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The Impact of Covid-19 on the Nation's Juvenile Court Caseload

Resources / The Impact of Covid-19 on the Nation's Juvenile Court Caseload

The COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on the policies, procedures, and data collection activities of juvenile courts relating to the referrals and processing of youth. Mitigation efforts such as stay-at-home orders and school closures impacted the volume and types of law-violating behavior by youth referred to juvenile court.

Data submitted to the National Juvenile Court Data Archive project (Archive) provides unique insight into the impact of COVID-19 on juvenile court caseloads. The Archive collects juvenile court data from around the nation to create national estimates detailing demographic and case processing characteristics of delinquency and petitioned status offense cases handled in U.S. juvenile courts.

The uniqueness of the data collected by the Archive allows for a monthly analysis of court case volume and processing, which provides insight into any changes in case processing characteristics both at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and over time. This bulletin focuses primarily on patterns in case processing activities that occurred in 2020, compared with an average of the case processing characteristics for the prior 3 years (2017-2019), but also displays data through 2021.

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