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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 juvenile offenders peaks during the after school hours. Nearly one-third (29%) of all violent crime committed by juvenile offenders 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, juvenile offenders 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

Integrating Prevention and Intervention: A School Health Center Program to Promote Healthy Relationships, NIJ-Sponsored, 2015

Pediatric Fracture Printing: Creating a Science of Statistical Fracture Signature Analysis, NIJ-Sponsored, 2015

Psychiatric Disorders in Youth After Detention, OJJDP, September 2015

Detained Youth Processed in Juvenile and Adult Court: Psychiatric Disorders and Mental Health Needs, OJJDP, September 2015

Perceived Barriers to Mental Health Services Among Detained Youth, OJJDP, September 2015

More OJP Publications

Questions and Answers

How can I obtain the Parents' Guide to Gangs?
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Where can I locate the number of juvenile offenders charged with truancy?
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Are statistics available on juvenile status offenses?
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