line Source of Referral

Delinquency cases can be referred to court intake by a number of sources, including law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, schools, parents, probation officers, and victims. However, law enforcement agencies are traditionally the source of most delinquency referrals. In 1996, for example, 86% of delinquency cases were referred to courts by law enforcement (table 4). About the same proportion of delinquency cases were referred to juvenile court by law enforcement in 1987 (84%).

Table 4

There is some variation across the four major offense categories in the proportion of cases referred by law enforcement. In 1996, 93% of drug law violation cases were referred by law enforcement agencies, as were 91% of property cases and 86% of person offense cases. However, a smaller proportion of public order offense cases were referred by law enforcement sources (69%), perhaps because this offense category contains probation violations and contempt-of-court cases, which are referred most often by court personnel.


Juvenile Court Statistics 1996   July 1999

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