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102. Juvenile Crime Facts


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Crime and drug abuse are rated first and third as the biggest worries among Americans according to a recent survey for The Conference Board, a research institute.

Crimes reported to police declined slightly for the third year in a row during , led by an eight percent drop in violent crime in cities with more than a million residents. However, arrests of youths under eighteen years of age for violent crimes surged by seven percent. The number of teenagers under eighteen arrested for murder has risen over one hundred fifty percent from to This is a disturbing trend, especially in light of the fact that Justice Department surveys consistently show that less than half of all crime, including crimes of violence, is reported to the police.

Seventeen percent of all serious violent crimes in were committed by juveniles, either alone eleven percent or in juvenile groups six percent. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: Another eight percent of serious violent crimes were committed by groups of offenders that included at least one juvenile. In all, twenty-five percent of all serious violent crime involved a juvenile offender.

Of these crimes, more than one-half involved a group of offenders. Data gathered from a variety of sources indicate that after a period of relative stability in the rates of juvenile crime, there was a major turning point in about Blumstein, Violence by Young People: Why the Deadly Nexus? Then, within the next seven years, the rate of homicides committed by young people, the number of homicides they committed with guns, and the arrest rate of non-white juveniles for drug offenses, all doubled.

This dramatic increase of juvenile violence seems to be fueled by the increase in drug trafficking since the mid's, most particularly cocaine. Increasing youth violence has become a national concern, and juvenile arrests are on the rise.

Between and , arrests of juveniles for violent offenses rose by nearly sixty-eight percent. Most of this increase occurred between and , during which time juvenile arrests for murder increased forty-five percent, arrests for robbery increased thirty-seven percent, and arrests for aggravated assault increased thirty-seven percent.

The most alarming statistics among these increases are the growth in homicides and weapons violations among younger juveniles. Between and , homicide arrests of adolescents under age fifteen increased twenty-four percent, while arrests of youth in this age group for weapons violations increased twelve percent. It is interesting to note that between and , juvenile arrests for murder increased by fifty-one percent compared to a nine percent increase for those over the age of eighteen.

The fact that young people commit crime at a high rate should not be a revelation. Thus a satisfactory explanation. Data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, availableonline at http: Current information is insufficient to explain either the causes of the growth in homicide and other violent acts or their decline in the past few years. Self-report data by young people for some offenses show less change since the early s than arrest data.

Figure shows the change in UCR-reported arrest for aggravated and other assaults compared with two self-reported items from the Monitoring the Future survey. Young people's self-reports of engaging in serious fighting are relatively flat from to ; self-reports of injuring someone badly enough to need bandages or a doctor rose somewhat beginning in and in were 27 percent higher than in Aggravated assault arrests, in contrast, began rising above levels in and reached a peak in that was 2.

Arrests for other assaults have been steadily increasing since It should be noted that official reports of assault are influenced by police policies and discretion. Aggravated assaults represent a heterogeneous set of acts, from threatening with a weapon with no resulting injury. Arrest data from Federal Bureau of Investigation ; self-report data from Maguire and Pastore From the official arrest statistics it is impossible to ascertain what percentage of aggravated assaults falls at the less serious end of the offense category, in contrast to the percentage that is very serious.

How assaults are counted and classified is essentially a matter of police discretion. There is considerable circumstantial evidence from a number of sources that indicates that a changing police threshold for charging aggravated assault was responsible for the increase in aggravated assault arrests during the s Zimring, The patterns of arrests for aggravated assault of to year-olds and to year-olds from to are nearly identical, but the two groups' homicide arrest patterns were very different, with the older group's homicide arrest rates declining at the same time the younger groups was growing rapidly.

If the rate of aggravated assaults was really increasing, Zimring argues, the older groups' homicide rates should have also increased. Arrests for simple assaults increased for both age groups over this same time, consistent with increased police willingness to arrest for assault. Victim reports of assault and self-reports of serious fighting were both much more stable than the arrest rate over this time period. An increased willingness to arrest juveniles may also account for the increase in arrests for other assaults.

