line Foreword

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of the juvenile court. It is an anniversary worth commemorating, as the juvenile court plays a critical role in the lives of America's children.

As the crux of our response to juvenile crime and violence, the court acts both to protect society and reform offenders by holding them accountable for their delinquent acts. Not only does the court impose sanctions, it also provides the resources to combat further delinquency. The juvenile court is on the front line of our efforts to halt the violence that is permeating our society.

As we approach the dawn of a new millennium, what are the issues that face the juvenile court? Which types of offenders appear before it? Juvenile Court Statistics 1996 addresses these and other significant questions, profiling the nearly 1.8 million delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts in 1996.

The challenges facing the juvenile court are becoming increasingly difficult. From 1987 to 1996, the number of delinquency cases processed by juvenile courts increased 49 percent. Offenses against persons doubled in the same period, while drug law violations cases increased 144 percent.

This Report should serve as a reference to guide our efforts to combat the effects of juvenile delinquency on our youth, their families, and communities. I trust it will help policymakers, researchers, and the public to better understand our juvenile justice system and enhance our response to juvenile crime and violence.

Shay Bilchik
Administrator
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention


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Juvenile Court Statistics 1996   July 1999

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