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Challenges Facing Crossover Youth: An Examination of Juvenile Justice Decision Making and Recidivism

Although a substantial amount of research documents the increased likelihood of maltreated youths to engage in delinquency, very little is known about them once they cross into delinquency. These youths are often referred to as “crossover youth,”“dual jurisdiction,” or “dually involved” youth, and based on a growing amount of research, it appears these youths face a number of challenges. They have significant educational problems, high rates of placement changes and high rates of substance abuse and mental health problems, and when they enter the juvenile justice system, they are more likely to stay longer and penetrate deeper into the system then their nonmaltreated counterparts. Using data from Los Angeles County (N= 581), the purpose of this study is to identify what characteristics among a crossover population are more likely to result in receiving harsher dispositions and higher recidivism rates.