Podkopacz and Feld make several errors while attempting to draw a relationship between their localized studies and the role of waivers in court systems throughout the country. The study takes particular effort in ensuring that the population sample drawn from Hennepin's records is reflective of the waiver trends Minnesota as well the United States. While the study succeeds in showing that its offender population generally reflects trends throughout the United States, the authors do not show that the judges sampled in the study are representative of the judges throughout Minnesota and the United States. If the authors had attempted to craft a more detailed profile of the judges, who made the subjective decision to issue the wavers, and drew a comparison to judges throughout the country, it would follow the judges elsewhere would make similar subjective decisions.
The authors take a conservative stance on recidivism by choosing to allow actual adjudications or convictions to stand as indicators of recidivism rather than rearrests. The authors claim that recidivism rates of juveniles indicate that court systems are not achieving their goal.
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With recent significant increases in youth violence, criminals courts have begun to apply several techniques to handle juvenile offenders. The most common form, judicial wavers, are used by a judge after a hearing to determine if a youth is a threat to his or her environment and if the offender would do well with treatment…
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