Statistical Briefing Book > Juveniles in Court Previous Page
Delinquency Cases
Q: Do delinquency case rates vary by age and offense?
A: Delinquency case rates generally increase with the age of the youth; however, within offense categories, there are variations in the pattern of age-specific case rates.
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.
  • Case rates for drug offenses increased continuously through age 17, while case rates for person, property, and public order offense cases peaked at age 16 in 2020.
  • The increase in case rates between age 13 and age 17 was sharpest for drug offenses. In 2020, the drug offense case rate for 17-year-olds was seven times the rate for 13-year-olds.
  • For public order offenses, the case rate for 17-year-olds was nearly three times the rate for 13-year-olds; for person offenses, the rate for 17-year-olds was nearly twice the rate for 13-year-olds.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: Released on January 10, 2023.

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