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Blending Sentencing: One Kid, Two Potential Outcomes

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Childrens Law

Childrens Law


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Many states have enacted blended sentencing statutes. These statutes allow juvenile courts to impose both juvenile and adult correctional sanctions or extend their jurisdiction over the youth into early adulthood. Many believe there are benefits to this type of sentencing scheme as provides kids with a last chance in juvenile court who would otherwise be at risk for transfer to the adult system, offering more appropriate treatment and rehabilitative options. Others argue that it is unconstitutional and expands the number of kids that are at risk of transfer to the adult system, contributing to existing problems such as disproportionate minority contact. Guests on this episode of Spotlight on Youth will explore the debates around blended sentencing and discuss how it is implemented  across the country.
Donna J. Gillitzer, Juvenile Probation, Program Manager, Hennepin County, Minnesota
Shelly Schaefer, Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science, Hamline University
Chad R. Trulson, Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Criminal Justice, University of North Texas