1. These numbers represent different units of count, and this analysis should not be interpreted as suggesting that exactly 62 percent of all arrested youth were referred to juvenile courts in 1997. Changes in the relationship between juvenile arrests and juvenile court cases, however, do indicate law enforcement’s shifting emphasis on court referral.
2. This example is intended as a demonstration of projection methodology and not an analysis of national custody populations that could be used to formulate State or Federal policy. For this reason, all data, including population counts, are rounded.
3. The juvenile custody population numbers in table 1 are drawn from the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP) in 1997 and from the Census of Public and Private Juvenile Detention, Correctional, and Shelter Facilities, also known as the Children in Custody (CIC) census, in the years prior to 1997. CJRP differs fundamentally from CIC, which collected aggregate data on juveniles held in each facility. CJRP collects individual data on each juvenile held in each residential facility in the census. Since there was a change in data collection instruments, it is difficult to determine how much of the increase in the number of delinquents in custody is real and how much is due to the change in methods. According to OJJDP (see Snyder and Sickmund, 1999), the “roster” format of the CJRP data, along with electronic reporting, may have facilitated a more complete accounting of juveniles in facilities. In the years when CIC was used, there were many private facilities that did not report juveniles in custody. It is therefore likely that the reported number of juveniles in private facilities is understated. The population counts presented here do not match the data reported in other analyses of OJJDP’s CJRP data due to the various adjustments in this analysis.
4. Adjustments were based on the assumption that the 1997 population represents an accurate count of juveniles in custody in both private and public facilities. The ratio of the private to public populations in 1997 was applied to the 1993 and 1995 reported counts of juveniles in public facilities to adjust the number of youth in private facilities in those years.
5. The number of “admissions” into residential facilities is required to compute the relative rate of placement for any given year. A count of admissions is also essential input for projecting future juvenile commitment populations. Data on true admissions, however, are not available from any national data collection program (e.g., the National Juvenile Court Data Archive, the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, or the Children in Custody census). The National Juvenile Court Data Archive, however, can provide data on the number of adjudicated juvenile court cases resulting in commitment to residential placement during each year of the analysis. These data are used as a proxy for the number of “admissions” into residential placement.
6. Transition probabilities were calculated for 1993 and 1997 on an offense-specific basis. The overall change in the commitment population between 1993 and 1997 was then decomposed into the changes in these transitions from stage to stage during the period.