Do the Crime, Do the Time
Juvenile Criminals and Adult Justice in the American Court System
by G. Larry Mays and Rick Ruddell
March 2012, 242pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39242-9
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39243-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The first juvenile court was created in the United States in 1899. Since then, there have always been provisions in juvenile courts for those rare youngsters who would be more appropriately handled by the adult criminal courts. However, use of this provision was rare until the 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, the practice increased, resulting in many youngsters being tried as adults. Has this approach to juvenile crime worked or not?

This book provides a fresh look at the way the United States is choosing to deal with some of the serious or persistent youth offenders: by transferring juvenile offenders to adult courts.

For more than 20 years now, the attitude in some jurisdictions has been “if you’re old enough to do the crime, you’re old enough to do the time.” After two decades of applying this increasingly punitive mindset to juvenile offenders, it is possible to see the actual consequences of transferring more and younger offenders to adult courts.

In Do the Crime, Do the Time: Juvenile Criminals and Adult Justice in the American Court System, the authors apply their decades of experience, both in the practical world and from unique research perspectives, to shed light on the influence of public opinion and the political forces that shape juvenile justice policy in the United States. The book provides a fresh look at the way the United States is choosing to deal with some of the serious or persistent juvenile offenders, utilizing real-life examples and cases to draw connections between transfer policies and individual outcomes.

G. Larry Mays, PhD, is Regents Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. He has taught at East Tennessee State University (1975-79), Appalachian State University (1979-81), and New Mexico State University (1981-2010). He was a police officer in Knoxville, TN, in the early 1970s and received his doctorate in political science from the University of Tennessee. Mays is author or editor of 18 books and nearly 100 scholarly articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries, and practitioner publications.

Rick Ruddell, PhD, is Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Chair in Police Studies and faculty in the Department of Justice Studies at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. He has previously served as director of operational research with the Correctional Service of Canada, and held faculty positions at Eastern Kentucky University and California State University, Chico. Ruddell received his doctorate in criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and his research has focused upon policing, criminal justice policy, and juvenile justice.


"This important book comes at a crucial time in the history of the U.S. justice system. . . . This fine book by Mays and Ruddell is a valuable tool for modern day reformers.—Punishment & Society, December 13, 2013

"Mays and Ruddell offer a well-supported and balanced analysis of the state of juvenile justice, with a focus on transfer of youth to adult courts. . . . By alerting readers to the indefinite future of juvenile justice and youth transfers, Mays and Ruddell open the door for legal and empirical scholars, as well as those interested in juvenile rights, to build upon their findings and possibly shape the juvenile court’s future."—Journal of Youth and Adolescence, October 10, 2013

"In their comprehensive overview, Mays (emer., New Mexico State Univ.) and Ruddell (Univ. of Regina, Canada) explain how the rehabilitative goals of juvenile justice reformers have been altered by recent policies allowing juvenile offenders to be transferred to adult criminal court. . . . Summing Up: Recommended."—Choice, October 1, 2012
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