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Juvenile Court Processing of Delinquency Cases, 1987-1996

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1999
2 pages
This report provides national statistical information on the processing of delinquency cases in juvenile court from 1987-1996, specifically cases formally processed, adjudicated, and the transferred to criminal court.
Using information from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive, this report presents national data on delinquency cases processed by juvenile courts from 1987 through 1996. Approximately 1,800 jurisdictions containing 67 percent of the U.S. juvenile population contributed data to this report. In 1996, 56 percent of the delinquency cases were processed formally. The number of formally processed delinquency cases increased by 78 percent between 1987 and 1996 rising from 552,600 to 938,100. The likelihood of formal processing for delinquency cases in general increased from 47 percent to 56 percent between 1987 and 1996. Despite the increase in the use of formal processing, the total proportion of delinquency cases resulting in adjudication or waiver remained nearly the same. Only 1 percent of formally processed cases were waived to criminal court in 1996. Adjudications and waivers represented between 29 and 33 percent of all delinquency cases each year from 1987 to 1996 with 37 percent of the drug cases in 1996 most likely to result in adjudication or waiver.

Date Published: April 1, 1999