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Juveniles in Court
Delinquency Cases
Q: Has the juvenile courts' handling of delinquency cases changed?
A: Following the increased use of formal processing, the proportion of delinquency cases that resulted in adjudication or waiver grew moderately between 1985 and 2017.

Manner of handling profile for delinquency cases, 1985-2017

Year Formal
Adjudicated or waived
Formal
Not adjudicated
Informal
1985 29.3% 15.7% 55.0%
1986 29.9% 17.0% 53.1%
1987 29.0% 17.7% 53.3%
1988 29.1% 18.8% 52.0%
1989 31.2% 19.0% 49.8%
1990 30.4% 18.8% 50.8%
1991 29.4% 19.9% 50.8%
1992 29.6% 20.4% 50.0%
1993 30.9% 20.8% 48.3%
1994 30.9% 20.9% 48.2%
1995 30.6% 22.0% 47.3%
1996 32.5% 21.6% 45.9%
1997 33.8% 21.3% 44.9%
1998 35.0% 21.8% 43.2%
1999 35.5% 21.2% 43.3%
2000 36.2% 19.9% 44.0%
2001 35.6% 20.4% 43.9%
2002 35.9% 20.4% 43.8%
2003 35.3% 20.7% 44.0%
2004 34.6% 20.1% 45.3%
2005 33.5% 20.9% 45.6%
2006 34.0% 21.4% 44.6%
2007 33.6% 21.7% 44.7%
2008 33.5% 21.2% 45.2%
2009 32.9% 21.2% 45.9%
2010 32.6% 20.8% 46.6%
2011 32.7% 21.3% 45.9%
2012 31.6% 23.4% 45.1%
2013 31.7% 24.1% 44.1%
2014 31.8% 24.2% 44.0%
2015 30.7% 25.1% 44.2%
2016 30.5% 26.0% 43.5%
2017 30.8% 26.2% 43.0%

Detail may not add to 100% due to rounding.

[ Graph version ]  [ CSV file ]

  • In 2017, youth were adjudicated delinquent or waived to criminal court in nearly one-third (31%) of all delinquency cases referred to juvenile court.
  • Between 1985 and 2017, the proportion of delinquency cases resulting in adjudication or waiver ranged from 29% to 36%.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06402.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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