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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/
Incorrigible
Liquor Valid
Court Order*
Miscellaneous
Number of states 39 43 9 41 11 2 38
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado**
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/qa04121.asp?qaDate=2013. Released on August 01, 2014.

 

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