U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Trends and Characteristics of Delinquency Cases Handled in Juvenile Court, 2019

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2021
1 page

Figures and tables with summary interpretive statements report trends and characteristics of juvenile delinquency cases (offense types, offender demographics, and dispositions) processed to disposition in U.S. juvenile courts for the period 2005 through 2019.


Delinquency caseloads for juvenile courts in 2019 were at their lowest level since 2005 for property, drug, and public-order offenses; however. person offenses leveled in 2014 after an annual decline from 2005 and increased slightly from 2017-19. The likelihood of detention increased for property cases between 2005 and 2019 but decreased for drug cases. In 2019, probation was the most common sanction for adjudicated delinquency cases. Compared with 2005, the delinquency caseload in 2019 had the same percentage of youth under age 13 and a slightly larger percentage of youth 17 years old and older. The proportion of male juveniles processed remained the same (72 percent) for 2005 and 2019, as did the percentage of females (28 percent). There was a 5-percent reduction of white youth processed (48 percent to 43 percent), a 2-percent increase for Black youth (33 percent to 35 percent), a 3-percent increase for Hispanic youth (16 percent to 19 percent), and the same percent (3 percent) for American Indian/Alaskan Natives and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Across types of offenses (delinquency, person, property, drugs, and public order), the likelihood of adjudication was less in 2019 than in 2005. 5 figures

Date Published: August 1, 2021