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This Bulletin is part of the Juvenile Offenders and Victims National Report Series. The National Report offers a comprehensive statistical overview of the problems of juvenile crime, violence, and victimization and the response of the juvenile justice system. During each interim year, the Bulletins in the National Report Series provide access to the latest information on juvenile arrests, court cases, juveniles in custody, and other topics of interest. Each Bulletin in the series highlights selected topics at the forefront of juvenile justice policymaking, giving readers focused access to statistics on some of the most critical issues. Together, the National Report and this series provide a baseline of facts for juvenile justice professionals, policymakers, the media, and concerned citizens.


Office of Justice Programs
Partnership for Safer Communities
June 2004

Juveniles in Corrections

Melissa Sickmund

A Message From OJJDP

The Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement profiles juvenile offenders in custody

The 1999 profile of residents in juvenile custody facilities was similar to the 1997 profile

Juvenile facilities reported more juvenile delinquents in placement in 1999 than at any time since 1991

The offense profiles were similar for those held in public facilities and those held in private facilities

Person offenders were 35% of juvenile offenders in custody nationwide; drug offenders were 9%

State custody rates in 1999 showed a broad range—from 96 to 632 per 100,000 juveniles

Minority youth accounted for 7 in 10 juveniles held in custody for a violent offense in 1999

In nearly all states, a disproportionate number of minorities were in residential placement in 1999

Nationally, custody rates were highest for blacks

Minority disproportionality exists at various decision points in the juvenile justice system

Females make up a small portion of the juveniles in custody, but require unique programming

Seven in ten juvenile offenders in custody were held in locked rather than staff-secure facilities

On June 30, 2000, 7,600 youth younger than 18 were held in adult jails nationwide

Most youth sent to adult prisons are 17-year-olds, males, minorities, and person offenders

Imposition of the death penalty for crimes committed at age 17 or younger remains rare


NCJ 202885

This Bulletin was prepared under cooperative agreement numbers 95–JN–FX–K008 and 1999–JN–FX–K002 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice.

Points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of OJJDP or the U.S. Department of Justice.


This Bulletin was written by Melissa Sickmund, Senior Research Associate at the National Center for Juvenile Justice, with funds provided by OJJDP to support the Juvenile Justice Statistics and Systems Development Program and the National Juvenile Justice Data Analysis Program.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office for Victims of Crime.

Access OJJDP publications online at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ojjdp

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