National Estimates of Petitioned Status Offense Cases (Continued)
Age at Referral
Petitioned status offense case rates increased continuously with the age of juveniles (figure 16). In 1995, juvenile courts processed 3.4 petitioned status offense cases involving 13-year-old juveniles for every 1,000 13-year-olds at risk of referral. The case rate for 15-year-olds (9.2 per 1,000) was more than double the case rate for 13-year-olds, while the rate for 17-year-olds (12.3 per 1,000) was more than triple that for 13-year-olds. Between 1986 and 1995, petitioned status offense case rates increased among all age categories (table 64). The rates for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds rose 86% and 106%, respectively.
Age-specific case rate patterns were different among the individual offense categories (figure 17). Runaway, truancy, and ungovernability case rates peaked at age 15 and decreased substantially by age 17. In contrast, status liquor law violation case rates increased continuously with age. The liquor case rate increased from 1.5 cases per 1,000 youth at risk at age 15 to 6.6 cases per 1,000 at age 17.