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Juveniles in Corrections
Victimization in Juvenile Facilities
Q: Does the rate of sexual victimization in juvenile facilities vary by victim demographics?
A: Yes. Males, youth age 18 and older, black youth, and non-heterosexual youth were most likely to report being sexually victimized while in a juvenile facility.

Prevalence of sexual victimization reported by adjudicated
juveniles, by type of incident and youth demographics, 2012

Victim Demographics Estimated number of
adjudicated youth1
Percent of youth reporting victimization by:
Both youth and staff Another youth Facility Staff
Male 16,500 9.7% 2.2% 8.2%
Female 1,600 6.9% 5.4% 2.8%
15 or younger 3,000 7.6% 2.5% 5.8%
16 4,000 8.8% 2.2% 7.3%
17 5,200 9.7% 2.4% 8.0%
18 or older 6,000 10.7% 2.8% 8.7%
Race/Hispanic origin
White, non-Hispanic 6,500 9.7% 4.0% 6.4%
Black, non-Hispanic 7,700 10.3% 1.4% 9.6%
Hispanic 3,000 7.5% 2.1% 6.4%
Other, non-Hispanic2 600 6.9% 2.8% 4.6%
Two or more, non-Hispanic 400 8.9% 2.2% 6.7%
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual 15,900 8.9% 1.5% 7.8%
Non-heterosexual 2,200 14.3% 10.3% 7.5%
Time in Facility
Less than 1 month 1,000 7.1% 1.9% 5.9%
1-5 months 8,800 8.0% 1.9% 6.3%
6-11 months 4,700 10.6% 2.5% 8.7%
12 months or more 3,600 12.4% 4.2% 10.1%

1Estimated number of adjudicated youth in state juvenile facilities and state contract facilities - committed youth - rounded to the nearest 100. Youth were asked to report experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another youth or staff in the past 12 months or since admission, if less than 12 months.
2Includes American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander.

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  • Among adjudicated juveniles, non-heterosexual youth were nearly ten times more likely to report being sexually victimized by another youth than heterosexual youth, but equally as likely to report staff misconduct.
  • Older youth (age 17 and older) were more likely to be sexually victimized than younger youth.
  • Overall, males were more likely to be sexually victimized but females were more likely to be victimized by another youth than were males.
  • The likelihood of a youth reporting sexual victimization increased as the amount of time the youth spent in a facility increased.

  • Note: Data are based on the second National Survey of Youth in Custody (conducted between February and September 2012). The NSYC-2 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: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/corrections/qa08802.asp?qaDate=2012. Released on April 29, 2016.

Data Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics. Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012. Available from: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svjfry12.pdf


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