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Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2011

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2014
4 pages
Publication Series
This fact sheet presents the estimates of the number of petitioned juvenile delinquency cases waived to criminal court between 1985 and 2011.
This fact sheet is based on the report Juvenile Court Statistics, 2011 (NCJ 248475). It was found that, for every 1,000 of the petitioned juvenile delinquency cases, 4 were waived to criminal court. In 2011, U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction handled more than 1.2 million delinquency cases. More than half (54%) of these cases were handled formally (i.e., a petition was filed requesting an adjudication or waiver hearing). Of the petitioned delinquency caseload, about 1% resulted in judicial waiver. The number of delinquency cases judicially waived peaked in 1994 at 13,600 cases, more than double the number of cases waived in 1985. In 2011, juvenile courts waived an estimated 5,400 delinquency cases, 61% fewer cases than in 1994. The decline in juvenile violent crime drove much of the decrease in judicial waivers throughout the 1990s. However, part of the decline in judicial waivers can be attributed to the simultaneous and widespread expansion of nonjudicial transfer laws. As a result of these new and expanded laws, many cases that might have been subject to waiver proceedings in previous years were filed directly in criminal court, bypassing the juvenile court altogether.

Date Published: December 1, 2014