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Juveniled Justice System Structure & Process
Jurisdictional Boundaries
Q: How are status offenders classified in each state?
A: States use many different terms to classify status offenders. Some terms, such as child in need of services or child in need of supervision, relate to the needs of the juvenile. Other terms, such as unruly child or chronic runaway, describe the juvenile's behavior.

Status offender classification, 2013
(Click on the state name for additional information)

State In need of
supervision*
Status
offender
In need of
services**
In need of aid,
assistance or care***
Unruly No specific
classification
Other
Number of states 12 11 12 4 3 3 15
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.
*In need of supervision includes variations such as Child in Need of Supervision (CHINS) and Person in Need of Supervision (PINS).
**In need of services includes variations such as Children in Need of Protection or Services, Child in Need of Services (CHINS), Family in Need of Services (FINS), Family in Need of Court-Ordered Services, Family with Service Needs, and Juvenile Alleged to Be in Need of Protection or Services.
***In need of aid, assistance, or care includes variations such as Child in Need of Aid, Child in Need of Care, Child Requiring Assistance, and Families in Need of Assistance.

  • While some states have multiple classifications for status offenders depending on the violating behavior or situational factors, such as Washington (At-Risk Youth, Truant, and Child in Need of Services), Virginia (Child in Need of Services, Child in Need of Supervision, and Status Offender) and Minnesota (Juvenile Petty Offender and Children in Need of Protection or Services), most have a single label.
  • Truant youth in Illinois are classified as Truant Minors in Need of Supervision. Youth who are runaways, ungovernable, or unruly are classified as Minors in Need of Authoritative Intervention and are eligible for community based services.
  • In Maine, there is no specific classification for youth who commit status offenses, however, legislation in the Maine Juvenile Code allows a law enforcement officer to take a juvenile runaway into interim care (temporary physical control).
  • Youth who are truant, runaway, violate curfew, or violate the alcoholic beverage code in Texas are classified as status offenders. The behaviors are referred to as "Conduct Indicating a Need for Supervision."
  • Some states classify status offenders in the same category as abused and neglected children. For example, in Pennsylvania, youth who commit a status offense are processed as dependent children.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/qa04122.asp?qaDate=2013. Released on August 29, 2014.

 

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