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Last Updated: 02/01/2018

 Article of Interest - Children At-Risk

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Child Delinquency: Early Intervention and Prevention
Read the summary of findings from OJJDP identifying risk and protective factors that are crucial to developing early intervention and protection programs for very young offenders - click here.
A Bulletin from The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
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Juvenile courts are being challenged by an increase in the number of child delinquents coming before them. In 1997 alone, juvenile courts handled more than 180,000 juvenile offenders younger than 13 years old. These child delinquents account for 1 in 3 juvenile arrests for arson, 1 in 5 juvenile arrests for sex offenses, and 1 in 12 juvenile arrests for violent crime.

Because youth referred to juvenile court before the age of 13 are far more likely to become chronic juvenile offenders than youth whose initial contact occurs at a later age, there is reason for concern about the growing number of child delinquents.

This Bulletin summarizes the final report of OJJDP's Study Group on Very Young Offenders, "Child Delinquency: Development, Intervention, and Service Needs." The report draws on hundreds of studies to describe the developmental course of child delinquency and delineate key risk and protective factors. It also identifies effective and promising prevention and intervention programs that help reduce the incidence of delinquency while offering significant cost savings to society.


A limited number of printed copies are available from the Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse (JJC). Copies can be ordered online at or by calling JJC at 800-638-8736. For full-text publications, information on OJJDP, JJC, and other juvenile justice matters, visit the OJJDP Web site at


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