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Juveniles in Court
Petitioned Status Offense Cases
Q: What are the characteristics of petitioned status offense cases handled by juvenile courts?
A: Females accounted for 44% of the estimated 97,800 petitioned status offense handled by juvenile courts in 2018, youth under age 16 accounted for 57%, and white youth accounted for 61%.

Characteristics of petitioned status offense cases handled by juvenile courts, 2018

Most serious offense Number
of cases
Percent of cases handled by juvenile courts
Female Under 16 White1 Black1 American
Asian1 Hispanic
Total* 97,800 44% 57% 61% 23% 3% 2% 11%
Runaway 9,500 54% 52% 43% 46% 1% 1% 9%
Truancy 61,000 45% 62% 61% 20% 3% 3% 13%
Curfew 4,300 30% 47% 50% 40% 3% 1% 6%
Ungovernable 8,400 42% 65% 59% 36% 1% 1% 4%
Liquor law violations 8,900 42% 31% 75% 6% 9% 1% 9%

* Includes other offenses not shown.
1Excludes persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race.

Note: Percents are based on unrounded numbers.

[ CSV file ]

  • Status offenses are acts that are illegal only because the persons committing them are of juvenile status.
  • In 2018, females accounted for more than half of all runaway cases, and 40% or more of all truancy, ungovernability, and liquor law violation cases.
  • With the exception of curfew and liquor law violation cases, youth under age 16 accounted for more than half of cases involving other status offenses.
  • With the exception of runaway cases, white youth accounted for at least half of petitioned status offenses cases in 2018.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06603.asp?qaDate=2018. Released on March 31, 2020.

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


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