The total delinquency case rate increased gradually from 1985 through the late 1990s and then declined.
|Note: Rates are cases per 1,000 youth ages 10-upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction.
It is important to note that 2020 was the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have impacted policies, procedures, and data collection activities regarding referrals to and processing of youth by juvenile courts. Additionally, stay-at-home orders and school closures likely impacted the volume and type of law-violating behavior by youth referred to juvenile court in 2020.
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- The total delinquency case rate increased 43% between 1985 and 1996 and then declined 75% through 2020.
- Following a steady decline since 2008 (down 68%), the delinquency case rate in 2020 reached a new historic low. The rate in 2020 (15.7 cases per 1,000 youth under juvenile court jurisdiction) was 65% below the 1985 rate (44.2).
Internet Citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available:
January 10, 2023.
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