The process of transferring juveniles to adult courts has shown no effects on decreasing recidivism or a deterrent outcome. Waiver as it is known has three means by which a juvenile can be transferred to an adult court. Judicial waiver offenses, statutory exclusions, and concurrent jurisdiction are the three methods in which a waiver can occur. This research will describe each one of these methods with detail. It will also provide statistical facts showing why waiver can be a very debatable topic within the juvenile criminal justice system. In its totality it will discuss the arguments for and against waiver.
The age of the offender determines whether they meet the requirements for a judicial waiver offense. With that said not every state offers all three of the methods a juvenile can qualify for a waiver. In the process of judicial waiver offense the judge takes the final decision on waiving a case. There are other factors that affect the judge’s final decision. Aspects like the criminal history of the offender or the severity of the crime are crucial for the waiver to take place.
Statutory Exclusion is when certain offenses are barred. By 1997, 28 states had statutory exclusions (Juvenile "waiver" (transfer to adult court)). Offenses commonly excluded are first degree murder, or any other felony. Similar to Judicial waiver age too play an important role in determining if the juvenile offender can be tried as an adult. In this mechanism it is not the judge who decides but the prosecutor. Once the prosecutor has made the decision to charge a juvenile with an excluded offense, the case must be filed in criminal court (Statutory Exclusion, 2008).
A more complex method of waiver is the concurrent jurisdiction mean. The concurrent jurisdiction mechanism allows the prosecutor to report a case in both juvenile and adult court. Some states also have a legal provision which allows the prosecutor to file a juvenile case in both juvenile and adult court because the offense and the age of the accused meet certain criteria (Juvenile "waiver" (transfer to adult court)). Nearly fifteen states currently have this provision in the US.
Issues surrounding the transfer of juveniles to adult courts are many but in particular racial disparity, and wrongfully being tried in adult courts. For circumstances like this roughly around twenty three states have what is called reverse waiver. This waiver gives the juvenile the right to appeal his case being heard in adult courts. By enacting a reverse waiver provision, a State may simultaneously define a broad category of cases that it considers merit criminal court handling and ensure that its courts have an opportunity to consider whether such handling is actually appropriate in individual cases (Reverse Waiver, 1998). Racial disparity has become a huge concern especially with studies which have shown prejudice facts. When the numbers were expressed as rates per 100,000 in the population...