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Week in Review: August 8-12

Happy Friday Readers! Have you ever wanted to contribute a juvenile tip to the blog or maybe have an entry for our "From a Lawyer's View" series? Well, we're always open to contributing writers! Interested? Email LaTobia at

Tip of the Week

This month, the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) released updated data and research bulletins that could be of interest to youth defenders. Last week, OJJDP published its updated Statistical Briefing Book which is an online database of juvenile justice statistics developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice for OJJDP. One of the features of the update is a new Data Snapshot that looks at the trends of youth arrests through 2020. The snapshot shows an overall decline in youth arrests. It uses data on national arrests from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Some key numbers from this snapshot are:

· The number of youth arrests for violent crime in 2020 was one-third the number in 2006

· The number of youth arrests fell 84 percent between 1996 and 2020. 1996 was its peak.

· The decline in arrests since 1996 was greater for youth than adults. Youth accounted for 6 percent of total arrests in 2020.

Moreover, this week, OJJDP and the National Institute of Justice released a bulletin entitled, Patterns of Juvenile Court Referrals of Youth Born in 2000. The report looks at juvenile court referrals (both status and delinquency offenses) from a cohort of over 160,000 youth born in 2000 for 903 selected counties throughout the United States. Key findings from this bulletin that may be of interest are:

· Most youth (63 percent) did not return to juvenile court after their first referral.

· 7 percent of youth were initially referred for a violent offense. Nearly one third (29 percent) were referred for a property offense.

· Youth receiving a formal sanction at their first referral were more likely to be referred for a subsequent offense. This was particularly relevant for those youth ordered to residential placement.

· About 12 percent or 1 of every 8 youth born in 2000 from participating jurisdictions were referred to juvenile court at least once before aging out of juvenile court jurisdiction for their state.

· Black and American Indian youth were most likely to be referred more than once.

While these numbers and data points are not specific to North Carolina, these statistics could be useful in advocating for clients both in court and out of court. Around the nation, we are hearing that juvenile crime and violence is on the rise. The above data suggests a different story and can be a useful tool when addressing those concerns. Moreover, as the Patterns of Juvenile Court Referrals of Youth Born in 2000 emphasizes, racial inequities persist in the juvenile justice system. Using this data, could be a first step or a reminder in pointing out that fact to system stakeholders and actors.

A Trip to Statesville

When some of your team is remote, what do you do? A road trip! Burcu and LaTobia visited Terri in Statesville to do some office tech updates, but we really went for the dogs! Take a look below:


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