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Characteristics of Delinquency Cases Handled in Juvenile Court in 2017

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2019
1 page

This summary report from the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP's) National Juvenile Court Data Archive documents the characteristics of delinquency cases processed by the nation's juvenile courts in 2017.


Delinquency court caseloads in 2017 for all offense categories were at or near their lowest level since at least 2005. A graph shows declines by property offenses, public-order offenses, person offenses, and drug offenses. Across offenses, cases were less likely to result in a delinquency adjudication in 2017 than in 2005. Cases that involved property offenses accounted for the greatest proportion (32 percent) of the delinquency caseload in 2017, compared to 20 percent for cases against persons, 25 percent for public-order offenses, and 13 percent for drug offenses. Twenty-six percent of delinquency cases processed in 2017 involved predisposition detention, with the likelihood of such detention varying by offense, with those committing person offenses most likely to be given predisposition detention (33 percent), compared to 27 percent for public order offenses, 26 percent for delinquency offenses, 23 percent for property offenses, and 16 percent for drug offenses. Regardless of type of offense, probation was the most common sanction for adjudicated delinquency cases in 2017.

Date Published: May 1, 2019