|Adjudication||Judicial decision||Petitioned case|
|Delinquent act||Juvenile||Referral offense|
|Detention||Juvenile Court||Upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction|
|Disposition||Nonpetitioned case||Youth population at risk|
The oldest age at which a juvenile court has original jurisdiction over an individual for law-violating behavior. From 1987 through 1992, the upper age of jurisdiction was 15 in three States (Connecticut, New York, and North Carolina), 16 in eight States (Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas), 18 in one state (Wyoming), and 17 in the remaining 38 states and the District of Columbia.
On July 1, 1993, the upper age of jurisdiction was decreased in Wyoming from 18 to 17. On January 1, 1996, the upper age of jurisdiction for both New Hampshire and Wisconsin was decreased from 17 to 16.
It must be noted that within most States there are exceptions to the age criteria that place or permit youth at or below the State's upper age of jurisdiction to be under the original jurisdiction of the adult criminal court. For example, in most States if a youth of a certain age is charged with one of a defined list of what are commonly labeled "excluded offenses," the case must originate in the adult criminal court. In addition, in a number of States, the district attorney is given the discretion of filing certain cases either in the juvenile court or in the criminal court. Therefore, while the upper age of jurisdiction is commonly recognized in all States, there are numerous exceptions to this age criteria.
For delinquency and status offense matters, this is the number of children from age 10 through the upper age of jurisdiction. In all States the upper age of jurisdiction is defined by statute. In most States individuals are considered adults when they reach their 18th birthday. Therefore, for these States, the delinquency and status offense youth population at risk would be the number of children 10 through 17 years of age living within the geographical area serviced by the court.
For the actual populations, see the Population at risk topic of the Methods section.