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Juveniles in Corrections
Juveniles in Adult Jails and Prisons
Q: How many youth age 17 or younger are held in state prisons?
A: Fewer than 700 inmates age 17 or younger were under the custody* of state prisons at the end of 2018.
*Custody refers to prisoners held in the physical custody of state prisons, regardless of sentence length or authority that has jurisdiction.

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  • The number of youth under age 18 in adult prisons fell 82% between 2000 and 2018.
  • Since 2000, between 3% and 4% of inmates under 18 in custody were females.
  • From 2000 to 2005, the count of inmates under 18 in state prisons decreased 43%. The count increased 24% to 2,743 youth under age 18 held in state prisons by 2009, and then decreased 75% through 2018.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/corrections/qa08701.asp?qaDate=2018. Released on May 15, 2020.

Data Source: Data for 2000-2016 adapted from Carson, E. Ann and Mulako-Wangota, Joseph. Bureau of Justice Statistics. (Count of inmates age 17 or younger in custody). Generated using the Corrections Statistical Analysis Tool (CSAT) - Prisoners. Available from www.bjs.gov. Retrieved June 21, 2019. Data for 2017 adapted from Prisoners in 2017 table 11; data for 2018 adapted from Prisoners in 2018 table 12. Available from: https://www.bjs.gov/


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