National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Evaluation of Waiver Effects in Maryland, 1998-2000 (ICPSR 4077) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The purpose of this research was to assist policymakers in determining if the targeted youths affected by the waiver laws passed by the Maryland legislature in 1994 and 1998 were being processed as intended. The waiver laws were enacted to ensure that a youth who was unwilling to comply with treatment and/or committed a serious offense would have a serious consequence to his/her action and, therefore, would be processed in the adult system. As a result of the legislation, four pathways of court processing emerged which created four groups of youths to study: at-risk of waiver (not waived), waiver, legislative waiver, and reverse waver. A variety of data sources in both the juvenile and adult systems were triangulated to obtain the necessary information to accurately describe the youths involved. The triangulation of data from multiple file sources happened in a variety of formats (automated, hardcopy, and electronic files) from a variety of agencies to compare and contrast youths processed in the juvenile and adult systems. The five legislative criteria (age, mental and physical condition, amenability to treatment, crime seriousness, and public safety) plus extra-legal data were used as a framework to profile the youths in this study. Many of the variables chosen to explore each domain were included in previous studies. Other variables, such as those designed to operationalize mental health issues (not defined by the legislation) were chosen to extend the literature and to generate the most complete profile of youths processed in each system. The study includes variables pertinent to the five legislative criteria in addition to demographic and family information variables such as gender, race, and socioeconomic status, information on school expulsions, school suspensions, gang involvement, drug history, health, and hospitalization.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. A login is required to apply for access.

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Dataset(s)

Dataset
Documentation:
Download:
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description

Citation

Smith, Cindy J., Kimberly S. Craig, Sallie M. Brodus, and Cynthea Kimmelman. Evaluation of Waiver Effects in Maryland, 1998-2000 . ICPSR04077-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research[distributor], 2004. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04077.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (98-CE-VX-0018)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   courts, jurisdiction, juvenile offenders, prediction, prosecution

Smallest Geographic Unit:   None

Geographic Coverage:   Maryland

Time Period:  

  • 1998--2000

Date of Collection:  

  • 1998--2000

Unit of Observation:   Individuals

Universe:   Urban and rural youths ages 12 to 19 processed in the Maryland court system in 1998.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The purpose of this research was to assist policymakers in determining if the targeted youths affected by the waiver laws passed by the Maryland legislature in 1994 and 1998 were being processed as intended. The waiver laws not only affected the lives of youths but also changed the court of original jurisdiction to the adult court for 1,500 youths per year. The waiver laws were enacted to ensure that a youth who was unwilling to comply with treatment and/or committed a serious offense would have a serious consequence to his/her action and, therefore, would be processed in the adult system. This research project set out to pursue the following three objectives: (1) to develop prediction models of waiver by asking whether the decision to waive or reverse waive was based on the five legislative criteria for waiver and whether the waiver group could be predicted from the legislative criteria or whether there were other factors more predictive, (2) to create profiles of the youths in each waiver category by asking who was being waived in Maryland and what their characteristics were, and (3) to compare 1990-1992 overrepresentation results to 1998-1999 data for various decision points and extension into the adult system by asking whether the waiver further exacerbated an already disproportionate minority system.

Study Design:   As a result of the legislation, four pathways of court processing emerged which created four groups of youths to study: at-risk of waiver (not waived), waiver, legislative waiver, and reverse waiver. The at-risk and reverse waiver youths were processed in the juvenile justice system, and the waiver and legislative waiver youths were processed in the adult system. During 1998, 599 youths housed in Maryland's secure commitment facilities created the population of at-risk youths for this study. There were 1,200 legislatively waived youths, of whom only 66 could be identified by the Division of Corrections (DOC) because they were under 18 at the time of admission (October 1998 to March 1999). The reverse waiver group was randomly selected from those identified as being returned to the juvenile justice system. A variety of data sources in both the juvenile and adult systems were triangulated to obtain the necessary information to accurately describe the youths involved. The triangulation of data from multiple file sources happened in a variety of formats (automated data sets, hardcopy files, and electronic files) from a variety of agencies to compare and contrast youths processed in the juvenile and adult systems. Triangulation is the process of examining a phenomenon from varied perspectives to verify or support the findings of a study. For example, to determine if a youth had delinquent peers, it was not sufficient to read the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) file and see if the case worker reported delinquent peers. Triangulation included reviewing the parental summary of the youth's activities in the home and reviewing the court files to determine if the youth had co-defendants. The five legislative criteria (age, mental and physical condition, amenability to treatment, crime seriousness, and public safety) plus extra-legal data were used as a framework to profile the youths in this study. Many of the variables chosen to explore each domain were included in previous studies. Other variables, such as those designed to operationalize mental health issues (not defined by the legislation), were chosen to extend the literature and to generate the most complete profile of youths processed in each system.

Sample:   From the population of at-risk (N = 599), waived (N = 258), reverse waived (N = 282), and legislatively waived (N = approximately 1,200) Maryland youths, a disproportionate stratified sample of 298 youths processed in 1998 was selected. From lists provided by the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), a stratified disproportionate random sample of cases from counties that represented both rural and urban Maryland was extracted from the population resulting in at-risk (N = 69), waiver (N = 105), and reverse waiver (N = 72) youths. All files that could be readily located were included from the Maryland Department of Correction list (N = 52). As the manual file review progressed, it became evident that the waiver codes used in the DJJ automated data were incorrect. Therefore, the final sample sizes varied by as much as 47 percent error from the original sample sizes by category -- at-risk (N = 79), waived (N = 123), reverse waived (N = 38), and legislatively waived (N = 58) -- which demonstrates the necessity of triangulation to ensure that the results were accurate.

Data Source:

Data were collected in a variety of formats (automated, hardcopy, and electronic) from a variety of agencies. Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Probation and Parole, Baltimore City Jail, Division of Correction within the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services provided automated datasets, Department of Juvenile Justice, Division of Correction within the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services also provided hardcopy files. Baltimore City Juvenile Court, Baltimore City Adult Court, Prince George's Adult Court, Prince George's Adult Jail, and Montgomery County Adult Jail provided electronic files.

Description of Variables:   Variables pertinent to the five legislative criteria include age (at current offense/intake), mental condition (mention of prior psychological or psychiatric evaluations or commitments, notations of prior mental health counseling, the presence of relevant DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] diagnoses, current or previous use of psychotropic medications, exposure to trauma, experiencing or witnessing serious injury, and information on suicide attempts), physical condition (birth complications, number of hospitalizations, and traumatic factors such as head injuries and loss of oxygen to the brain), amenability to treatment (gang involvement, a history of delinquent peers, employment history), crime seriousness (gun use in offense, total prior crimes including current), and public safety (safety risk). In addition, demographic and family information was also studied based on its pertinence to the waiver decision, such as gender, race, height, and weight information on each offender, rural versus urban environments, birthplace, socioeconomic status, family structure, the presence and absence of an adult male in the home, family support structure, familial criminal and drug abuse history information, special education needs, number of grades repeated, a history of attendance problems, expulsions, and/or suspensions.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Related Publications

Utilities

Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics

Found a problem? Use our Report Problem form to let us know.