Statistical Briefing Book > Juveniles in Court Previous Page
Delinquency Cases
Q: Do trends in the use of detention vary by offense?
A: Drug offense cases were most likely to involve detention between 1986 and 1994; since 2003, person offense cases were most likely to involve detention.
  • Juvenile courts sometimes hold youth in secure detention facilities during court processing of their case. Depending on the State's detention laws, the court may decide detention is necessary to ensure the juvenile's appearance at subsequent court hearings, to protect the community from the juvenile, or to secure the juvenile's own safety. Detention may also be ordered for the purpose of evaluating the juvenile.
  • The likelihood of detention for juveniles charged with drug offense cases peaked in 1990 but varied more than other offenses between 1985 and 2017. In 1990, juveniles were detained in 34% of drug cases; by 2017, it had decreased to 16%.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: Released on April 23, 2019.

Adapted from Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics. Available on-line at:

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