Annotated Bibliography for Juvenile Transfer to Adult Prisons

Towards the end of the 20th century, legislative changes made it easier for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to treat juveniles as adults, but this had negative consequences in the criminal justice system. The ease of transferring juvenile offenders to the adult criminal justice system resulted in a significant increase in the number of juveniles tried as adults. Consequently, this increased the possibility of recidivism among juveniles who has spent time in adult facilities. While the major goal of the criminal justice system is the rehabilitation of offenders, incarceration of juveniles in adult prisons is likely to achieve the opposite by increasing recidivism rates among the juvenile offenders. Juveniles in adult prisons are likely to learn new crimes, vices, and become part of gangs. This calls for the reshaping of policies guiding the transfer of juveniles to the adult criminal justice system.


Shook, Jeffrey J. “Looking Back and Thinking Forward: Examining the Consequences of             Policies and Practices that Treat Juveniles as Adults.” Journal of Evidence-Based Social           Work, vol. 11, no. 4, 2014, pp. 392-403.

Incarcerating youths in adult prisons will do more harm than good to them and the larger society as well. While law enforcement officers are inclined to push for harsh forms of punishment such as extended incarceration in adult prisons, this is likely to increase the likelihood of recidivism or the youths falling deeper in crime. The author argues that youths in adult prisons have significantly poor life outcomes mainly emanating from lack of age-appropriate programs in the adult facilities. Such youths were more likely to have poor education outcomes, mental health issues, substance use issues, and were subject to high victimization, which increased the risks of depression and suicide. In addition, such youths in adult facilities were more inclined to commit various misdemeanors that earned them time in solitary confinement and prolonged incarceration period.

This article will be critical in proving my thesis statement that treating youths like adults in the criminal justice system will have significant negative consequences. The article provides a meta-analysis of existing literature on juvenile incarceration in adult facilities. The findings are critical in that they highlight much of the negative consequences that youths in adult prisons are likely to face. These consequences include educational challenges, substance use, and mental health issues. The author, however, notes that certain crimes or frequency of offending may inform the decision to transfer a youth to adult prison. The findings by the article are that youth incarceration in adult prisons increases the overall risks of recidivism. This article will be relevant in the literature review section of the article since it helps in evaluating much of the research on the ground.


Taylor, Melanie. “Juvenile Transfers to Adult Court: An Examination of the Long-Term   Outcomes of Transferred and Non-Transferred Juveniles: Juvenile Transfers to Adult     Court.” Juvenile and Family Court Journal, vol. 66, no. 4, 2015, pp. 29-47.

The author examines how incarceration of youths in adult prisons affects the youths in the long term. One of the main findings in the article is that youth incarceration in adult prisons, and especially for those who commit low-level crimes, is likely to increase the possibility of recidivism in the future. While the study finds no significant relationship between incarceration in adult prisons and completing college, there was a significant negative relationship with regard to annual income. The findings indicated that youths who face incarceration in adult prisons earn significantly lower annual income as adults. The results were true even after controlling for certain key factors that may affect income levels such as the amount of time worked and possession of a college certificate.

I will use this source to prove that youth incarceration in adult prisons have far reaching consequences even in one’s adulthood. Specifically, it is clear that youths in adult prisons are more likely to earn less as adults even when considering various factors. This increases the chances of recidivism since they may engage in crime to uplift their social status. The article substantiates my ideas that taking youths who commit low-level crimes to adult prisons will likely increase the possibility of recidivism in future. This article will be critical in the analysis section. The article utilizes primary data and quantitative techniques to draw conclusions about youth incarceration in adult prisons, thus making it highly reliable