Age of Youth

Juveniles younger than 16 accounted for a somewhat smaller proportion of status offense cases in 1996 than in 1987. In 1996, 55% of the petitioned status offense cases disposed by juvenile courts involved a youth under age 16, compared with 57% of the 1987 caseload. For truancy cases, the proportion of juveniles younger than 16 dropped from 86% to 77%, and among cases of running away, the proportion decreased from 65% to 63%. However, among ungovernability cases, the proportion of younger juveniles increased slightly (from 69% to 70%) and, among petitioned status liquor offense cases, juveniles younger than 16 made up a larger proportion of cases in 1996 (25%) than in 1987 (20%).

In 1996, the most common status offense for youth younger than 16 was truancy (34%) (table 17). Among older youth, the most common status offense was a liquor law violation, which accounted for 46% of all cases involving a youth age 16 or older.

Table 17: Offense Profile of Petitioned Status Offense Cases, by Age at Referral, 1996
Table 17
Note: Detail may not total 100% because of rounding.


Offenders in Juvenile Court, 1996Juvenile Justice Bulletin   ·  July 1999