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Juveniles in Court
Q: Has there been an increase in the number of delinquency cases ordered to formal probation or residential placement?
A: Nearly all the growth in the number of cases in which the youth was placed on formal probation or ordered to a residential facility took place between 1985 and 1997.
Adjudicated delinquency cases by disposition, 1985-2010

Note: Cases are categorized according to their most severe disposition.

[ Text only ]  [ Excel file ]

  • In dispositional hearings, juvenile court judges must determine the most appropriate sanction for delinquent youth. Disposition options include commitment to an institution or another residential facility; probation; or a variety of other dispositions, such as referral to an outside agency or treatment program, community service, fines, or restitution. Very often the court imposes some combination of these sanctions.
  • The number of adjudicated delinquency cases resulting in residential placement increased 64% between 1985 and 1997 and then decreased 335% through 2010. In 2010, adjudicated juveniles were ordered to residential placement in 112,600 delinquency cases—26% of all adjudicated delinquency cases.
  • The number of adjudicated delinquency cases resulting in formal probation nearly doubled between 1985 and 1997, then decreased 31% through 2010. In 2010, formal probation was the most restrictive disposition ordered in 260,300 delinquency cases—61% of all adjudicated delinquency cases.
  • The number of adjudicated delinquency cases receiving other court ordered sanctions more than doubled between 1985 and 2010. In 2010, other sanctions, such as community service and restitution, were imposed in 55,200 delinquency cases—13% of all adjudicated delinquency cases.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/court/qa06501.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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