Typically, juvenile courts have jurisdiction of youth charged with criminal offenses. However, Washington state law1 allows prosecutors to request for a discretionary decline of jurisdiction which transfers a youth to adult court, with the approval of the juvenile court. Furthermore, in 1994 Washington State Legislature passed the Youth Violence Reduction Act which led to certain youth being automatically declined of jurisdiction to the adult court based on offense and criminal history.
This study focused on two cohorts of youth who received a decline of jurisdiction, either discretionary or automatic, and who were enrolled as 9th graders in a Washington state public school during academic years 2004-2005 and 2014-2015. For the first cohort, high school outcomes, post-secondary enrollment, and workforce outcomes were examined. For the second cohort, attendance and discipline were examined.