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Publication Profile of State Prisoners under Age 18, 1985-97

Kevin J. Strom, Bureau of Justice Statistics

February 27, 2000    NCJ 176989

Presents trend data from 1985 to 1997 on persons under 18 in State prison, focusing primarily on persons admitted to prison under the age of 18: their demographic characteristics, offenses, average sentence length, and expected time served. The report also includes information on persons released from prison who were admitted under 18, persons under 18 in custody of State prison authorities, and persons under 18 held in local jails. Information was compiled from available correctional data sources including the National Correctional Reporting Program (NCRP), the National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) program, the Survey of Inmates of State Correctional Facilities (SISCF), and the Annual Survey of Jails (ASJ).


  • On December 31, 1997, less than 1% of inmates in State prison were under age 18, a proportion that has remained stable since the mid-1980's.
  • The number of offenders under age 18 admitted to State prison has more than doubled from 3,400 in 1985 to 7,400 in 1997, consistently representing about 2% of new admissions in each of the 13 years.
  • In 1997, 61% of persons admitted to State prison under age 18 had been convicted of a violent offense compared to 52% in 1985.

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National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP)

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