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Juveniles in Court
Delinquency Cases
Q: What are the characteristics of delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts?
A: Females accounted for over one-fourth (27%) of the 819,900 delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts in 2017, youth under age 16 accounted for 52% of all cases, and minority youth accounted for more than half (56%) of all cases.

Characteristics of delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts, 2017

Most serious offense Number
of cases
Percent of cases handled by juvenile courts
Female Under 16 White1 Black 1 American
Indian
Asian/
NHPI1
Hispanic
Total Delinquency 818,900 27% 52% 44% 35% 2% 1% 18%
Person Offenses 241,400 30% 59% 41% 39% 1% 1% 17%
Violent Crime Index*
57,600 16% 51% 28% 49% 1% 1% 21%
Criminal homicide
1,100 14% 31% 30% 45% 2% 0% 23%
Rape
8,400 4% 62% 54% 28% 1% 1% 16%
Robbery
21,600 11% 46% 13% 67% 1% 1% 19%
Aggravated assault
26,600 25% 53% 32% 41% 1% 1% 25%
Simple assault
153,000 37% 61% 42% 38% 1% 1% 18%
Other violent sex offenses
7,500 6% 73% 59% 26% 2% 1% 13%
Other person offenses
23,300 30% 62% 58% 30% 2% 1% 8%
Property Offenses 265,600 25% 54% 43% 37% 2% 1% 16%
Property Crime Index**
185,000 27% 53% 41% 39% 2% 1% 17%
Burglary
54,100 11% 54% 37% 41% 2% 1% 19%
Larceny-theft
111,300 36% 52% 45% 37% 2% 2% 15%
Motor vehicle theft
17,100 22% 50% 31% 46% 2% 1% 20%
Arson
2,500 14% 74% 53% 28% 2% 1% 16%
Vandalism
41,500 18% 61% 54% 26% 3% 1% 17%
Trespassing
23,700 21% 55% 43% 37% 1% 1% 17%
Stolen property offenses
8,700 13% 47% 28% 60% 2% 1% 10%
Other property offenses
6,800 26% 50% 50% 36% 2% 1% 11%
Drug Law Violations 107,400 25% 37% 56% 18% 2% 1% 22%
Public Order Offenses 204,500 28% 49% 42% 36% 1% 1% 19%
Obstruction of justice
104,800 27% 41% 40% 37% 1% 1% 21%
Disorderly conduct
51,300 37% 63% 42% 44% 2% 1% 12%
Weapons offenses
18,100 11% 53% 34% 37% 1% 1% 27%
Liquor law violations
4,800 33% 31% 61% 7% 3% 1% 29%
Nonviolent sex offenses
11,900 22% 61% 60% 20% 1% 1% 18%
Other public order offenses
13,700 24% 49% 48% 24% 1% 2% 25%

* Includes criminal homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
** Includes burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
1Excludes persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race.

Note: Detail may not add to totals because of rounding. Percents are based on unrounded numbers.

[ CSV file ]

  • Delinquency offenses are acts committed by juveniles that would be crimes if committed by adults.
  • In 2017, females accounted for 36% of all larceny-theft cases, 37% of all simple assault cases, and 37% of disorderly conduct cases.
  • Youth under age 16 accounted for nearly three-fourths (74%) of all arson cases handled in 2017, and 60% or more of all simple assault, vandalism, and disorderly conduct.
  • Minority youth accounted for 72% of all Violent Crime Index offense cases and 44% of all drug law violation cases.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06206.asp?qaDate=2017. Released on April 23, 2019.

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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