The case rate for drug offenses declined 73% between the 1997 peak and 2020 - from 6.47 to 1.75 cases per 1,000 youth under juvenile court jurisdiction.
|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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- Most of the increase in the drug offense case rate occurred between 1991 and 1997, during which time the rate increased more than 160%. Since the 1997 peak, the drug offense case rate fell 73%.
- Drug offense case rates were lower than the case rates for other offenses. In 2020, for example, juvenile courts processed 1.75 drug offense cases for every 1,000 youth under juvenile court jurisdiction, compared with 5.41 person offense cases, 4.96 property offense cases, and 3.55 public order offense cases.
Internet Citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available:
January 10, 2023.
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