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Juveniles' Competence to Stand Trial

During the past 10 years, research on juveniles' capacities to participate in their defense has underscored the need for special care in applying the right to juveniles, especially because youths' capacities for decision-making are still developing. The application of Competence to Stand Trial (CST) to juvenile cases raises special questions that are not found in criminal laws pertaining to CST, which were developed in the context of adult defendents in criminal court. Thus merely applying criminal law definitions and procedures for CST to juvenile proceedings has created ambiguity and controversy.

NYSAP is actively involved in helping states reform their laws, practices, and forensic evaluations regarding juveniles' competence to stand trial.



Issue Brief 1: Adolescent Legal Competence in Court (2013)
by the McArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice


For more information about our juvenile competence to stand trial consultation and technical assistance services please contact us at, or complete this request form. You will receive a response within one to two business days.