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Changes in Washington State's Jurisdiction of Juvenile Offenders: Examining the Impact

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Robert Barnoski - January 2003

The 1994 Violence Reduction Act transferred jurisdiction of 16- and 17-year-old youth charged with certain violent felonies from juvenile to adult court. The 1997 Legislature revised the juvenile sentencing system and expanded the crimes that automatically transfer juvenile cases to adult court. The 1997 legislation also directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Institute) to “examine the impact and effectiveness of changes made in the exclusive original jurisdiction of juvenile court over juvenile offenders.” This report analyzes the law’s impact and effectiveness by comparing similar cases filed before and after the law’s enactment. Because of inaccuracies in the state administrative databases, this report cannot be considered an audit of practice.

Report ID: 03-01-1203
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