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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, 2018

Counts Total White Minority Black AIAN* AHPI** Hispanic
Population (10 to upper age) 31,690,700 16,944,800 14,745,900 4,659,800 593,900 1,886,300 7,605,900
Cases referred to juvenile court 744,500 326,900 417,500 258,500 13,500 8,300 137,200
Cases diverted 192,000 102,200 89,800 48,900 3,300 2,500 35,100
Cases detained 195,400 68,500 126,900 77,400 3,600 2,100 43,900
Cases petitioned 422,100 169,000 253,000 165,200 7,800 4,500 75,600
Cases adjudicated 220,000 88,500 131,500 81,400 4,600 2,200 43,300
Adjudicated cases resulting in probation 139,000 57,300 81,700 49,400 2,900 1,700 27,700
Adjudicated cases resulting in placement 62,100 20,600 41,500 25,900 1,200 500 13,900
Cases judicially waived 3,600 1,200 2,500 1,900 <50 <50 500
Rates Total White Minority Black AIAN* AHPI** Hispanic
Cases referred per 1,000 population 23.5 19.3 28.3 55.5 22.8 4.4 18.0
Cases diverted per 100 cases referred 25.8 31.3 21.5 18.9 24.5 29.9 25.6
Cases detained per 100 cases referred 26.2 20.9 30.4 29.9 26.3 25.5 32.0
Cases petitioned per 100 cases referred 56.7 51.7 60.6 63.9 57.5 54.1 55.1
Cases adjudicated per 100 cases petitioned 52.1 52.4 52.0 49.3 59.1 50.0 57.3
Probation cases per 100 adjudicated cases 63.2 64.8 62.1 60.7 62.4 75.2 64.0
Placement cases per 100 adjudicated cases 28.2 23.3 31.5 31.8 27.2 20.4 32.0
Cases judicially waived per 100 cases petitioned 0.9 0.7 1.0 1.1 0.6 0.7 0.7
Ratio of Rates1 Minority Black AIAN* AHPI** Hispanic
Referral rate 1.5 2.9 1.2 0.2 0.9
Diversion rate 0.7 0.6 0.8 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 1.0 0.9 1.0 1.2 1.0
Placement rate 1.4 1.4 1.2 0.9 1.4
Waiver rate 1.4 1.6 0.9 0.9 1.0

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 2018, 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 40% 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=2018. Released on March 31, 2020.

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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