For the Defense - Volume 1, Issue 4 - 2016 - 50


five-year average of 35 percent for all cases of
the same type. In cases that were not decertified,
YSRP improved the sentences imposed on clients
in terms of both duration and location; only one
client was sent to an adult prison, and another
was released to the community to a mother-baby
drug and alcohol treatment program, avoiding
time in the county jail.
Fifty years after Kent, the prosecution of
children as adults remains a vexing question,
buffeted by rising or falling crime rates, public
opinion, community anxiety and, most recently,
emerging research which suggests children
should never be mechanically equated with
adults - no matter how serious their behavior. YSRP is working to incorporate this more
modern, research-driven approach to juvenile
offending into a transfer scheme borne of
1990's fears. YSRP's courtroom advocacy is but
one innovative response to changing attitudes;
systemic judicial and legislative reforms must be
pursued as well.

10.	

Notes	
1.	
2.	
3.	

4.	
5.	
6.	
7.	
8.	

9.	

50

383 U.S. 541 (1966).
Id. at 547
David S. Tanenhaus, The Evolution of Transfer out of
the Juvenile Court, in The Changing Borders of Juvenile
Justice: Transfer of Adolescents to the Criminal Court 13,
15, 19-21 (Jeffrey Fagan & Franklin E. Zimring, eds.,
2000).
Kent, 383 U.S. at 556.
Id. at 561-64.
Id. at 555.
Id. at 565-68.
Patrick Griffin, Patricia Torbet & Linda Szymanski, Office
of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention, Trying
Juveniles as Adults in Criminal Court: An Analysis of State
Transfer Provisions 3-4 (1998).
These other forms of juvenile transfer include
statutory exclusion, where the legislature amends
the jurisdiction of its juvenile courts to exclude
youth above a certain age and/or youth who are
charged with certain crimes, as well as prosecutorial
discretion, where the prosecutor alone can choose
to petition the youthful offender in either the
juvenile or criminal court. Richard E. Redding,
Juvenile Transfer Laws: An Effective Deterrent
to Delinquency? Juv. Just. Bull. (2010). Reports
incorporating other types of transfer provisions
estimate that more than 200,000 youth per year are
tried in adult court. Campaign for Youth Justice, Key
Facts: Youth in the Justice System (June 2010), available

For The Defense | Vol. 1, Issue 4

11.	
12.	
13.	
14.	
15.	
16.	
17.	
18.	

19.	

20.	

at http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/documents/FS KeyYouthCrimeFacts.pdf.
See 2 James C. Howell, Superpredators and Other
Myths About Juvenile Delinquency, in Preventing and
Reducing Juvenile Delinquency 3, 4-5 (2009); Steven
D. Levitt, Juvenile Crime and Punishment, 106 J.
Pol. Economy 1156, 1157 (1998). In accordance
with these new "get tough" policies, many states
added deterrence and retribution to their juvenile
justice systems' stated goals. Patricia Torbet et al.,
supra note 38. It should also be noted that the
overall consequences of adult criminal justice
involvement are stark for all people, but especially
for low-income children of color. Adolescence is a
key time for developing relationships, one's identity,
learning, and skills growth; neuroscience research
is clear about the detrimental impacts of adult
incarceration on a young person's development.
Children in adult prisons are five times more likely
to be sexually assaulted than those in juvenile
placements, and are eight times more likely to
commit suicide than are their counterparts held in
the juvenile justice system. Additionally, a study of
youth sentenced as adults in Pennsylvania found
that those transferred to the adult system were
77% more likely to be arrested for a violent felony
after completing their sentences. Finally, when
a teenager goes into prison, his or her future
economic prospects plummet: people with criminal
convictions before age 23 are twice as likely to live
below the poverty line at age 25 as those who have
never been arrested.
543 U.S. 551 (2005).
560 U.S. 48 (2010).
567 U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012).
See, e.g., Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. at 68.
42. Pa. C.S. § 6302.
42 Pa. C.S. §6322.
Id.
There are two primary components of YSRP's
approach: 1. Aiding under-resourced court-appointed attorneys with youth clients facing adult
charges at the decertification and sentencing stages
of criminal and juvenile trials, and 2. supporting
incarcerated youth and their families as they plan
for, and execute reentry.
It is worth noting that YSRP derives its sentencing
advocacy model from work done in the death
penalty context, where investigators develop
mitigation reports for use during the penalty phase
of capital trials. The addition of reentry planning
distinguishes the model YSRP employs from more
traditional forms of mitigation.
YSRP targets youth who are appointed attorneys
by the court when the public defender office has a
conflict of interest; children are particularly likely
to present such conflicts because they are often
charged with offenses committed in groups.


http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/documents/FS%20KeyYouthCrimeFacts.pdf http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/documents/FS%20KeyYouthCrimeFacts.pdf

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Volume 1, Issue 4 - 2016

Contents
For the Defense - Volume 1, Issue 4 - 2016 - 1
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For the Defense - Volume 1, Issue 4 - 2016 - Contents
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