If prosecuting minors in the adult system is supposed to be cutting the worst kind of crime, Jeffrey Butts, director of research and evaluation at City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said the strategy is falling short. Earlier this year, Butts released an analysis of national crime data that found violent crime hasn’t fallen any faster in states where a large number of minors are prosecuted in adult courts. “Overall, the rate of serious crime has dropped over the past 15 years,” Butts said. But, as those crimes have fallen, “police spend more time on the little things that used to be ignored,” he said.
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