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Juveniles in Corrections
Q: How old are most juveniles in residential placement?
A: There were 9,705 17-year-olds in residential placement on October 23, 2019, more than any other age group.

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  • There were 590 juveniles ages 12 or younger in residential placement on the 2019 census date. These very young juveniles accounted for 2% of all youth in residential placement.
  • Although comparable numbers of 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds were arrested in 2019, the number of 16-year-olds in residential placement was lower than the number involving 17-year-olds. Despite this, in 5 States, 17-year-olds are excluded from the original jurisdiction of the juvenile court. In these States, all 17-year-olds are legally adults and are referred to criminal court rather than to juvenile court. Usually, fewer 17-year-olds than 16-year-olds are subject to original juvenile court jurisdiction in the United States and placed in juvenile facilities. In addition, many States have statutes that target certain older juveniles for processing directly in criminal courts (via either statutory exclusion or concurrent jurisdiction provisions). In these situations, when a youth of juvenile age is arrested, the matter goes before a criminal court rather than before a juvenile court. The census captured a small number of youth who were processed in a criminal court rather than a juvenile court, but the majority of youth handled in criminal court and incarcerated at some point are held in adult jails and prisons.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/corrections/qa08204.asp?qaDate=2019. Released on May 21, 2021.

Data Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement 2019 [machine-readable data files]. Washington, D.C.: OJJDP.


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