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Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Courts, 1997

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2000
2 pages
This report provides information on the processing of delinquency cases in juvenile courts in the United States in 1997, and included data on the juveniles and case dispositions.
Juvenile courts in the United States processed an estimated 1,755,100 delinquency cases in 1997. Such cases involved juveniles charged with violations of the law that would be crimes if committed by adults. The number of delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts increased 48 percent between 1988 and 1997. Seventy-seven percent of delinquency cases in 1997 involved a male, and 58 percent of the cases processed in 1997 involved a juvenile under age 16 at the time of referral. Juveniles were securely detained (during processing and prior to disposition) in 19 percent of the delinquency cases processed in 1997. Approximately 19 percent of all cases in 1997 were dismissed at intake, often because they were not legally sufficient. Another 24 percent were processed informally. Juvenile court judges waived 8,400 delinquency cases to criminal court, 25 percent more than in 1988 but 28 percent less than in 1994, the peak year. Juveniles were adjudicated delinquent in more than half (58 percent) of the 996,000 cases brought before a judge. Once adjudicated, juveniles were placed on formal probation in the majority of cases (55 percent). Juveniles were placed in a residential facility in 28 percent of the cases. 1 table

Date Published: March 1, 2000