This 1997 survey of offenders in juvenile courts found the number of criminal homicide cases processed by juvenile courts dropped by 17 percent between 1996 and 1997.
In 22 percent of delinquency cases processed in 1997, the most serious charge was a person offense. Person offenses accounted for 17 percent of all delinquency cases in 1988. Juveniles were held in secure detention facilities at some point between referral and disposition in 19 percent of all delinquency cases disposed in 1997, about the same proportion as in 1988. There were 25 percent more delinquency cases waived to criminal court in 1997 than in 1988 but 22 percent fewer than in 1994. Juveniles aged 15 years and older accounted for more than 6 in 10 delinquency cases in 1997. Males were involved in about 7 in 10 delinquency cases each year. Compared to male caseloads, however, female caseloads grew at a faster pace. Offense profiles of caseloads of white juveniles differed from caseloads of black juveniles, specifically black juveniles committed more person offenses than white juveniles. Secure detention was nearly twice as likely in cases involving black youth as in cases involving white youth, even after controlling for general offense category. In 1997, juveniles were adjudicated in 577,600 formally processed delinquency cases. Probation caseloads increased between 1988 and 1997, status offenses were less often referred by police officers than delinquency cases, juvenile courts were less likely to detain youth in status offense cases than in delinquency cases, and females were involved in approximately 4 in 10 status offense cases. Juveniles were placed out of the home in 14 percent of all status offense cases adjudicated. Methods used to collect and analyze the data are described. 11 references, 13 tables, and 13 figures
Date Published: October 1, 2000