The lead article in this month's issue draws attention to a juvenile population about which little is known: youths who are transferred from the juvenile justice system to adult criminal court. Historically, juvenile court judges made transfer decisions on a case-by-case basis. However, 29 states have now passed laws making transfer mandatory solely on the basis of the type of offense, criminal history, and age of the youth. Another 15 states also bypass juvenile court judges and allow prosecutors to make transfer decisions. In a study of 1,715 youths who were arrested and detained in Chicago, Jason J. Washburn, Ph.D., and colleagues compared two groups—1,440 youths who were processed in juvenile court and 275 who were transferred to adult criminal court. They found similarly high rates of psychiatric and substance use disorders in both groups. Males, Hispanics, and African Americans were significantly more likely to be transferred. After transfer, youths with a psychiatric or substance use disorder were twice as likely to receive a prison sentence. The authors note that the sociodemographic factors they found to be associated with transfer are the same factors found by others to be associated with a lower likelihood of receiving psychiatric services (page 965). In the Taking Issue commentary, Bonnie T. Zima, M.D., M.P.H., notes that "tough on crime" legislation has undermined the parens patriae legal premise for the juvenile justice system and commends Washburn and colleagues for outlining research and policy agendas to improve mental health care for youths in the justice system (page 955).