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Juveniles in Court
Delinquency Cases
Q: Have trends in the number of detained cases varied by race?
A: The number of delinquency cases involving detention declined for all racial groups since 2005.
* Excludes persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race.

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.

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  • Between 2005 and 2020, the relative decline in cases involving detention was greatest for white youth (75%), followed by Black youth and Asian/NHPI youth (down 65% each), then Hispanic youth (61%).
  • In 2020, youth were detained at some point between referral to court and case disposition in 31% of delinquency cases involving Hispanic youth, 29% for Black youth, 27% for American Indian youth, 29% for Asian/NHPI youth, and 19% for white youth.
  • In 2020, Black youth accounted for the largest proportion of delinquency cases involving detention (40%). By comparison, white youth accounted for 33%, Hispanic youth accounted for 23%, and American Indian youth and Asian/NHPI youth accounted for 2% and 1%, respectively, of delinquency cases involving detention.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06304.asp?qaDate=2020. Released on January 10, 2023.

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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