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Pennsylvania Juvenile Delinquency


Pennsylvania statute 42 Pa.C.S. § 6302 defines a delinquent child as "[a] child ten years of age or older whom the court has found to have committed a delinquent act and is in need of treatment, supervision or rehabilitation."

To work with delinquent children, the courts have created juvenile courts that deal exclusively with juvenile matters. In Philadelphia, Juvenile Court, a branch of the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas, "processes cases involving juvenile delinquency where minors have been accused of crimes; dependency cases, arising from allegations of neglect or abuse; truancy petitions and those alleging incorrigibility; and adoptions."

Because of the unique nature of juvenile matters, there are resources solely devoted to outlining and providing information on juvenile delinquency and juvenile courts. The resources in this guide highlight sources available to Jenkins' members freely online, on member databases, or in the library. Onsite Lexis and Westlaw access is noted when available. Additional resources may also be useful and library users are encouraged to search the Jenkins' catalog. Visitors to Jenkins may also want to browse the shelves around call numbers KFP595 through KFP598. Primary source materials like statutes, court rules, and caselaw should also be consulted; see the PA Law guides for how to access primary source materials.

Juvenile delinquency can overlap with criminal law. For resources on criminal law, see the Pennsylvania Criminal Law guide.