U.S. Department of Justice, Office Of Justice Programs, Innovation - Partnerships - Safer Neighborhoods
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Serving Children, Families, and Communities
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logo jump over products navigation bar
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logoAbout SSBFrequently Asked QuestionsPublicationsData Analysis ToolsNational Data SetsOther ResourcesAsk a Question

Juvenile Population Characteristics
Juveniles as Victims
Juveniles as Offenders
Juvenile Justice System Structure & Process
Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juveniles in Court
Juveniles on Probation
Juveniles in Corrections
Juvenile Reentry & Aftercare
Special Topics
Data Snapshot
Statistical Briefing Book Home

OJJDP logo

Juveniles in Court
Petitioned Status Offense Cases
Q: How many petitioned status offense cases are handled by juvenile courts?
A: In 2020, an estimated 57,700 petitioned status offense cases were handled in juvenile court.

Estimated number of petitioned status offense cases, 2020

Most serious offense Number
of cases
Percent change
2011-2020 2016-2020 2019-2020
Total* 57,700 -59% -44% -32%
Runaway 6,500 -49% -35% -21%
Truancy 33,400 -44% -43% -33%
Curfew 2,800 -79% -53% -25%
Ungovernable 4,800 -70% -47% -34%
Liquor law violations 6,000 -75% -50% -22%

* Includes other offenses not shown.

Note: Percent-change based on unrounded numbers.

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.

[ CSV file ]

  • Status offenses are acts that are illegal only because the persons committing them are of juvenile status.
  • The juvenile court caseload for petitioned status offenses declined 59% between 2011 and 2020.
  • Truancy cases accounted for the majority (58%) of petitioned status offense cases disposed in 2020.

  • See also: What types of violations constitute a status offense in each state?

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06601.asp?qaDate=2020. Released on January 10, 2023.

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


USA.gov | Privacy | Policies & Disclaimers | FOIA | Site Map | Ask a Question | OJJDP Home
A component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice