U.S. flag

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

Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Courts, 1998

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2001
2 pages
This report on U.S. delinquency cases in juvenile courts for 1998 and trend analysis for 1989-98 addresses counts and trends, gender, age, race, detention, intake decision, waiver to criminal court, and adjudication and disposition.
In 1998 U.S. juvenile courts processed an estimated 1,757,400 delinquency cases. These cases involved juveniles charged with criminal law violations. The number of delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts increased 44 percent between 1989 and 1998. Seventy-six percent of delinquency cases in 1998 involved a male, compared with 81 percent in 1989. Between 1989 and 1998, the number of delinquency cases that involved females increased 83 percent, compared with a 35-percent increase for males. Fifty-eight percent of the juvenile delinquency cases processed in 1998 involved a juvenile younger than 16 years old at the time of referral, compared with 59 percent in 1989. In 1998 approximately 79 percent of the U.S. juvenile population was white, and 15 percent was Black; however, Black juveniles were involved in 29 percent of the delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts, and white juveniles were involved in 67 percent. Juveniles were securely detained in 19 percent of the delinquency cases processed in 1998. About 19 percent of all delinquency cases in 1998 were dismissed at intake, often for lack of legal sufficiency. In 1998 juvenile court judges waived 8,100 delinquency cases to criminal court; the number of cases waived in 1998 was 1 percent more than in 1989. In 1998 juveniles were adjudicated delinquent in 63 percent of the 1,000,300 cases brought before a judge. Once adjudicated, juveniles in 58 percent of the cases were placed on formal probation, and 26 percent were placed in a residential facility. 1 table

Date Published: August 1, 2001