This glossary incorporates selected terms used in FBI arrest statistics,
the Juvenile Court Statistics report series, and the Census
of Juveniles in Residential Placement.
Adjudication - Adjudication is the court process that
determines if the juvenile committed the act for which
he or she is charged. The term "adjudicated" indicates that the court concluded the juvenile committed the act. A juvenile adjudication is not the equivalent of a conviction in adult criminal court.
Aggravated assault - Unlawful intentional inflicting
of serious bodily injury with or without a deadly weapon, or unlawful
intentional attempting or threatening of serious bodily injury
or death with a deadly or dangerous weapon. The term is used in
the same sense as in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Crime Index.
It encompasses conduct included under the statutory names aggravated
assault and battery, aggravated battery, assault with intent to
kill, assault with intent to commit murder or manslaughter, atrocious
assault, attempted murder, felonious assault, and assault with
a deadly weapon.
Arson - Intentional damaging or destruction by means
of fire or explosion of the property of another without the owner's
consent, or of any property with intent to defraud, or attempting
the above acts.
Burglary - Unlawful entry or attempted entry of any
fixed structure, vehicle, or vessel used for regular residence,
industry, or business, with or without force, with intent to commit
a felony or larceny. The term is used in the same sense as in the
UCR Crime Index.
Coverage indicator - A statistic indicating the relative
size of the sample on which the FBI's arrest and reported crime
estimates are based. The coverage indicator incorporates the population
served by reporting law enforcement agencies and the number of
months the agencies reported arrest or reported crime counts during
the calendar year. Where the indicator equals 100%, all law enforcement
agencies in the jurisdiction reported for all 12 months. A more
complete explanation of the coverage indicator can be found in
the Methods Section of Easy Access to FBI Arrest Statistics.
Criminal homicide - Causing
the death of another person without legal justification or excuse.
Criminal homicide is a summary category, not a single codified
offense. The term, in law, embraces all homicides where the perpetrator
intentionally killed someone without legal justification, or
accidentally killed someone as a consequence of reckless or grossly
negligent conduct. It includes all conduct encompassed by the
terms murder, nonnegligent (voluntary) manslaughter, negligent
(involuntary) manslaughter, and vehicular manslaughter. The term
is broader than the Crime Index category used in the FBI's UCR,
in which murder/nonnegligent manslaughter does not include negligent
manslaughter or vehicular manslaughter.
Curfew and loitering laws (persons
under age 18 only) - Offenses relating to violations of
local curfew and loitering ordinances where such laws exist.
Delinquent act - An act committed by a juvenile for which
an adult could be prosecuted in a criminal court, but when committed
by a juvenile is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
Delinquent acts include crimes against persons, crimes against
property, drug offenses, and crimes against public order, when
juveniles commit such acts.
Disorderly conduct - Unlawful interruption of the peace,
quiet, or order of a community, including offenses called disturbing
the peace, vagrancy, loitering, unlawful assembly, and riot.
Driving under the influence - Driving or operating any
vehicle or common carrier while drunk or under the influence of
liquor or narcotics.
Drug abuse violations - State and/or local offenses relating
to the unlawful possession, sale, use, growing, and manufacturing
of narcotic drugs. The following drug categories are specified:
opium or cocaine and their derivatives (morphine, heroin, codeine);
marijuana; synthetic narcotics - manufactured narcotics that can
cause true addiction (demerol, methadone); and dangerous nonnarcotic
drugs (barbiturates, benzedrine).
Drunkenness - Offenses relating to drunkenness or intoxication.
Excluded is driving under the influence.
Embezzlement - Misappropriation
or misapplication of money or property entrusted to one's care,
custody, or control.
Forcible rape - Sexual
intercourse or attempted sexual intercourse with a female against
her will by force or threat of force. (Statutory offenses are
excluded.) The term is used in the same sense as in the UCR Crime
Index. Some states have enacted gender‑neutral rape or
sexual assault statutes that prohibit forced sexual penetration
of either sex. Data reported by these states do not distinguish
between forcible rape of females as defined above and other sexual
Forgery and counterfeiting - Making,
altering, uttering, or possessing, with intent to defraud, anything
false in the semblance of that which is true. Attempts are included.
