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Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Courts, 1996

NCJ Number
176217
Date Published
Author(s)
Anne L. Stahl
Annotation
Juvenile courts in the United States processed an estimated 1.8 million delinquency cases in 1996, cases that involved juveniles charged with criminal law violations.
Abstract
Data from nearly 1,800 courts with jurisdiction over 67 percent of the U.S. juvenile population showed the number of delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts increased by 49 percent between 1987 and 1996. About 3 of every 4 delinquency cases in 1996 (77 percent) involved a male, slightly less than in 1987 (81 percent). Males accounted for 75 percent of person offense cases, 77 percent of both property offense cases and public order offense cases, and 86 percent of drug law violation cases in 1996. Between 1987 and 1996, the number of delinquency cases involving females increased by 76 percent, compared with a 42 percent increase for males. About 60 percent of delinquency cases in 1996 involved a juvenile under 16 years of age, compared with 56 percent in 1987. Juveniles under 16 years of age were responsible for 65 percent of person offense cases, 62 percent of property offense cases, 54 percent of public order offense cases, and 42 percent of drug law violation cases in 1996. Black juveniles were involved in 30 percent of delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts, and white juveniles were involved in 66 percent of these cases. Juveniles were securely detained in 18 percent of delinquency cases processed. Detention was used in 23 percent of drug law violation cases, 23 percent of person offense cases, 21 percent of public order offense cases, and 14 percent of property offense cases. About 20 percent of delinquency cases were dismissed at intake, often because they were not legally sufficient. Another 24 percent were processed informally, and about 56 percent were processed formally. Juvenile court judges waived 10,000 delinquency cases to criminal court in 1996, 47 percent more than in 1987. Juveniles were adjudicated delinquent in more than half of the 983,100 cases brought before juvenile court judges in 1996. 1 table
Date Created: July 29, 2014