States vary in how each sets the basic playing field for juvenile justice with lower and upper age boundaries. State legislatures further create a range of complex exceptions for transfer to criminal court based on case-by-case, age and offense specifics.
The right to counsel in delinquency proceedings is a fundamental aspect of juvenile justice, but knowledge useful for making policy comparisons and monitoring defense trends is rare.
Learn about the complexities states face with monitoring racial and ethnic fairness across juvenile justice decisions and state reporting trends which are public-facing.
Each state has established a court with juvenile jurisdiction to address the law violating conduct of youth. Explore the structural and procedural differences.
Juvenile justice services
There is not one uniform U.S. juvenile justice system; rather 51 different systems with great variation in how delinquency services are provided and evidence-based practices are supported.
Status offense issues
Explore the complexities of how states apply labels to behaviors that are illegal merely by virtue of a youth's status as a minor.
Youth who are involved in more than one system may require special attention and coordination. Explore what the states are doing to share information and coordinate services.