The future of criminal violence: Juveniles tried as adults

Patricia Kirkish, Shoba Sreenivasan, Robert Welsh, Wilfred Van Gorp, Spencer Eth, Steven Shoptaw, Walter Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Juveniles tried as adults (JTA) represent a select and small subsample of juvenile offenders. This study seeks to provide a profile of habitually violent JTAs transferred to the adult penal system and to compare them with their adult counterparts. Twenty-nine incarcerated violent male juveniles tried as adults were compared with a sample of 27 incarcerated violent male offenders across demographic, neuropsychological, criminal history, psychopathy, and substance abuse variables. The JTAs were characterized by a high rate of gang membership (96%), substance abuse (alcohol, marijuana, and phenylcyclidene), and use of guns. In the juvenile sample, 65 percent used guns in violence not leading to arrest, and 93 percent used guns in a violent crime leading to arrest. Juvenile offenders were similar to their adult counterparts in patterns of criminality, although adult offenders had higher psychopathy scores. Both groups revealed generally intact neuropsychological functioning with the exception of a higher rate of perseverative responses in the adult sample. The results are discussed in terms of the implication of the degree of violence in a young offender population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-46
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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