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Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 1985-1994

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 1997
2 pages

National data from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive are presented on delinquency cases waived to criminal court for 1985 through 1994.


During this period, the number of delinquency case waived to criminal court increased 71 percent, from 7,200 to 12,300 cases annually. The profile of waived cases changed considerably in this period. As recently as 1991, property offenses outnumbered person offenses among waived cases; however, in 1994, the largest group of judicially waived cases involved person offenses as the most serious charge. Cases that involved Black youth were more likely to be waived than cases of youth of other races, largely because of the different handling of person offenses and drug offenses. In 1994, 1.9 percent of formally processed cases that involved Black juveniles were waived to criminal court, compared with 1.2 percent of cases that involved white youth and 1.5 percent of cases that involved other races. Throughout the study period, cases of white juveniles were most likely to be waived if the most serious charge was a person offense. The use of waiver in cases that involved Black youth changed considerably during the period examined. The use of transfer for Black youth charged with drug offense increased substantially between 1985 and 1991. As of 1992, however, waivers of drug cases declined for Black youth, and person offenses were most likely to be waived to criminal court. 4 figures and 1 table

Date Published: February 1, 1997