New data has been posted to the KIDS COUNT Data Center on youth charged with public and status offenses, youth successfully diverted from court, and youth petitioned to court during calendar year 2010. Data on charges shows the number of complaints taken by the Court Designated work program, which handles all cases before any formal court involvement. The data on successful diversion reflects the number of youth the Court Designated Worker program works with to hold them accountable for their actions but resolve the complaint without formal court involvement. Youth petitioned to court reflects youth who, for various reasons, have their case proceed to court as a charge.

Status offenses are youth misbehavior, including skipping or being late for school, running away from home, being beyond control of parents/guardians or school, possessing alcohol or purchasing tobacco. Such offenses would not be crimes if committed by an adult. Public offenses are criminal offenses for both juveniles and adults.

If a youth is able to participate in and successfully complete a diversion program, no formal charges are filed against the youth. In 2010, the number of youth successfully diverted from the court system increased by more than a third from 2009 to 2010. Those that are not eligible or allowed to participate in diversion are petitioned to court for the filing of formal charges.  The number of youth petitioned to court has remained relatively steady over the past six years.

In 2010, Kentucky experienced increasing rates of youth charged with offenses via complaints to the Court Designated Worker program. The 2010 state rate of youth charged with status offenses was 180 charges per 10,000 youth ages 10-19, up from 167 per 10,000 youth ages 10-19 in 2006. The 2010 state rate of youth charged with public offenses, 373 per 10,000 youth ages 10-19, up from the previous year.

KIDS COUNT Data Center

On the KIDS COUNT Data Center you can now access the latest available data for the above-mentioned juvenile justice indicators, as well as other indicators that have just been updated, including: median household income, single-year and five-year child poverty rates, children under age 6 screened for lead poisoning and the proportion of confirmed cases, births to mothers without a high school diploma, and students entering college with academic needs.

The KIDS COUNT Data Center provides information across states and for Kentucky counties and school districts on many measures of child well-being, including: economic well-being, education, health, and safety. Users can easily rank, map, graph trends over time, and add customized information to their own websites. Users can also view and share data quickly and easily anytime and anywhere with the enhanced mobile site for smart phones.

Looking for more information? Research and recommendations for improving outcomes for the Kentucky KIDS COUNT indicators can be found in the annual Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Books here.