Status Offense Statistics
ArrestsThe Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting Program collects data on three categories of status offenses: runaways, curfew violations (including loitering law violations), and liquor law violations. According to the arrest statistics compiled by the FBI for 2007, there were 392,900 arrests of juveniles (persons under 18 years old) in these three categories. Runaways accounted for almost 27.8 percent of the arrests (108,900), curfew violations accounted for 36.4 percent (143,000), and liquor law violations accounted for 35.9 percent (141,000). Since 1998, there has been a 36 percent decline in the number of arrests for runaways, a 30 percent decline for curfew violations, and a 20 percent decline for liquor law violations (Puzzanchera, 2009). Petitioned and Adjudicated Cases In 2005, there were an estimated 150,600 status offense cases petitioned and formally disposed of in juvenile courts, with 59 percent of the cases resulting in adjudication. Probation, Other Sanction, and Out-of-Home PlacementsOf the adjudicated status offense cases, 52 percent received probation, 36 percent received another sanction, and 12 percent received an out-of-home placement. Between 1995 and 2005, the number of petitioned runaway cases remained stable, but the number of petitioned truancy cases increased 60 percent (32,800 to 52,400) and the number of ungovernability cases increased 29 percent (17,200 to 22,200) [Puzzanchera and Sickmund, 2008]. The likelihood of adjudication for a status offense case has also increased over time. In 1995, there was a 50 percent likelihood of adjudication for status offense cases, compared with a 63 percent likelihood by 2004 (Stahl, 2008). Adjudicated status offense cases were more likely to result in an order of probation (52 percent) than an out-of-home placement (12 percent). The number of adjudicated status offenders who received out-of-home placement increased 62 percent between 1995 and 2000, but decreased 28 percent by 2005. Runaway and ungovernability cases made up the largest share of adjudicated cases that resulted in out-of-home placement, but, by 2005, truancy cases accounted for the largest share (Puzzanchera and Sickmund, 2008).
Residential Placements In 2006, there were a reported 92,854 juveniles in custody in public and private residential placements. They included 4,717 juvenile status offenders (5.1 percent of the total population). Delinquents outnumbered status offenders in residential placement populations by a ratio of 20 to 1. For public facilities, the ratio was 49 to 1, and the ratio was 8.4 to 1 for private facilities (Sickmund, Sladky, and Kang, 2008). Use of Detention In Juvenile Court Statistics 2005, detention refers to "the placement of a youth in a secure facility under court authority at some point between the time of referral to court intake and case disposition" (Puzzanchera and Sickmund, 2008:101). The statistics that follow exclude detention decisions made before court referral and after case disposition. Between 1995 and 2005, the number of petitioned status offense cases involving detention increased 54.5 percent (7,700 to 11,900). However, the proportion of cases detained remained close to the same in 2005 (8 percent) as in 1995 (7 percent). Before 1997, runaways represented the largest portion of detained petitioned status offense cases. However, since 2002, liquor law violations have accounted for the largest share of the caseload: 23 percent of detained status offense cases, compared with 19 percent of ungovernability cases, 17 percent of runaway cases, 15 percent of truancy cases, 8 percent of curfew violations, and 18 percent of miscellaneous cases (Puzzanchera and Sickmund, 2008).
OJJDP Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders
Best Practices Database
The OJJDP Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders Best Practices Database was created and developed by
Development Services Group
under Cooperative Agreement #2008-JF-FX-0072.