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Racial and Ethnic Fairness
National data show disparities for minority youth at the court referral, detention, placement, and waiver to criminal court stages.

Case processing characteristics of delinquency offenses by race, 2017

Counts Total White Minority Black AIAN* AHPI** Hispanic
Population (10 to upper age) 31,679,500 17,100,000 14,579,600 4,652,300 590,300 1,858,000 7,479,000
Cases referred to juvenile court 818,900 359,800 459,100 287,600 13,600 8,800 149,100
Cases diverted 207,600 110,300 97,400 54,900 3,100 2,600 36,700
Cases detained 213,700 74,600 139,100 85,700 3,600 2,200 47,700
Cases petitioned 466,400 188,800 277,600 182,400 7,800 4,700 82,800
Cases adjudicated 248,100 100,900 147,200 91,700 4,400 2,500 48,600
Adjudicated cases resulting in probation 155,500 65,500 89,900 55,300 2,700 1,900 30,000
Adjudicated cases resulting in placement 69,700 22,200 47,500 29,700 1,100 500 16,200
Cases judicially waived 3,800 1,200 2,600 2,100 100 <50 500
Rates Total White Minority Black AIAN* AHPI** Hispanic
Cases referred per 1,000 population 25.8 21.0 31.5 61.8 23.0 4.7 19.9
Cases diverted per 100 cases referred 25.4 30.6 21.2 19.1 22.9 29.6 24.6
Cases detained per 100 cases referred 26.1 20.7 30.3 29.8 26.2 24.9 32.0
Cases petitioned per 100 cases referred 57.0 52.5 60.5 63.4 57.7 53.1 55.5
Cases adjudicated per 100 cases petitioned 53.2 53.5 53.0 50.3 56.5 53.0 58.8
Probation cases per 100 adjudicated cases 62.7 65.0 61.1 60.4 61.0 75.3 61.8
Placement cases per 100 adjudicated cases 28.1 22.0 32.3 32.4 25.9 18.3 33.3
Cases judicially waived per 100 cases petitioned 0.8 0.6 0.9 1.1 0.8 0.4 0.6
Ratio of Rates1 Minority Black AIAN* AHPI** Hispanic
Referral rate 1.5 2.9 1.1 0.2 0.9
Diversion rate 0.7 0.6 0.7 1.0 0.8
Detention rate 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.5
Petitioned rate 1.2 1.2 1.1 1.0 1.1
Adjudicated rate 1.0 0.9 1.1 1.0 1.1
Probation rate 0.9 0.9 0.9 1.2 1.0
Placement rate 1.5 1.5 1.2 0.8 1.5
Waiver rate 1.5 1.8 1.4 0.7 0.9

1 The ratio of rates is created by dividing the minority rates by the white rate.

**AIAN: American Indian or Alaskan Native; ***AHPI: Asian, Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.

The ratio of rates compares the rates of each minority group to white youth. A ratio of 1.0 indicates statistical parity, i.e., the rates for the comparison groups are equal. For example, if white youth and minority 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 the minority group exceeds the rate for white youth; when it is below 1.0, the rate for minority youth is less than the rate for white youth.

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  • In 2017, cases involving black youth were nearly three times more likely to be referred to juvenile court for a delinquency offense than cases involving white youth.
  • The diversion rate for cases involving black, American Indian, and Hispanic youth was less than the diversion rate for cases involving white youth.
  • Regardless of race/ethnicity, delinquency cases involving minority youth were more likely to involve detention than cases involving white youth.
  • Cases involving black youth were more likely to be petitioned than cases involving white youth, but were less likely to result in a delinquency adjudication.
  • Cases involving Hispanic youth were 50% more likely to involve detention than cases involving white youth, and 50% more likely to receive a placement disposition.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/special_topics/qa11601.asp?qaDate=2017. Released on April 23, 2019.

Data Source: Adapted from Easy Access to Juvenile Populations [https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezapop/] and Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics [https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezajcs/].

 

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