The primary goal of this project was to collect and disseminate national information and statistics about delinquency and status offenses handled by juvenile courts, and secondary goals are to continue to expand the coverage of reporting court jurisdictions and to increase the quality and timeliness of the data.
A critical innovation in the “Juvenile Court Statistics” series occurred with the proliferation of computers in state and local governments during the mid-1970s. Many juvenile courts began to develop automated record-keeping and statistical reporting systems. These data files contained detailed, case-level data on each case disposed. Although the design and structure of the courts’ automated information systems varied, the information they collected on juvenile cases was similar. The National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) developed a strategy for combining these datasets to produce a detailed national portrait of juvenile court activity regarding delinquency and status offense cases and successfully returning the project to its original objective of producing national estimates based on case-level data. Currently, the data submitted to the Archive are derived from complex information systems and are more complex to understand and process. The Archive annually collects and processes data on hundreds of thousands of juvenile court cases. The primary goal of the project is to collect and distribute national information and statistics about delinquency and status offenses handled by juvenile courts. Secondary goals are to continue to expand the coverage of reporting court jurisdictions and to increase the quality and timeliness of the data. To accomplish this, the Archive continues to pursue three general objectives: data collection and processing, data use and dissemination, and data quality improvement and technical assistance. Publications/data analysis tools resulting from the project are listed.