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Juveniled Justice System Structure & Process
Jurisdictional Boundaries
Q: What types of violations constitute a status offense in each state?
A: State statutes commonly identify truancy, being a runaway, and ungovernability as status offenses.

Status offenses specified in statute, 2013
(Click on the state name for additional information)

State Runaway Truancy Curfew Ungovernability/
Liquor Valid
Court Order*

Number of states 39 43 9 41 11 2 38

Alabama X X X X X X
Alaska X X X
Arizona X X X X X

Arkansas X X X
California X X X X
Colorado** X

Connecticut X X X X
Delaware X
District of Columbia X X X

Florida X X X
Georgia X X X X X X
Hawaii X X X

Idaho X X X X
Illinois X X X X
Indiana X X X X X X

Iowa X
Kansas X X X X
Kentucky X X X X

Louisiana X X X
Maine X X X
Maryland X X X

Massachusetts X X X X X
Michigan X X X
Minnesota X X

Mississippi X X X X
Missouri X X X X
Montana X X X X

Nebraska X X X X
Nevada X X X X X
New Hampshire X X X X

New Jersey X X X X
New Mexico X X X
New York X X X

North Carolina X X X X
North Dakota X X X X
Ohio X X X

Oklahoma X X X
Oregon X X X
Pennsylvania X X X

Rhode Island X X X X
South Carolina X X X X
South Dakota X X X X

Tennessee X X X X
Texas X X X X X
Utah X X X

Vermont X X
Virginia X X X X
Washington X X X

West Virginia X X X
Wisconsin X X X X
Wyoming X X X X

Notes: Table information is as of the end of the 2013 legislative session.
*Generally the VCO exception applies to already adjudicated status offenders; Arizona, and Kansas, however, specifically include the first time violation of a court order as a status offense.
**Colorado defines a status offense as having the same meaning as defined by federal law. A status offense is defined by federal law as conduct which would not be a crime under the law of the jurisdiction in which the offense was committed if committed by an adult.
  • In more than half of all states (29), truancy, being a runaway and ungovernability/incorrigibleness are all considered status offenses.

  • Status offense categories are adapted from Juvenile Court Statistics:

  • Runaway-Leaving the custody and home of parents or guardians without permission and failing to return within a reasonable length of time in violation of a statute.
  • Truancy-Violation of a compulsory school attendance law.
  • Curfew-Being found in a public place after a specified hour, usually established in a local ordinance applying specifically to persons under a specified age.
  • Liquor law violations-Violation of laws concerning possession, purchase or consumption of liquor by minors.
  • Valid court order-Violation of a valid court order regulating a juvenile's behavior given by a juvenile court judge.
  • Miscellaneous-Status offenses not included in the above categories or a general categorization such as an offense which would not be criminal if committed by an adult.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/qa04121.asp?qaDate=2013. Released on August 01, 2014.


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