Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Susan Caulfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Ronald Kramer

Third Advisor

Dr. Lewis Walker

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


On October 1, 1988, the Michigan Juvenile Waiver Package took effect in Michigan. One of the results of this was the implementation of prosecutorial waiver method in Michigan. Whereas previously juveniles could only be waived and tried in the adult court via a judicial waiver, now it was possible for the prosecutor to waive juveniles aged 15 or 16 if charged with one or more of seven specified Class 1A felonies. Data were collected for all youth subject to prosecutorial waiver in Wayne County over a five year period, from October 1, 1988 through October 1, 1993. Data included: date of waiver; age, race, and sex of the juvenile; the offense charged; and the outcome of the waiver trial. It was found that over half of the juveniles waived to the adult court were returned to the juvenile justice system for sentencing after conviction. This was unexpected, as one of the goals of the waiver law was harsher punishment for serious, violent youth. In summary, the prosecutorial waiver law in Michigan appears to serve more of a symbolic function than an instrumental one.