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National Juvenile Court Data Archive: Collecting Data Since 1927

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1997
2 pages
This Fact Sheet describes the features and functions of the National Juvenile Court Data Archive, which collects, stores, and analyzes data on youth referred to U.S. courts for delinquency and status offenses.
Although "Juvenile Court Statistics" is the Archive's best-known product, the data files meet many other needs. A 1985 study used data from four States to model the judicial resources that would be required under various juvenile court structures being considered in Arkansas. A 1992 study of case records from Utah determined that the use of restitution was associated with a significantly lower rate of recidivism among juvenile probationers. These are just a few examples of how the Archive data files have been used to address various research issues. Data collection for the Archive does not depend on uniform Federal regulations or reporting requirements. Rather than imposing Federal definitions and standardized data forms on thousands of local courts that use widely varying terminology and data processing techniques, the Archive accepts data in the format and structure that each local court uses. The Archive then creates comparable versions of all data files, thereby enabling the calculation of national statistics. This procedure reduces the administrative burden on State and local officials while producing a large reserve of data that can be used to analyze juvenile justice trends, policies, and programs.

Date Published: August 1, 1997