Fraud - Fraudulent
conversion and obtaining money or property by false pretenses.
Included are confidence games and bad checks, except forgeries
Gambling - Promoting,
permitting, or engaging in illegal gambling.
Intake decision - The
decision made by juvenile court intake that results in a case
either being handled informally at the intake level or being petitioned
and scheduled for an adjudicatory or waiver hearing.
Judicial decision - The
decision made in response to a petition that asks the court to
adjudicate or waive the youth. This decision is generally made
by a juvenile court judge or referee.
Judicial disposition - Definite
action taken or treatment plan decided on or initiated regarding
a particular case after the judicial decision is made. For the Juvenile
Court Statistics report series, case dispositions are coded
into the following categories:
- Waived to criminal court - Cases
that were transferred to criminal court as the result of
a waiver hearing in juvenile court.
- Placement - Cases in which
youth were placed in a residential facility for delinquents
or were otherwise removed from their homes and placed elsewhere.
- Probation - Cases in which
youth were placed on informal/voluntary or formal/court‑ordered
probation or supervision.
- Dismissed - Cases dismissed
(including those warned, counseled, and released) with no
further action anticipated. Among cases handled informally, some
cases may be dismissed by the juvenile court because the matter
is being handled in another court.
- Miscellaneous - A variety of
actions not included above. This category includes fines, restitution
and community services, referrals outside the court for services
with minimal or no further court involvement anticipated, and
dispositions coded as "Other" by the reporting courts.
Juvenile - A youth at
or below the upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction in a particular
Juvenile court - Any court
that has jurisdiction over matters involving juveniles.
motor vehicle theft) - The unlawful taking, carrying, leading,
or riding away of property from the possession or constructive
possession of another. Examples are thefts of bicycles or automobile
accessories, shoplifting, pocket-picking, or the stealing
of any property or article that is not taken by force and violence,
or by fraud. Attempted larcenies are included. Embezzlement, "con" games,
forgery, worthless checks, etc., are excluded.
Liquor law violations (not
status) - Being in a public place while intoxicated through
consumption of alcohol or intake of a controlled substance or
drug. This category includes public intoxication, drunkenness,
and other liquor law violations. It does not include driving
under the influence. Some states treat public drunkenness of
juveniles as a status offense, rather than delinquency; hence,
some of these offenses may appear under the status offense code "status
liquor law violations." When a person who is publicly intoxicated
performs acts that cause a disturbance, he or she may be charged
with disorderly conduct.
Manner of handling - A
general classification of case processing within the juvenile
- Petitioned (formally handled)
- Cases that appear on the official court
calendar in response to the filing of a petition or other legal
instrument requesting the court to adjudicate the youth delinquent
or to waive the youth to criminal court for processing as an
- Nonpetitioned (informally
handled) - Cases that duly authorized
court personnel screen for adjustment without the filing of a
formal petition. Such personnel include judges, referees, probation
officers, other officers of the court, and/or an agency statutorily
designated to conduct petition screening for the juvenile court.
Motor vehicle theft - Unlawful
taking, or attempted taking, of a self‑propelled road vehicle
owned by another, with the intent to deprive the owner of it
permanently or temporarily.
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter - Intentionally
causing the death of another without legal justification or excuse,
or causing the death of another while committing or attempting
to commit another crime. Deaths caused by negligence, attempts
to kill, suicides, accidental deaths, and justifiable homicides
Obstruction of justice - All
unlawful acts committed with intent to prevent or hinder the
administration of justice, including law enforcement, judicial,
and correctional functions. Examples include contempt, perjury,
bribing witnesses, failure to report a crime,
and nonviolent resisting of arrest.
Offenses against the family and
children - Nonsupport, neglect, desertion, or abuse
of children or other family members.
Petition - A document
filed in juvenile court alleging that a juvenile is a delinquent
and asking that the court assume jurisdiction over the juvenile
or asking that an alleged delinquent be waived to criminal court
for prosecution as an adult.
