Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Frederick R. Lynch

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Rights Information

© 2012 Ann K. Kam


Since the mid-1980s, California's juvenile justice system has been struggling to address two phenomena: crossover youth and the policy of dual jurisdiction. Crossover youth are children who are simultaneously involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems; in conjunction, the policy of dual jurisdiction is a policy that permits juvenile courts to assume collaborative jurisdiction over crossover youth's child welfare and juvenile justice cases. Between 1989 and 2004, the system's actors adhered to California Welfare & Institutions Code (WIC) § 241.1, which prohibited the policy of dual jurisdiction. As a result, the system's actors assigned crossover youth to either the child welfare or juvenile justice system, and these children did not receive proper treatment. However, in January 2005, the California state legislature amended WIC § 241.1 to incorporate Section (e), which is also known as the policy of dual jurisdiction. Subsequently, the system's actors now have the option to assign crossover youth to both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and these children can receive holistic services from both systems. Currently, approximately two southern Californian counties implement the policy of dual jurisdiction. This thesis argues that the implementation of dual jurisdiction is necessary as it serves in the best interests of crossover youth by addressing the issue of disproportionate minority contact, decreasing the rates of juvenile recidivism, and increasing the availability of rehabilitative services. This thesis also uses preliminary field research to demonstrate the policy of dual jurisdiction's benefits and to encourage more counties to adopt this policy.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.