This report reviews the almost 1.7 million juvenile delinquency cases handled in 2007 in U.S. courts, and compares them with caseload levels between 1985 and 2007. It focuses only on cases involving juveniles charged with delinquency or status offenses.
NCJJ found that the number of delinquency cases processed daily, about 4,600 cases in 2007, has quadrupled since 1960 when about 1,100 cases were processed daily. Though the number of cases in 2007 was more than four-fold those in 1960, the courts saw an 11 percent decrease in delinquency cases between 1997 and 2007.
Another major finding was that delinquency cases involving offenses related to person, drug and public order more than doubled between 1985 and 2007, whereas those involving property offenses decreased by 15 percent in the same period.
Between 1997 and 2007, delinquency caseload decreased for all youths except for black youths, which increased by 2 percent. Though the number of cases varied among different racial groups between 1985 and 2007, the volume of cases involving attacks of persons, drugs and public order offenses increased in all racial groups; the greatest increase across all races occurred in the drug offense category. The 2007 numbers were 127 percent of 1985 levels for whites, 223 percent for blacks, 255 percent for American Indians, and 152 percent for Asian youths.
The disproportionate number of black youths involved in delinquency cases grew markedly from 1985 to 2007. In 1985, delinquency cases were split 73 percent/25 percent between whites and blacks. In 2007, that split had changed to 64 percent whites and 33 percent blacks.
The report does not break out statistics for Hispanics, including most of them in the white category.
Free, 170 pages. www.ncjjservehttp.org/ncjjwebsite/pdf/jcsreports/jcs2007.pdf.