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Victimization in Juvenile Facilities
Q: What are the incident characteristics of sexual victimization in juvenile facilities?
A: Nearly one-third (32.0%) of victims of youth-on-youth sexual victimization reported being injured by the perpetrator, and about one in thirty (3.4%) youth victimized by facility staff reported being injured.

Circumstances surrounding sexual victimization in juvenile facilities, 2018

Incident characteristics Youth on youth Staff sexual misconduct
Victim injury
Yes 32.0% 3.4%
No 68.0% 96.6%
When victimization first happened
During first 24 hours 12.1% 8.9%
During first week (but not first 24 hours) 17.8% 14.4%
During first month (but not first week) 20.5% 23.5%
During first 2 months (but not first month) 7.8% 11.4%
After first 2 months 35.2% 31.5%
Not reported 6.5% 10.3%
Type of pressure or force
Gave victim drugs or alcohol 13.8% 36.5%
Threatened with physical harm 33.0% 12.8%
Physically held down/restrained 22.1% 9.7%
Threatened with a weapon 21.8% 12.8%
Pressured/hurt some other way 64.5% 37.3%
Where occurred
In victimís room/sleeping area 24.0% 32.0%
In room/sleeping area of another youth 4.1% NA
Shower/bathroom 13.9% 7.5%
Other area on facility grounds1 36.4% 21.5%
Somewhere else on or off facility grounds,
unidentified, or other areas unknown.
21.7% NA
Private office NA 20.0%
Closet or supply room NA 14.8%
Off of facility grounds NA 4.2%

1Includes yard or recreation area, classroom, library, workshop, kitchen, or other workplace, office, closet, supply room, bus, car, or other unknown areas.
NA: does not apply.

  • Threat of physical harm was reported by one-third of victims of youth on youth sexual victimization; conversely, 12.8% of victims of staff sexual misconduct reported such threats.
  • More than one-third (36.4%) of youth on youth victims reported that the incident took place somewhere on the facility grounds (e.g., recreation area, library, workshop, or other common areas), and 28.1% of victims of youth on youth sexual victimization report the incident took place in their room or in the room of another youth.

  • Note: Data are based on the third National Survey of Youth in Custody (conducted between March and December 2018). The NSYC is based on a multi-stage probability sample providing representative data on adjudicated youth residing in facilities owned or operated by a state juvenile correctional authority and all state-placed adjudicated youth held under state contract in locally or privately operated juvenile facilities. The NSYC is part of BJS's National Prison Rape Statistics Program which was established to collect data on the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault in juvenile facilities under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA; P.L. 108-79).

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: Released on February 12, 2021.

Data Source: Field, M.B. and Davis, E. (2020). Victim, Perpetrator, and Incident Characteristics of Sexual Victimization of Youth in Juvenile Facilities, 2018 Ė Statistical Tables. Available from: