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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 43% of the estimated 87,900 petitioned status offense handled by juvenile courts in 2017, youth under age 16 accounted for 53%, and white youth accounted for 63%.

Characteristics of petitioned status offense cases handled by juvenile courts, 2017

Most serious offense Number
of cases
Percent of cases handled by juvenile courts
Female Under 16 White1 Black1 American
Asian1 Hispanic
Total* 87,900 43% 53% 63% 22% 3% 2% 10%
Runaway 7,600 55% 50% 46% 43% 1% 1% 9%
Truancy 53,700 45% 59% 64% 19% 3% 3% 11%
Curfew 4,700 31% 45% 54% 34% 4% 1% 7%
Ungovernable 7,500 43% 58% 57% 36% 1% 1% 5%
Liquor law violations 9,800 41% 27% 76% 5% 8% 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 2017, 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 approximately more than half of petitioned status offenes cases in 2017.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06603.asp?qaDate=2017. Released on April 23, 2019.

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


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