The Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission released Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice Recidivism Report as a benchmark analysis of recidivism rates as evidence-based practices are implemented. A few key findings include:
- 80% of repeat offenders came from “disrupted” families (a deceased, separated, or divorced parent or parents never married),
- the younger the juvenile was at the first contact with juvenile court, the more likely the juvenile would recidivate,
- males were three times more likely to commit a repeat offense.
Previously, much of the recidivism research and papers had focused on studies of Florida children authored by Donna M. Bishop and Charles E. Frazier, among others.
Besides being used to analyze the effectiveness of juvenile programs, recidivism rate studies have been widely used in waiver or transfer cases when a juvenile is facing being moved from juvenile court to adult court. Often one of the questions the judge must consider is the safety of the community and the best interest of the child. IC 31-30-3. The best interest analysis can include whether waiver to adult criminal court will actually increase the likelihood that the child will become a repeat offender.