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Person Offense Cases in Juvenile Court

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1994
2 pages

Based on data drawn from Juvenile Court Statistics 1991 and its companion software package Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics 1987-1991, this Fact Sheet presents data on the prevalence of person offenses processed by juvenile courts during this period, offender characteristics, the use of detention, and case processing during this period.


Person offenses accounted for 19 percent of the delinquency caseload of juvenile courts in 1991, compared with 16 percent in 1987. Between 1990 and 1991, person- offense cases increased 9 percent, from 239,800 to 260,300. The vast majority of person offense cases (76 percent) processed by juvenile courts involved charges of aggravated or simple assault (196,700). Four out of five juvenile offenders in person-offense cases in 1991 were males, and 61 percent of the cases involved juveniles under age 16; 55 percent of the person-offense cases in 1991 involved white youth; 42 percent involved Black youth; and 3 percent involved youth of other races. Twenty-five percent of the person-offense cases in 1991 involved the use of detention at some point between the initial court referral and the final disposition of the case. In 33 percent of the 77,500 person-offenses cases formally adjudicated by juvenile courts in 1991, the most severe disposition was placement out of the home in a residential or other treatment facility. Probation was used in 54 percent of adjudicated person offense cases, and 8 percent resulted in other sanctions, including referral to an outside agency, fines, and restitution. Sources for additional information are listed.

Date Published: April 1, 1994