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Juveniles in Court
Petitioned Status Offense Cases
Q: What is the trend in dispostions for adjudicated status offense cases?
A: The number of adjudicated status offense cases resulting in probation or placement has declined since 2005.
Note: Cases are categorized according to their most severe disposition.

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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  • In dispositional hearings, juvenile court judges must determine the most appropriate sanction. Disposition options include commitment to a treatment facility or other residential placement; probation; or a variety of other dispositions, such as referral to an outside agency or treatment program, community service, fines, or restitution. Very often the court imposes some combination of these sanctions.
  • The number of petitioned status offense cases resulting in probation decreased 85% between 2005 and 2020, while the number of cases resulting in placement decreased 88% during the same time period.
  • Annually, 57%-63% of adjudicated status offense cases resulted in probation.
  • In 2020, 35.9% of all adjudicated status offense cases received other sanctions.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06802.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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