When examining the impact of juvenile system processing and whether it reduces subsequent delinquency, the authors reviewed studies that included more than 7,300 juveniles across 29 experiments reported over a 35-year period. Based on the evidence presented, not only does formal processing of juveniles appear not to control crime, it actually seems to increase delinquency - across all measures.
Given the additional financial costs associated with system processing - especially when compared to doing nothing - and the lack of evidence for any public safety benefit, the authors recommend jurisdictions review their policies regarding the handling of juveniles.
This article is based on the systematic review: Petrosino A, Turpin-Petrosino C, Guckenburg, S. Formal System Processing of Juveniles: Effects on Delinquency
© Copyright 2010 by The Campbell Collaboration
The Crime Report has published an article about the review.