This report presents data on delinquency cases and petitioned status-offense cases processed by U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction between 2005 and 2015.
National estimates of delinquency cases for 2015 are based on analyses of individual case records from nearly 2,400 courts and aggregate court-level data on cases form nearly 200 additional courts. Together, these courts had jurisdiction over 86 percent of the U.S. juvenile population in 2015. National estimates of petitioned status offense cases for 2015 are based on case records from nearly 2,200 courts and court-level data from 94 additional courts that cover 79 percent of the juvenile population. Following the introduction, two chapters present national estimates of delinquency cases handled by the juvenile courts in 2015 and analyze caseload trends since 2005. One of these chapters describes the volume and rate of delinquency cases, demographic characteristics of the juveniles involved, and offenses charged. The second of the two chapters traces the flow of delinquency cases from referral to court through court processing, examining each decision point (detention intake decision, adjudication decision, and judicial disposition), and data by demographic characteristics and offense. These two chapters are followed by a chapter that presents national estimates of status offense cases formally processed by the juvenile courts in 2015, as well as caseload trends since 2005. Data cover demographic characteristics, offenses charged, and case processing. One appendix describes the statistical procedure used to produce the estimates. Definitions are provided in another appendix. Extensive tables and figures
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