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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 2011-varying 5 to 8 percentage points.

Percentage of cases detained, 1985-2011

Year Person Property Drugs Public order

1985 24% 18% 22% 28%
1986 24% 18% 25% 28%
1987 21% 16% 29% 26%
1988 22% 16% 32% 26%
1989 24% 17% 34% 27%
1990 24% 17% 34% 26%
1991 22% 15% 33% 22%
1992 22% 15% 31% 23%
1993 23% 15% 28% 23%
1994 22% 15% 25% 22%
1995 23% 14% 22% 21%
1996 23% 14% 21% 21%
1997 24% 15% 22% 23%
1998 24% 17% 24% 26%
1999 24% 18% 25% 27%
2000 25% 17% 22% 26%
2001 27% 18% 22% 27%
2002 27% 19% 23% 28%
2003 27% 19% 22% 27%
2004 27% 18% 22% 26%
2005 26% 17% 21% 25%
2006 27% 18% 20% 25%
2007 27% 17% 19% 24%
2008 27% 16% 17% 23%
2009 26% 16% 16% 23%
2010 26% 17% 16% 23%
2011 26% 17% 15% 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 2011. In 1989, juveniles were detained in 34% of drug cases; by 2011, it had decreased to 15%.
  • The likelihood of detention for juveniles was lower in 2011 than in 1985 for person and public order offense cases and about the same for property offense cases.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06303.asp?qaDate=2011. Released on May 22, 2014.

Adapted from Juvenile Court Statistics 2011 (forthcoming). Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice.

 

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