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Legislative Waiver Reconsidered: General Deterrent Effects of Statutory Exclusion Laws Enacted Post‐1979

In recent years, the juvenile justice system has undergone a “get tough” transformation. One component of the system which has experienced substantial alteration is the mechanism by which states allow for the waiver of juvenile offenders to adult criminal court. Most of the state systems now have some form of transfer procedure in place and many allow for the automatic transfer (or statutory exclusion) of juveniles who have been charged with certain offenses. Although the effects of waiver laws on individuals have received much empirical attention, their effects on the respective states’ aggregate level violent juvenile crime rates are less understood. In this study, we examine the relative effects of legislative waiver laws in 22 states that have added statutory exclusion provisions since 1979. In doing so, we assess whether legislative waiver should be reconsidered.