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Juveniles in Court
Case Rate Trends
The case rate for drug offenses declined 78% between the 1997 peak and 2021 - from 6.48 to 1.43 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.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in March 2020, may have impacted the policies, procedures, and data collection activities regarding referrals to and processing of youth by juvenile courts for an indeterminate period of time. Additionally, stay-at-home orders and school closures likely impacted the volume and type of law-violating behavior by youth referred to juvenile court.

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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 78%.
  • Drug offense case rates were lower than the case rates for other offenses. In 2021, for example, juvenile courts processed 1.43 drug offense cases for every 1,000 youth under juvenile court jurisdiction, compared with 5.03 person offense cases, 4.08 property offense cases, and 2.95 public order offense cases.

Internet Citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available:
https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/JCSCR_Display.asp?ID=qa06233. December 22, 2023.


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