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Juveniles in Court
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.

Percentage of cases detained, 1985-2017

Year Person Property Drugs Public order
1985 23% 16% 21% 26%
1986 23% 17% 24% 26%
1987 21% 16% 28% 25%
1988 22% 16% 31% 25%
1989 23% 16% 34% 26%
1990 23% 17% 34% 25%
1991 21% 14% 32% 21%
1992 21% 15% 31% 21%
1993 22% 15% 28% 22%
1994 22% 14% 24% 21%
1995 22% 14% 22% 21%
1996 23% 14% 20% 21%
1997 24% 15% 21% 23%
1998 24% 17% 24% 26%
1999 24% 17% 24% 26%
2000 25% 17% 23% 26%
2001 27% 18% 22% 27%
2002 27% 19% 23% 28%
2003 27% 18% 23% 27%
2004 27% 18% 21% 26%
2005 31% 19% 23% 26%
2006 32% 20% 22% 26%
2007 32% 19% 22% 26%
2008 32% 18% 19% 25%
2009 32% 18% 19% 25%
2010 32% 19% 18% 25%
2011 31% 19% 17% 26%
2012 32% 20% 18% 27%
2013 32% 21% 17% 27%
2014 32% 21% 17% 27%
2015 33% 22% 17% 29%
2016 32% 22% 17% 28%
2017 33% 23% 16% 27%

[ Graph version ]  [ CSV file ]

  • 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: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06303.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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