CJCC Completes First Three-Year Analysis of Juvenile to Adult Criminal Careers

July 18, 2017

Atlanta, GA — The Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), in partnership with Applied Research Services, Inc. (ARS), is pleased to announce it has completed a three-year analysis of juvenile to adult criminal careers. The analysis, Pathways to Desistance: A Comprehensive Analysis of Juvenile to Adult Criminal Careers, was funded by a 2014 State Justice Statistics Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The study describes the likelihood and extent to which juvenile offenders persist in illegal behavior and penetrate into Georgia’s adult criminal justice system. Information for the analysis was provided by numerous partners including: the Georgia Crime Information Center, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, the Council of Juvenile Court Judges, and the Governor’s Office on Student Achievement.

Notably, data were collected from multiple agencies in a unique effort that produced the first statewide longitudinal dataset of justice-involved persons of all ages. This study linked data from the two largest juvenile justice databases in the state to the adult criminal history criminal records repository. Although these databases have been separately analyzed, this was the first time that they were linked which afforded the opportunity to look at the full trajectory of offending from childhood through adulthood. This report answers six specific research questions which help increase knowledge about juvenile offenders and their criminal career trajectory. A key finding was that age at first juvenile referral had no impact on the likelihood of becoming an adult offender—debunking a commonly held belief about juvenile criminality and crime escalation. The full analysis is now publicly available here.

CJCC Executive Director, Jay Neal, says he is proud of the completed report: “We are proud of the work that went into analyzing Georgia’s first longitudinal dataset of those involved in the justice system and hopeful this study can assist with increasing our knowledge of juvenile justice system interventions. Under Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia’s criminal and juvenile justice reform efforts have been nothing short of phenomenal. Increasing our knowledge and understanding of desistance in Georgia can only serve to further those reform efforts.”

Stefanie Lopez-Howard, CJCC SAC Director, added, “Applied Research Services has spent countless hours synthesizing these data and working with our state partners in the hopes the information will be beneficial to policy makers in the future. I am proud that our state partner agencies came together to help us execute this novel research.”

BJS awards grants through a competitive process. This award was made in response to BJS’ 2014 solicitation for State Justice Statistics Program Grants.

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About Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC)

Created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1981 as an Executive Branch agency, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) represents the culmination of many efforts to establish a statewide body that would build consensus and unity among the State's diverse and interdependent, criminal justice system components. For more information visit the CJCC website: https://cjcc.georgia.gov/.


Samantha Wolf – Communications and External Affairs Director | Atlanta | 404/657-1958