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Juveniles in Court
Petitioned Status Offense Cases
Q: Has the sanctioning of petitioned status offense cases changed?
A: While the use of informal sanctions remained relatively stable between 2005 and 2020, a larger proportion of petitioned status offense cases were dismissed in 2020 (61.6%) than in 2005 (35.1%).
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.

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  • Informal sanctions include cases that were not adjudicated but received some type of sanction, such as voluntary probation, referrals for services or treatment, and other dispositions that require minimal court involvement.
  • Formal sanctions apply to cases that result in an adjudication; these sanctions can include probation, placement, and other sanctions that require court involvement.
  • A smaller proportion of petitioned status offense cases received formal sanctions in 2020 compared with 2005 (29.7% versus 57.0%).

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06801.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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