County Attorney's Office
Youth Justice & Wellness Data

Image of an office seal and the text 'Office of the Ramsey County Attorney John J. Choi, County Attorney'
The Ramsey County Attorney’s Youth Justice and Wellness Division is responsible for responding to situations in which children aged 10 to 17 are alleged to have committed a crime or are chronically absent from school and/or running away from home. Together with community and system partners, we are working to (Re)Imagine Justice for Youth.
This includes:
  • Shifting to a restorative continuum of responses that are developmentally appropriate for youth.
  • Incorporating community-based accountability that seeks to repair and heal from harm caused.
  • Addresses root causes to prevent harmful behaviors from happening again.
  • Connects youth and their families with resources and support to strengthen our community and provide safety and wellness for all.
Important information about the data:
  • In the youth system, county attorneys file a ’petition’ in court to allege violations of law, rather than filing ‘charges.’
  • Data shown is from 2017 to present, updated quarterly.
  • Use filters to narrow data by date, race, age and/or gender.
  • Some referred cases are still pending review.
  • Data includes all levels of cases.
  • Data is based on the lead alleged violation in the case, both for referrals and petitions.
  • Age data is based on age at date of incident.
  • Race data is based on information provided in the referral and may be updated if we receive new information.

Referral Data

Referral data reflects incidents referred to us by law enforcement based on what they believe is supported by the evidence they present. If a case is petitioned to the court by our office, the alleged violation(s) in the petition may or may not be the same as in the referral. Referral data should not be confused with crime data; many crimes that are reported never get referred to a prosecuting attorney due to lack of available evidence.

Petition Data

Petition data reflects cases by lead alleged violation (there may be multiple per case) petitioned by our office to the court. Like in adult cases, county attorneys are guided by the law and professional standards in filing delinquency petitions if they reasonably believe they are supported by probable cause, that there is sufficient admissible evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the decision to petition is in the interests of justice.

Comparing Referral and Petition Data

Both referral and petition data are provided to give a sense of the relationship between the two, but the comparison should not be considered a precise “petition rate.” Because cases are processed over time, referrals and their corresponding petitions may occur during different time periods. Comparisons can also be complicated by pre- and post-petition referrals to community-based accountability and transfers of cases to other jurisdictions. In addition, petition rates are not a measure of effectiveness; there are many variables involved, and justice cannot be measured simply by a rate.

School Attendance Matters

School Attendance Matters (SAM) is a collaborative effort including our office, schools, law enforcement, community organizations and county social workers to understand the reasons children are missing school. We work with students and their families to remove barriers so they are present every day and succeed in school and in life.