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Juveniles in Court
Detention
Q: Do trends in the use of detention vary by offense?
A: For all but drug offense cases, the proportion of cases involving detention changed very little between 1985 and 2010-varying 5 to 8 percentage points.

Percentage of cases detained, 1985-2010

Year Person Property Drugs Public order

1985 25 % 18 % 22 % 28 %
1986 25   18   26   28  
1987 22   17   29   26  
1988 24   17   32   26  
1989 25   18   36   27  
1990 25   18   35   26  
1991 23   15   34   22  
1992 23   15   32   23  
1993 23   15   29   23  
1994 23   15   25   22  
1995 23   14   23   21  
1996 23   14   21   21  
1997 24   15   22   23  
1998 24   17   24   26  
1999 24   18   25   27  
2000 24   17   22   26  
2001 26   18   22   26  
2002 26   18   22   27  
2003 26   18   22   27  
2004 26   18   21   26  
2005 25   17   20   25  
2006 26   18   20   25  
2007 27   17   19   24  
2008 27   16   17   23  
2009 26   16   17   23  
2010 26   17   16   24  

[ Graph version ]  [ Excel file ]

  • Juvenile courts sometimes hold youth in secure detention facilities during court processing of their case. Depending on the State's detention laws, the court may decide detention is necessary to ensure the juvenile's appearance at subsequent court hearings, to protect the community from the juvenile, or to secure the juvenile's own safety. Detention may also be ordered for the purpose of evaluating the juvenile.
  • The likelihood of detention for juveniles charged with drug offense cases peaked in 1989 but varied more than other offenses between 1985 and 2010. In 1989, juveniles were detained in 36% of drug cases; by 2010, it had decreased to 16%.
  • The likelihood of detention for juveniles was lower in 2010 than in 1985 for public order offense cases and about the same for person and property offense cases.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06303.asp?qaDate=2010. Released on April 17, 2013.

Adapted from Juvenile Court Statistics 2010 (forthcoming). Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice.

 

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