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Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2014

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2018
4 pages
Publication Series

Data on delinquency cases in juvenile court for 2014 address the number of youth processed and the trends, gender, race, age, detention, intake decision, waiver to criminal court, and adjudication and disposition.


In 2014, U.S. juvenile courts processed nearly 975,000 delinquency cases (charges with criminal law violations). This was the first time since the mid-1970s that fewer than 1 million cases were processed by juvenile courts. Just over 25 percent of the delinquency caseload was composed of females in 2014, compared with 705,100 cases that involved males. Forty-three percent of the cases involved white youth; 30 percent Black youth; 18 percent Hispanic youth; 2 percent American Native youth; and 1 percent Asian youth, including Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Juveniles younger than age 16 at the time of referral to a juvenile court accounted for 53 percent of all delinquency cases. In 2014, person-offense cases were the most likely to involve detention (27 percent), followed by public order offenses (25 percent). Detention was less likely in cases that involved property offenses and drug offenses. Overall, there was a 41-percent decrease in the number of detained youth from 2013. Eighteen percent of all delinquency cases (171,000 cases) were dismissed at intake, generally for lack of legal sufficiency. An additional 27 percent were handled informally. In 2014, juvenile court judges waived jurisdiction over an estimated 4,200 delinquency cases, sending them to criminal court (approximately 1 percent of all formally handled delinquency cases). In 2014, juveniles were adjudicated delinquent in 54 percent (291,300) of petitioned cases. Formal probation was the most severe disposition ordered in 63 percent of the cases; residential placement was the most severe disposition in 26 percent of cases. 5 tables and 2 figures

Date Published: January 1, 2018