U.S. Department of Justice, Office Of Justice Programs, Innovation - Partnerships - Safer Neighborhoods
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Serving Children, Families, and Communities
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logo jump over products navigation bar
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logoAbout SSBFrequently Asked QuestionsPublicationsData Analysis ToolsNational Data SetsOther ResourcesAsk a Question

Juvenile Population Characteristics
Juveniles as Victims
Juveniles as Offenders
Juvenile Justice System Structure & Process
Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juveniles in Court
Juveniles on Probation
Juveniles in Corrections
Juvenile Reentry & Aftercare
Special Topics
Data Snapshot
Statistical Briefing Book Home

OJJDP logo

Printer-priendlyPrinter-friendly
Juveniles in Court
Delinquency Cases
Q: How many delinquency cases are handled by juvenile courts?
A: In 2018 courts with juvenile jurisdiction disposed approximately 744,500 delinquency cases, the fewest number of cases handled since the mid-1970s.

Estimated number of delinquency cases, 2018

Most serious offense Number
of cases
Percent change
1985-2018 2009-2018 2014-2018 2017-2018
Total Delinquency 744,500 -36% -48% -20% -5%
Person Offenses 232,400 26% -35% -7% 0%
Violent Crime Index*
54,400 -11% -28% 5% -1%
Criminal homicide
1,100 -8% 3% 35% 2%
Rape
8,000 53% -11% 4% 2%
Robbery
19,200 -24% -32% 0% -6%
Aggravated assault
26,100 -12% -30% 8% 2%
Simple assault
146,800 39% -36% -11% 0%
Other violent sex offenses
7,800 16% -28% -11% 8%
Other person offenses
23,400 125% -42% -3% 3%
Property Offenses 225,900 -68% -59% -30% -12%
Property Crime Index**
156,200 -70% -60% -33% -13%
Burglary
42,600 -70% -55% -24% -16%
Larceny-theft
96,200 -71% -64% -40% -12%
Motor vehicle theft
15,200 -57% -19% 30% -8%
Arson
2,200 -67% -62% -36% -9%
Vandalism
35,600 -59% -60% -23% -11%
Trespassing
20,200 -62% -57% -25% -13%
Stolen property offenses
7,500 -75% -53% -24% -11%
Other property offenses
6,500 -65% -47% -6% -2%
Drug Law Violations 101,000 31% -38% -19% -3%
Public Order Offenses 185,100 -5% -50% -22% -4%
Obstruction of justice
90,500 34% -49% -23% -8%
Disorderly conduct
48,000 7% -55% -25% -3%
Weapons offenses
16,400 -18% -50% -18% -6%
Liquor law violations
3,900 -78% -72% -33% -12%
Nonviolent sex offenses
11,100 -15% 3% 7% 0%
Other public order offenses
15,200 -53% -46% -17% 16%

* 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 60% through 2018. By 2018, the delinquency caseload rested at a level 36% lower than in 1985.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06201.asp?qaDate=2018. Released on March 31, 2020.

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.

 

USA.gov | Privacy | Policies & Disclaimers | FOIA | Site Map | Ask a Question | OJJDP Home
A component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice