Delinquency Case Rate Trends
Drug offense case rates for black youth showed the greatest increase and greatest decline between 1985 and 2012.
Delinquency Case Rates for Drug Offenses by Race, 1985-2012
Note: Rates are cases per 1,000 youth ages 10-upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction.
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- The drug offense case rate for black youth increased sharply from 1985 to 1989, leveled off, then increased again to reach a peak in 1996 - more than 250% above the rate in 1985. Following alternating periods of growth and decline, the rate fell 34% between 2007 and 2012, reaching its lowest level since the late 1980s.
- Trends in drug offense case rates for white, Asian/NHPI, and American Indian youths followed a similar pattern between 1985 and the early 1990s, during which time rates declined 45% or more for each race group. Rates for each group increased through the late 1990s and then stayed within a limited range through 2012.
- The black-white disparity in drug offense case rates reached a peak in 1991, when the rate for black youth was nearly five times the rate for white youth. The decline in the rate for black youth since the mid-1990s, coupled with the growth in the rate for white youth, reduced the black-white disparity to 1.2 in 2012.
Internet Citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available:
February 20, 2015.
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