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Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2010

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2014
4 pages
Publication Series

This fact sheet, which is based on the report "Juvenile Court Statistics 2010," presents data on the number and types of offenses for juvenile cases waived to criminal court.


Forty-five States have discretionary judicial waiver provisions, which give juvenile court judges the authority to waive jurisdiction of individual juveniles and refer a case for prosecution in criminal court. Fifteen States have presumptive waiver laws that designate a category of cases in which waiver to criminal court is presumed to be appropriate. In 2010, of the 1.4 million delinquency cases processed, 54 percent were handled formally, i.e., a petition was filed that requested an adjudication or waiver hearing. Of the petitioned delinquency cases, approximately 1 percent resulted in judicial waiver. For males, person-offense cases were far more likely to be waived to criminal court than cases in any other offense category. The likelihood of judicial waiver for drug offense cases involving males increased substantially between 1985 and 1991 then declined considerably through 2010 to 0.9 percent. Waived drug offense case involving females followed the same pattern. For much of the period 1985 through 2010, the likelihood of judicial waiver was greater for Black youth than white youth for both person and drug-offense cases. From the early 1990s and 2010, the relative decline in cases waived was greater for Black youth; however, in 2010, person and drug-offenses cases involving Black youth remained slightly more likely to be judicially waived than those involving white youth. 11 figures and 1 table

Date Published: February 1, 2014