This document examines detention in delinquency cases during the period 1987 to 1996.
Detention caseloads increased 38 percent between 1987 and 1996. The most dramatic change in the detention system was the influx of females charged with person offenses, which rose 182 percent. The increase in the number of cases involving detention was almost four times greater for black youth than for white youth. The use of detention remained relatively constant except for drug violation cases. Although the number of cases detained involving juveniles age 13 and younger rose 63 percent, the percentage of cases involving detention in this age category did not rise significantly. These data indicate that, although more young children were in the juvenile justice system in 1996 than 10 years earlier, the courts did not judge that the new class of young offenders had a greater need for secure confinement during case processing. Juvenile courts were more likely to detain 15- and 16-year-olds than younger children. Table, figures
Date Published: August 1, 1999