John J. Wilson, Acting Administrator October 2000

Offenders in Juvenile Court, 1997

Melissa Sickmund


Delinquency Cases

Age, Sex, and Race of Delinquent Youth


Processing of Delinquency Cases

Judicial Waivers to Criminal Court

Petitioned Status Offense Cases



Related Readings

This Bulletin was prepared under grant number 1999–MU–MU–0020 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.
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.

From the Administrator

From 1988 to 1997, the number of delinquency cases handled by the Nation’s juvenile courts rose 48 percent, with disproportionate increases in person offense, weapons offense, and drug offense cases.

In 1997, juvenile courts processed nearly 1.8 million delinquency cases, virtually the same number as the previous year. The 1997 offense profile also paralleled that of 1996.

Offenders in Juvenile Court, 1997 presents these and other findings from Juvenile Court Statistics 1997, the latest in a series of OJJDP Reports that provide data from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive. The Archive, which is maintained for OJJDP by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, is the only comprehensive source of data about youth referred to U.S. juvenile courts for delinquency and status offenses.

The estimates provided in this Bulletin are derived from data from nearly 2,000 courts that had jurisdiction over 71 percent of the U.S. juvenile population in 1997. The Bulletin, like the larger Report on which it is based, serves as a barometer of trends in juvenile crime. It is my hope that the information it provides will prove useful to juvenile justice professionals, public officials, policymakers, and others concerned about juvenile violence and delinquency.

John J. Wilson
Acting Administrator



This Bulletin was written by Melissa Sickmund, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate at NCJJ. It summarizes Juvenile Court Statistics 1997 (Puzzanchera, C., Stahl, A.L., Finnegan, T.A., Snyder, H.N., Poole, R.S., and Tierney, N., 2000). The work was supported by funds provided to the National Juvenile Court Data Archive by OJJDP. Both OJJDP and NCJJ gratefully acknowledge the efforts of the many State and local agencies that contribute data to the Archive. Their cooperation with requests for data and documentation makes this work possible.

NCJ 181204

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