For Immediate Release

Contact: Rob Grant, Communications Director
202.966.7300, Ext. 119

Samantha Phillips, Communications Coordinator
202.966.7300, Ext. 154

AACAP Releases Policy Statement on Jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court System

Washington, DC, February 2, 2017 – The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is pleased to release a new policy statement on the jurisdiction of the juvenile court system. As the policy statement asserts, neuroscience research has established that brain development continues throughout adolescence and into the early to mid-twenties.

For most crimes, legislatures are increasingly raising the age at which young people can be tried as adults to 18. AACAP encourages this trend, as the Academy specifically believes that defendants under the age of 18 should be adjudicated through the juvenile court system. Read more on AACAP’s position:

AACAP Policy Statement, "Jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court System"

The necessity and the timeliness of this resource cannot be understated. By declaring a strong stance on this current topic, AACAP aims to improve the health of youth everywhere.

Our policy statements are created to demonstrate the opinions of the organization, based on the input of our member experts. This policy statement in particular expresses our support of reevaluating and revising existing statutes pertaining to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court system.

If you would like to speak to an expert, please reach out to


Representing 9,200+ child and adolescent psychiatrists nationwide, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children's mental health.

AACAP Members actively research, diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents and their families. For more information please visit