are prosecuted in juvenile court for similar offenses (McGowan, Hahn, Liberman, Crosby,  Fullilove, Johnson, et al., 2007).
  • Children prosecuted as adults are more likely to commit more serious new offenses and at a faster rate (Bishop & Frazier, 2007).
  • Children prosecuted as adults are much more likely to commit suicide and be victims of sexual and physical abuse (McGowan et al., 2007)
  • In some states, felony convictions can deprive people of the right to vote, eligibility for student financial aid, housing and welfare benefits (Legal Action Center, 2004)
  • For the years 1985-1995, Black youth were more likely than their white counterparts to be transferred to criminal court (Bishop, 2000).

References and Research Articles

  • Clarke, E. E. (1996). A Case for Reinventing Juvenile Transfer: The record of transfer of juvenile offenders to criminal court in Cook County, Illinois. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 47, 3-22.
  • Ishida, K., Clarke, E., & Reed, D. (2014). Automatic Adult Prosecution of Children in Cook County, Illinois. 2010-2012. Evanston, IL: Juvenile Justice Initiative.
  • John Howard Association. (2014). In Their Own Words. Chicago, IL: Author.
  • Kooy, E. (2008). Changing Course: A Review of the First Two Years of Drug Transfer Reform in Illinois. Evanston, IL: Juvenile Justice Initiative & Models for Change.
  • Regulus, T., Stevens, A. O., & Faggiani, D. (1988). State School to Stateville: A Report on Mandatory Transfer and Criminal Prosecution of Juveniles in Cook County, IL, Jan. 1980 to June, 1985. Chicago, IL: The Chicago Law Enforcement Study Group.
  • Reed, D., Johnson, M., Karales, K., & Stevens, A. O. (1983). Needed: Serious Solutions for Serious Juvenile Crime: A report on the Results of Transferring Serious Juvenile Offenders to Criminal Courts for Trial in Cook COunty, IL from 1975 through 1981. Chicago, IL: Chicago Law Enforcement Study Group.
  • The Illinois Supreme Court Special Commission on the Administration of Justice. (1993). Final Report Part II. Chicago: Author.