How the Processing of Juvenile Cases has Changed Based On COVID-19


Over the past two decades, juvenile delinquency rates have been decreasing across the United States, coming to an all-time low during 2020. In the juvenile justice system, current research has found that race and gender play large roles in the processing of juvenile cases, as well as urban and rural areas. In fact, research has found that the population of a county affects the number of cases the juvenile justice system will have, both in their county and across their state. In Michigan, rural counties have a much lower amount of juvenile cases than urban counties, as they are more likely to settle things outside of the system, unlike their more urban counterparts. The study conducted in this research looks to see how the COVID-19 pandemic, between 2019 to 2020 changed the processing of juvenile cases in Michigan. Using data from the OJJDP, results found that across both urban and rural regions there were fewer cases processed between the two years, and moreover the greatest statistical difference being between White and Black juveniles. These results are able to show the adaptability of the juvenile justice system to a health crisis, both in Michigan, but also in the United States.



COVID-19, juvenile justice, urban, rural, gender, race