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Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Crime Statistics

The National Center for Juvenile Justice offered the following statistics on their Internet Web site for 1999: law enforcement arrested some 2.4 million juveniles, and for every 1,000 juvenile delinquency cases handled, 238 resulted in probation and 93 received residential placement.

On a given day, October 27, 1999, nearly 109,000 juveniles were held in residential placement nationwide. Of all juveniles who went to court, about 25 percent were charged with violent crimes. Fifty-seven percent of the juvenile cases were handled formally through court proceedings and 43 percent were handled informally by law officers or court workers.

Of the status offenses, about 25 percent of runaway cases, 40 percent of those judged unruly, 34 percent of alcohol cases, and 47 percent of truancy cases resulted in formal probation. For all offenses committed in the United States in 1999, juvenilescommitted 16 percent of the violent crimes, or 68,000 arrests, and 32 percent of property crimes. Property offenses tended to occur in mid-teen years and violent offenses in later teen years. Juveniles comprised almost 28 percent of all arrests with juvenile males accounting for over 16 percent of total male arrests and juvenile females almost 22 percent of all female arrests.

About 1 percent of all juvenile cases are transferred to adult criminal court. Of those, 55 percent were black Americans and 90 percent were male. Of those transferred to adult courts, 75 percent resulted in prison sentences. Of those sent to prison 61 percent were for violent crimes, 22 percent for property crimes, and 16 percent for drug or other public disorder crimes. Approximately 2 percent of the adult prison population is teens, amounting to some 15,400 juveniles. Some states had only a few juveniles in prison, while Florida and Connecticut had over 500.

Black Americans made up 15 percent of the U.S. juvenile population in 1999 but accounted for 25 percent of all juvenile arrests, almost 41 percent of violent crimes, and over 27 percent of property crimes.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawJuvenile Justice - Changing Social Attitudes Toward Children, Reformers, Juvenile Courts, Juvenile Crime Statistics, Changes In The System