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Juveniles Programs at a Glance
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Juveniles Practice Outcomes at a GlanceNew
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The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there were approximately 73.8 million youth under the age of 18 in the United States in 2012.[1] State statutes define which youth are in the original jurisdiction of the juvenile court, and it varies from state to state; the upper age limit for this jurisdiction ranges from 15 to 17.[2] In 2010, courts with juvenile jurisdiction disposed more than 1.3 million delinquency cases.[3]

Fast Facts

  • In 2008, an estimated 60% of children in the United States were exposed to violence, crime, or abuse in their homes, schools, and communities within the past year. Approximately 46% were assaulted at least once in the past year and 10% were injured in an assault.[4]

  • Child protective services agencies investigated nearly 2 million reports of maltreatment involving more than 3.5 million children in 2010. More than one-third of maltreatment victims were infants or toddlers (ages 0-3) with neglect being the most pervasive form of maltreatment (62% of cases).[5]

  • In 2010, there were 225 arrests for Violent Crime Index offenses for every 100,000 youth between 10 and 17 years of age. The juvenile arrest rate (ages 10-17) had fallen 55% from its peak level in 1994.[6]

  • The victimization rate for non-Hispanic black youth in 2011 was more than twice the rate for non-Hispanic white youth, and juvenile males reported higher victimization rates than juvenile females.[7]

  • Violent crime committed by juveniles peaks during the after school hours. Nearly one-third (29%) of all violent crime committed by juveniles occurs between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. In comparison, nearly the same proportion of violent crime committed by adults (26%) occurs between the hours of 8 p.m. and 12 a.m.[8]

  • In 2010, juveniles were known to be involved in 8% of all homicides in the United States.[9]

  • From July 2010, through June 2011, there were 11 homicides and 3 suicides of school-age youth (ages 5-18) in schools. This is approximately one homicide or suicide per 3.5 million students enrolled during the 2010-2011 school year. Higher percentages of black and Hispanic students and students of two or more races reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property than white students.[10]

  • In 2009, 22% of arrests involving youth who were eligible in their state for processing in the juvenile justice system were handled within law enforcement agencies and the youth were released. 67% were referred to juvenile court, and 9% were referred directly to criminal court.[11]


Practices New

OJP Publications

Role of Technology in Improving K-12 School Safety, NIJ-Sponsored, 2016

Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice, NIJ-Sponsored, 2016

Safety, Health, and Wellness Strategic Research Plan - 2016-2021, NIJ, August 2016

Co-Offending Among Adolescents in Violent Victimizations, 2004-13, BJS, July 2016

Child Victims of Stereotypical Kidnappings Known to Law Enforcement in 2011, OJJDP, June 2016

More OJP Publications

Questions and Answers

How many children are abducted each year in the United States?
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How many missing and exploited children are there in the United States?
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What is the Department of Justice doing to help protect children from online predators?
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