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Juveniles in Court
Delinquency Cases
Q: How many delinquency cases are handled by juvenile courts?
A: In 2019, courts with juvenile jurisdiction disposed approximately 722,600 delinquency cases, the fewest number of cases handled since the mid-1970s.

Estimated number of delinquency cases, 2019

Most serious offense Number
of cases
Percent change
1985-2019 2010-2019 2015-2019 2018-2019
Total Delinquency 722,600 -38% -45% -17% -2%
Person Offenses 237,000 29% -29% -2% 3%
Violent Crime Index*
53,600 -13% -22% 4% 2%
Criminal homicide
1,100 -4% 34% 49% 10%
Rape
8,300 59% -3% 12% 7%
Robbery
18,600 -26% -26% 1% 0%
Aggravated assault
25,700 -14% -25% 2% 1%
Simple assault
153,100 45% -30% -4% 5%
Other violent sex offenses
7,500 12% -26% 1% -1%
Other person offenses
22,700 118% -38% -2% -2%
Property Offenses 214,500 -70% -56% -28% -4%
Property Crime Index**
145,600 -72% -58% -31% -6%
Burglary
38,600 -73% -55% -26% -7%
Larceny-theft
89,600 -73% -63% -38% -7%
Motor vehicle theft
15,300 -57% -2% 16% 3%
Arson
2,100 -69% -54% -23% -1%
Vandalism
35,900 -58% -54% -17% 1%
Trespassing
19,500 -63% -54% -26% -4%
Stolen property offenses
7,000 -77% -51% -17% -4%
Other property offenses
6,600 -64% -35% -4% 3%
Drug law violations 96,400 25% -40% -12% -4%
Public Order Offenses 174,700 -11% -48% -20% -5%
Obstruction of justice
81,000 20% -49% -26% -9%
Disorderly conduct
48,300 7% -51% -17% 0%
Weapons offenses
16,000 -20% -46% -14% -1%
Liquor Law Violations
4,100 -77% -69% -32% 3%
Nonviolent sex offense
11,500 -12% 5% 9% 5%
Other public order offenses
13,900 -57% -44% -11% -8%

* Includes criminal homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
** Includes burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

Note: Detail may not add to totals because of rounding. Percent-change based on unrounded numbers.

[ CSV file ]

  • Delinquency offenses are acts committed by juveniles that would be crimes if committed by adults.
  • The juvenile court delinquency caseload peaked in 1997, then fell 61% through 2019. By 2019, the delinquency caseload rested at a level 38% lower than in 1985.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06201.asp?qaDate=2019. Released on June 22, 2021.

Adapted from Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics. Available on-line at: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezajcs/.

Data Source: National Juvenile Court Data Archive. National Center for Juvenile Justice. Pittsburgh, PA.

 

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