Law enforcement agencies refer approximately three-fifths of all arrested youth to a court with juvenile jurisdiction for further processing. As with law enforcement agencies, the court may decide to divert some juveniles away from the formal justice system to other agencies for service. Prosecutors may file some juvenile cases directly in criminal (adult) court. The intake department may decide to dismiss the case for lack of legal sufficiency or to resolve the matter formally (petitioned) or informally (nonpetitioned). Juvenile courts adjudicate petitioned cases and may order probation or residential placement, or they may waive jurisdiction and transfer certain cases from juvenile court to criminal court. While their cases are being processed, juveniles may be held in secure detention.
This section quantifies the flow of cases through the juvenile court system. It documents the nature of, and trends in, cases received and the court's response, and examines race and gender differences. The case processing information is drawn from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive's primary publication Juvenile Court Statistics, which is funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
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