November | December 2014

New Publications

All OJJDP publications may be viewed and downloaded on the publications section of the OJJDP Web site. Print publications may be ordered online at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Web site.

 

Cover of Highlights of the 2012 National Youth Gang SurveyHighlights of the 2012 National Youth Gang Survey (Fact Sheet)
NCJ 248025
Youth Gang Series

This fact sheet presents an overview of the nation’s gang problem. Since 1996, the National Gang Center’s National Youth Gang Survey has collected data annually from a large representative sample of local law enforcement agencies. The sample consists of two groups: police departments in cities with more than 50,000 residents along with suburban county police and sheriffs’ departments, and a random sample of police departments in cities with populations between 2,500 and 50,000 along with rural county sheriffs’ departments. Survey findings show that, in 2012, gangs were active in slightly less than 30 percent of the jurisdictions (the lowest point in nearly a decade), attributed partly to the decline in the prevalence rates of gang activity in smaller cities. Nearly 30 percent of responding law enforcement agencies reported gang activity for 2012, concentrated mostly in urban areas. Gang-related homicides increased overall nationally, partly on account of increased reporting by agencies.

To view and download this publication, visit the NCJRS Web site.

Cover of Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2011Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2011 (Fact Sheet)
NCJ 248409
National Report Series

This fact sheet presents the 1985–2011 estimates based on data from more than 2,400 courts with jurisdiction over 85 percent of the nation’s juvenile population (youth age 10 through the upper age of original juvenile court jurisdiction in each state). U.S. juvenile courts saw more than 1.2 million delinquency cases of youth charged with criminal violations in 2011. From 1985 through 1997, delinquency cases climbed 62 percent before falling through 2011. In 2011, juvenile courts handled 7 percent more cases than in 1985. Person offense cases increased through 1997 by 131 percent and fell 27 percent between 2005 and 2011. Drug violation cases more than doubled between 1985 and 1997 and then declined, gradually, through 2011. Property offense cases were the only general offense category that declined, 36 percent, from 1985 through 2011. Juvenile courts in 2011 saw 345,000 cases involving females compared with 891,000 involving males.

To view and download this publication, visit the NCJRS Web site.

Cover of Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2011Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2011 (Fact Sheet)
NCJ 248410
National Report Series

Every state has established an upper age of original jurisdiction for juvenile courts, but states also have laws that allow juveniles younger than the upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction to be tried as adults. The National Juvenile Court Data Archive produces national estimates of the number of cases judicially waived to criminal court. This fact sheet presents the estimates for 1985 through 2011. For every 1,000 of the petitioned juvenile delinquency cases, four were waived to criminal court. The peak was in 1994, at 13,600 cases, more than double the number of cases waived in 1985. A decline in juvenile violent crime is credited with much of the decrease in waivers throughout the 1992. Part of the decline, however, is because of the simultaneous widespread expansion of nonjudicial transfer laws which likely resulted in cases bypassing juvenile court and being filed directly in criminal court.

To view and download this publication, visit the NCJRS Web site.

Coming Soon—

Psychosocial Maturity and Desistance From Crime in a Sample of Serious Juvenile Offenders (Bulletin)
Pathways to Desistance Series

This bulletin presents findings on the link between psychosocial maturity and desistance from crime as youth transition from mid-adolescence to early adulthood (ages 14–25). The research shows that youth experience protracted maturation of brain systems responsible for self-regulation into their mid-twenties. Youth whose antisocial behavior continued into early adulthood were found to have lower levels of psychosocial maturity as teenagers compared with other antisocial youth. Most juvenile offenders, including those who committed serious crimes, grow out of antisocial behavior as they transition to adults, the study found. The Pathways to Desistance study followed more than 1,300 serious juvenile offenders for 7 years after their conviction.

Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2012: Selected Findings (National Report Bulletin)
National Report Series

Conducted biennially by OJJDP, the Juvenile Residential Facility Census collects information about facilities in which juvenile offenders are held and reports the number of youth who were injured or died in custody during the past 12 months. Findings from the 2012 census shows that the juvenile offender population dropped 14 percent from 2010 to 2012 to 57,190 offenders younger than 21 on the census date, the lowest number since 1975. For the first time since 2000, more offenders were in local facilities on the census day in 2012 than were in state-operated facilities. The data also describe security features that are used in facilities. Overall, 43 percent of facilities lock youth in their sleeping rooms at least some of the time. Fourteen deaths were reported; five were suicides. Most of those deaths were white and African American non-Hispanic males. Most of the suicides occurred weeks after the youth’s detainment.