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Patterns of Juvenile Court Referrals of Youth Born in 2000

NCJ Number
304627
Author(s)
Charles Puzzanchera; Sarah Hockenberry
Date Published
August 2022
Length
24 pages
Publication Series
Annotation

This bulletin focuses on the demographic and case processing characteristics of youth referred to juvenile court more than once, as well as histories defined as serious, violent, and chronic. Understanding the nature of youth offending is paramount for driving juvenile justice policy. To address the needs of the youth as well as the community, policymakers and juvenile justice professionals must not only examine the prevalence and characteristics of youth offending, but should also study patterns of subsequent offending. In the current study, researchers reviewed the histories of 161,057 youth referred to juvenile court to document demographic and case-processing characteristics and to determine how many entered the system for serious, violent, or repeat incidents. Just over 60 percent of youth in the cohort did not return to juvenile court after their first referral. A small percentage (7 percent) were initially referred to juvenile court for a violent crime. Males are still more likely to return to juvenile court than their female peers. Black and American Indian youth were most likely to be referred more than once. For professionals working with youth, these data are encouraging and can help build support for additional alternatives to out-of-home placement, especially for males. The use of detention varied by offense type and demographics.

Abstract

This bulletin describes the official juvenile court referral histories of more than 160,000 youth born in 2000 from 903 selected United States counties. Using data from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive, this bulletin focuses on the demographic and case processing characteristics of youth referred to juvenile court and the proportion of the cohort that was referred to juvenile court more than once, as well as histories defined as serious, violent, and chronic. More than 60% of youth in the cohort did not return to juvenile court after their first referral. A small percentage of youth (7%) were initially referred to juvenile court for a violent crime. Males are still more likely to return to juvenile court than their female peers. Black and American Indian youth were most likely to be referred more than once. 

Date Published: August 1, 2022