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National Center for Juvenile Justice

The National Center for Juvenile Justice is the research division of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

The National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) is located in Pittsburgh, PA. and is the oldest juvenile justice research group in the U.S., having conducted national and sub-national studies on crime and delinquency since 1973.

The NCJJ was founded by the Honorable Maurice B. Cohill, Jr., who served as a juvenile court judge for many years and then was appointed to the federal court in Pennsylvania’s Western District. He retired from the federal bench in 2016.

The NCJJ is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is effective justice for children and families through research and technical assistance. For four decades, NCJJ has conducted research and provided objective, factual information that professionals and decision-makers in the juvenile and family justice system use to increase effectiveness.

Its success stems from a unique blend of technical skill and practical experience that has enabled it to make complex research and statistical information understood by juvenile justice professionals and decision-makers.

NCJJ’s Board of Fellows, a diverse group of dedicated judges, researchers, providers, and justice system professionals, inform its work and guide its decision-making. In addition to its funded projects, it also maintains a research endowment that was established by local foundations and is used to support worthy research efforts that would otherwise not be possible. NCJJ valueS staff who are independent, creative, tenacious, resourceful, dependable, and passionate about their work.

Our Policy

National juvenile justice data collection efforts should minimize respondent burden while maximizing data collected. The data collector should disseminate the results of the data collection not only to researchers, but to the data providers, and broadly to the public.

Our Work

National Juvenile Court Data Archive

The National Juvenile Court Data Archive dates back to the 1920s and is the second oldest justice system data collection effort in the country. Since 1975, the NCJJ has been responsible for the National Juvenile Court Data (Archive) funded through grants from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)and now managed by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

The Archive collects data from juvenile court and juvenile justice agency information systems and produces national estimates of juvenile court case processing of youth charged with law-violating behavior. The Archive has increased coverage of the data on which national estimates of juvenile court delinquency caseloads are based—from 61% in 1984 to nearly 90% today. The increased coverage reflects increased juvenile court and juvenile justice agency automation nationwide.

Our ResultsStatistical Briefing Book

Each year the Archive publishes Juvenile Court Statistics, which profiles delinquency cases processed by courts with juvenile jurisdiction. The report also tracks trends in delinquency and petitioned status offense cases over several decades. Data include the volume of cases, demographics of juveniles involved, and offenses charged. These data are also made publicly available through OJJDP’s Statistical Briefing Book. The result is also an Archive with hundreds of unique case-level jurisdiction-specific data files that have been used in scores of research studies, including work by some of the best-known researchers in the field (such as John Laub, former director of the National Institute of Justice). The Archive approach to data collection is now being modeled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics for some of its court data collections—the goal being to obtain maximal results with a reduced respondent burden.

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