Statistical Briefing Book > Juveniles in Court Previous Page
Delinquency Cases
Q: Has the juvenile courts' handling of delinquency cases changed?
A: The proportion of formally handled cases that did not result in a delinquency adjudication increased between 1985 and 2020.
Detail may not add to 100% due to rounding.

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.
  • In 2020, youth were adjudicated delinquent or waived to criminal court in 27.0% of all delinquency cases referred to juvenile court.
  • Between 1985 and 2020, the proportion of delinquency cases resulting in adjudication or waiver ranged from 27.0% to 36.3%.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: Released on January 10, 2023.

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.