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Did You Know?
In 2021, fewer complaints for more juveniles were received compared to 2020 (11,296 juveniles and 29,001 complaints in 2021 compared to 10,800 juveniles and 30,185 complaints in 2020).
The statewide delinquency rate for the juvenile justice system in 2021 was 17.53, down from 18.08 in 2000, the baseline year for a delinquency rate that includes “Raise the Age” youth. When comparing the pre-“Raise the Age” age group of 6 to 15-year-olds, the juvenile delinquency rate decreased from 12.05 in 2020 to 11.16 in 2021, the lowest juvenile delinquency rate on record by far.
In 2021, only 23% of complaints received were for school based offenses. The percentage of total complaints that are school based is typically 42-45%.
Detention admissions have only increased 10% since 2020; however, length of stay has increased 28% since 2020 due to transfer to superior court length of stay being longer than juvenile justice system youth stays in detention. For the second year in a row, detention average daily population exceeds the youth development center average daily population.
100% of juveniles committed to a youth development center have at least 1 mental health diagnosis. Youth committed to YDCs had an average of three distinct mental health and/or substance use disorder diagnoses, and in some cases as many as nine.
The number of youth age 16 or older served by Juvenile Crime Prevention Council programs increased 17% from 2020 to 2021 (from 3,869 to 4,511).
The total number of juvenile complaints in North Carolina decreased 17 percent between 2012 and 2021 (from 34,750 to 29,001).
The top three delinquent offenses in 2021 for which complaints were received were simple assault, break or enter a motor vehicle, and misdemeanor larceny.
The majority (52 percent) of juvenile offenses in 2021 were for non-serious offenses, class 1-3 misdemeanors. Offenses in this class include, but are not limited to, simple assault, simple affray, larceny (items worth less than $1,000), shoplifting, disorderly conduct, etc.
Most juvenile delinquent offenses occur between noon and 4 p.m. during the weekdays.
In 2021, there were 2,423 admissions to detention, 40 percent fewer than in 2012.
YDC commitments have dropped by 16 percent since 2012, from 216 in 2012 to 181 in 2021.
On any given day in 2021, you could find 149 juveniles who had been committed to a YDC, and the average length of time a youth is in commitment status is 11.8 months.
Juveniles are charged with simple assault more than any other crime. Breaking or entering a motor vehicle is defined by North Carolina General Statute 14-33 as "any person who commits a simply assault or a simple assault and battery or participates in a simple affray is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor."
In 2021, 9.1 percent of all juveniles who went through intake were identified as having gang involvement, association or membership.