Placement facility type - Identifies
whether a juvenile placement facility is publicly or privately
- Public facilities - Facilities
operated by state or local government agencies in which the
employees working daily in the facilities and directly with the
residents are state or local government employees.
- Private facilities - Facilities
operated by private nonprofit or for-profit corporations
or organizations in which the employees working daily in the
facilities and directly with the residents are employees of
the private corporation or organization.
Placement status - Identifies
categories of juveniles held in residential placement facilities.
- Committed - Includes juveniles
in placement in the facility as part of a court‑ordered
disposition. Committed juveniles include those whose cases
have been adjudicated and disposed in juvenile court and those
who have been convicted and sentenced in criminal court.
- Detained - Includes juveniles
held prior to adjudication while awaiting an adjudication
hearing in juvenile court, as well as juveniles held after adjudication
while awaiting disposition or awaiting placement elsewhere.
Also includes juveniles awaiting transfer to adult criminal court,
or awaiting a hearing or trial in adult criminal court.
- Diversion - Includes juveniles
sent to the facility in lieu of adjudication as part of a
Property Crime Index - Includes
burglary, larceny‑theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
Prostitution and commercialized
vice - Sex offenses of a commercialized nature, such
as prostitution, keeping a bawdy house, procuring, or transporting
women for immoral purposes. Attempts are included.
Robbery - Unlawful taking
or attempted taking of property that is in the immediate possession
of another by force or the threat of force.
Sex offenses (except forcible
rape, prostitution, and commercialized vice) - Statutory
rape and offenses against chastity, common decency, morals, and
the like. Attempts are included.
Simple assault - Unlawful
threatening, attempted inflicting, or inflicting of less than
serious bodily injury, in the absence of a deadly weapon. The
term is used in the same sense as in UCR reporting. Simple assault
is often not distinctly named in statutes since it consists of
all assaults not explicitly named and defined as serious.
Status offense - A nondelinquent/noncriminal
offense; an offense that is illegal for underage persons, but
not for adults.
- Curfew violation - Violation
of an ordinance forbidding persons below a certain age from
being in public places during set hours.
- Incorrigible, ungovernable - Being
beyond the control of parents, guardians, or custodians.
- Running away - Leaving the
custody and home of parents or guardians without permission
and failing to return within a reasonable length of time.
- Truancy - Violation of a compulsory
school attendance law.
- Underage drinking - Possession,
use, or consumption of alcohol by a minor.
Stolen property (buying,
receiving, possessing) - Buying, receiving, or possessing
stolen property, including attempts.
Trespassing - Unlawful
entry or attempted entry of the property of another with the
intent to commit a misdemeanor, other than larceny, or without
intent to commit a crime.
Upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction - The
oldest age at which a juvenile court has original jurisdiction
over an individual for law-violating behavior. It must
be noted that within most states there are exceptions to the
age criteria that place or permit youth at or below the state's
upper age of jurisdiction to be under the original jurisdiction
of the adult criminal court. For example, in most states if a
youth of a certain age is charged with one of a defined list
of what are commonly labeled "excluded offenses," the case must
originate in the adult criminal court. In addition, in a number
of states, the district attorney is given the discretion of filing
certain cases either in the juvenile court or in the criminal
court. Therefore, while the upper age of jurisdiction is commonly
recognized in all states, there are numerous exceptions to age
Vandalism - Destroying
or damaging, or attempting to destroy or damage, the property
of another without the owner's consent, or public property, except
Violent Crime Index - Includes
murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery,
and aggravated assault.
Weapons offenses - Unlawful
sale, distribution, manufacture, alteration, transportation,
possession, or use of a deadly or dangerous weapon, or accessory,
or attempt to commit any of these acts.
Youth population at risk - For
delinquency and status offense matters, this is the number of
children from age 10 through the upper age of juvenile court
jurisdiction. In all states, the upper age of jurisdiction is
defined by statute. In most states, individuals are considered
adults when they reach their 18th birthday. Therefore, for these
states, the delinquency and status offense youth population at
risk would be the number of children 10 through 17 years of age
living within the geographical area served by the court.
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