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Juveniles in Court
Petitioned Status Offense Cases
Q: What proportion of petitioned status cases are referred to juvenile court by law enforcement?
A: In 2020, fewer than one in five petitioned status cases were referred to juvenile court by law enforcement but the proportion varied by offense.
* Includes other offenses not shown.

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.

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  • Cases can be referred to juvenile court by any one of a number of sources, such as law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, schools, parents, probation officers, and victims.
  • Law enforcement agencies referred about one-third of runaway and ungovernability cases, more than 90% of curfew cases, and more than 80% of liquor law violations handled in juvenile court in 2020. Conversely, a small proportion of truancy cases (less than 2%) were referred by law enforcement.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06604.asp?qaDate=2020. Released on January 10, 2023.

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

 

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