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Delinquency cases involving Hispanic youth
Case processing characteristics vary across race/ethnicity groups. In 2018, Hispanic youth were about as likely to be referred to juvenile court for a delinquency offense than their white, non-Hispanic peers, but 70% less likely to be referred than black, non-Hispanic youth.

Case processing characteristics of delinquency cases by race/ethnicity, 2018

Counts Hispanic White* Black*
Population (10 to upper age) 7,605,900 16,944,800 4,659,800
Cases referred to juvenile court 137,200 326,900 258,500
Cases diverted 35,100 102,200 48,900
Cases detained 43,900 68,500 77,400
Cases petitioned 75,600 169,000 165,200
Cases adjudicated 43,300 88,500 81,400
Adjudicated cases resulting in probation 27,700 57,300 49,400
Adjudicated cases resulting in placement 13,900 20,600 25,900
Cases judicially waived 500 1,200 1,900
Rates Hispanic White* Black*
Cases referred per 1,000 population 18.0 19.3 55.5
Cases diverted per 100 referrals 25.6 31.3 18.9
Cases detained per 100 referrals 32.0 20.9 29.9
Cases petitioned per 100 referrals 55.1 51.7 63.9
Cases adjudicated per 100 petitioned cases 57.3 52.4 49.3
Probation cases per 100 adjudicated cases 64.0 64.8 60.7
Placement cases per 100 adjudicated cases 32.0 23.3 31.8
Cases judicially waived per 100 cases petitioned 0.7 0.7 1.1
Ratio of Rates** White* Black*
Referral rate 0.9 0.3
Diversion rate 0.8 1.4
Detention rate 1.5 1.1
Petitioned rate 1.1 0.9
Adjudicated rate 1.1 1.2
Probation rate 1.0 1.1
Placement rate 1.4 1.0
Waiver rate 1.0 0.6

Note: *Excludes persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Hispanic youth can be of any race.

**All ratios compare the rates for Hispanic youth to rates for youth of other races. The ratio of rates is created by dividing the Hispanic rates by the rates for other race groups.
The ratio of rates compares the rates of each race group to Hispanic youth. A ratio of 1.0 indicates statistical parity, i.e., the rates for the comparison groups are equal. For example, if Hispanic youth and white youth were referred at the same rate, the ratio would be 1.0, indicating the rates for these groups are equal. When the ratio exceeds 1.0, the rate for Hispanic youth group exceeds the rate for the comparison group; when it is below 1.0, the rate for Hispanic youth is less than the rate for the comparison group.

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  • Cases involving Hispanic youth were 20% less likely to be diverted than were cases involving white, but 40% more likely to be diverted than cases involving black youth.
  • Once petitioned, cases involving Hispanic youth were more likely to result in a delinquency adjudication than were cases involving white or black youth.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/special_topics/qa10607.asp?qaDate=2018. Released on March 31, 2020.

Adapted from Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics. Available on-line at: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezajcs/.

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


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