Status Offenses Still Criminalizing Children, New Report Finds
Date:  04-21-2015

Over 50 percent of states still hold children in detention for minor transgressions
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange reports that over half of states in America allow children to be held for “crimes” such as skipping school, running away from home or possession of alcohol or tobacco. Read more.

These findings come from a new report from the Coalition for Juvenile Justice ((CJJ) and its Safety, Opportunity & Success Project (SOS) which underscores the need to reexamine status offences, minor transgressions that only apply to young people.

The report, Status Offenses: A National Survey revealed that in 2011 116,200 status offense cases were presented in juvenile courts across America resulting in 8,800 juveniles being place in “secure detention.” The report also found that laws concerning status offenses differ from state to state, as do “…diversion programs and practices, as well as sanctions following disposition of a case.”

Status Offenses: A National Survey reviews the laws of each state and provides the legislative title bestowed upon the involved juvenile’s situation (Incorrigible Child, Family in Need of Services, Ward of the Court etc.) as well as each state’s eligibility criteria for being charged with a status offense, and pre-court interventions and diversions. The report also details what disposition options are available in each state, and whether a state has a Valid Court Order (VCO) and a 24-hour hold policy.

Find your state’s list of status offenses and how they are handled here,