Presents national data on delinquency cases processed by juvenile courts from 1986 through 1995. Between 1986 and 1995, the delinquency caseload of U.S. juvenile courts increased 45 percent. The number of cases formally processed by juvenile courts rose from 554,000 to 938,400 during this time period, while the number of cases handled informally (without a petition or court hearing) increased 24 percent. The largest relative changes were in formal processing of liquor law violation cases and weapons offense cases. Despite increases in the use of formal processing, the proportion of delinquency cases that result in adjudication or waiver did not change substantially.
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