Using 1999-2008 data from the Federal Justice Statistics Program and interviews with federal and tribal officials, this report describes the prevalence, characteristics, and outcomes of juveniles handled at each stage of the federal justice system. Although juvenile cases are rare in the federal system, over the ten year period about half of all juveniles were tribal youth. The report explores the jurisdictional complexities that help explain why tribal youth cases enter the federal system. Tribal and non-tribal juvenile cases differed in significant ways: most tribal youth cases involved violent offenses, while most non-tribal cases involved public order and drug offenses; and tribal youth were more likely to be adjudicated delinquent, while non-tribal youth were more likely to be prosecuted as adults.
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