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Criminal Resource Manual

132. First factor—age and social background of the juvenile

The first statutory factor specifies only "age and social background of the juvenile." United States v. Nelson, 68 F. 3d 538 (2d Cir. 1995). The court should focus on the defendant's age at the time of the offense. Id. However, unless the government intentionally delays the filing of juvenile charges, there is every reason to give weight also to the age at the time of the transfer motion. Id. Current age is significant for a determination of whether juvenile-type rehabilitation programs would be appropriate for the juvenile. Id. The more mature a juvenile becomes, the harder it is to reform the juvenile's values and behavior. United States v. H.S., 717 F. Supp. at 917. Factual findings should be made as to how the juvenile, at his or her current age, would fit into a program for the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents.: Nelson, 68 F. 3d at 538. Obviously, the nearer the age of the juvenile to eighteen years would weigh more toward transfer. See United States v. Gerald N., 900 F. 2d 189, 191 (9th. Cir. 1990).

There must also be evidence presented concerning the juvenile's social background, such as home environment and relevant cultural considerations. Proof that the juvenile chose criminal behavior while living in a stable home environment may weigh in favor of a transfer. See Doe, 49 F. 3d at 867.

Evidence concerning the age and social background of the juvenile can normally be presented by the juvenile probation officer.