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Juveniles in Court
Case Rate Trends
Drug offense case rates for males and females have declined considerably.

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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  • In 2020, the male drug offense case rate was 2.55 for every 1,000 male youth under juvenile court jurisdiction and the female drug offense case rate was 0.92.
  • Trends in drug offense case rates followed similar patterns for males and females since 1985. For males, the case rate increased more than 150% between 1991 and 1997, the peak year. Since the 1997 peak, the male rate declined steadily through 2020 (down 76%), resting at a level that was about the half the rate in 1985.
  • Similarly, the drug offense case rate for females more than tripled between 1991 and 1997, then increased again to reach a peak in 2005. Despite a recent decline 61% between 2005 and 2020 the female rate in 2020 remained above the 1991 lowpoint.

Internet Citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available:
https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/JCSCR_Display.asp?ID=qa06243. January 10, 2023.


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