Property crimes make up the majority of juvenile offending. In contrast to the trends for violent crimes, index property crime arrest rates have remained fairly constant for juveniles. Victims report a 60 percent decrease in all property crimes between and Because there is no victim report information on perpetrators of property crimes, it is impossible to tell whether the decline was attributable to a decrease in offenses by juveniles, by adults, or by both.

Self-report trends on property crimes by juveniles vary depending on type of behavior. Figure compares several self-reported property offenses to arrest rates for juveniles. In contrast to the stability in arrest rates, self-reports of other property crimes by juveniles have increased. Since the rate of damaging school property has been 10 to 20 percent higher than the rate.

Taking a car without permission has fluctuated a good deal since , but has been consistently higher than the rate. Just as with the index violent crimes, arrest rates for the index property crimes vary from one another see Figure Arrest rates for to year-olds are higher than rates for other age groups for all four index property offenses.

Arrest rates for burglary have been dropping since the early s for both to year-olds and to year-olds and by. FIGURE Change since in property arrest rates of to year-olds compared to self-reported property offense rates by high school seniors and victim reports of property offenses for all ages.

Arrrest rates from Federal Bureau of Investigation ; self-report data from Monitoring the Future as reported in Maguire and Pastore ; victim reports from the National Crime Victimization Survey, accessed online at http: For older groups, the burglary arrest rate began increasing in the early s and remained nearly 60 percent higher than in for those 35 and older.

As can be seen in Figures and , although the property arrest rates are higher for to year-olds and to year-olds, the increase in the arrest rate has been larger among to year-olds and those 35 and older. Arrest data from Federal Bureau of Investigation ; population data from Bureau of the Census and online at http: A category of offenses that affects only juveniles is status offenses — acts that are considered unlawful only because of the age of the offender.

The status offenses for which arrest data are available include curfew violations, running away, liquor law violations, and weapons possession. Figure shows the change in arrest rates relative to rates for these four status offenses. Starting with the mids through , arrest rates for curfew violations and running away were consistently 20 to 40 percent below the rates.

Because one of the provisions of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of was the deinstitutionalization of status offenders, in order to receive federal juvenile justice funding, states could no longer keep status offenders in secure detention facilities.

Although the decline in status offense arrests began prior to the passage of the act, it is possible that the act reinforced the trend away from arresting juveniles for status offenses. The public discussions prior to the passage of the act may have also encouraged states to begin changing their policies regarding status offense arrests in anticipation of the federal law.

In , arrests for curfew violations begin increasing and by had reached a level 50 percent higher than their rate. With the increase in concern over juvenile violence in the late s and early s, curfews gained popularity in various locales around the country.

The emphasis on curfews as a way to curb juvenile crime could explain the sudden increase in curfew violation arrests beginning around The increase in curfew arrests began the year following the increase in drug arrests of juveniles see Figure and both peaked in the same year. Police efforts to curb drugs may have emphasized keeping young people off streets through more strict enforcement of curfew laws.

More detailed analyses perhaps using time series , which were beyond the panel's resources, would be necessary to determine the effects of the fed. Girls have consistently had a higher rate of arrest for running away than have boys. For example, in , the rate of runaway arrests for girls ages 10 to 17 was per , compared with per , for boys. Studies of runaways, however, have found that boys and girls are about equally likely to run away Finkelhor et al. The availability of data on self-reported drug use provides an interesting comparison to arrest data for drug offenses.

National surveys of high school students—in particular, Monitoring the Future—have collected information on self-reported drug use since the mids. As Figure shows, arrest rates for drug offenses rose in the late s at the same time as self-reported illicit drug use for both marijuana and other illicit drugs continued to decline.

Use began rising again in , but still remained lower than the rates in the late s. Arrest rates for drug offenses, however, dramatically increased beginning in , to a rate in that was 67 percent higher than arrest rates. It should be noted that drug arrests and self-reported drug use may be measuring different activities. Arrests can be for actions other than drug use, such as possession or sales.

Drug use and drug sales may be correlated, however Huizinga and Jakob-Chien, UCR published data do not specify the type of drug or the type of activity for which the arrest was made and the national self-report surveys, such as Monitoring the Future and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, do not ask about involvement in drug sales.

Although rates and trends of drug arrests were similar for both blacks and whites prior to , whites were more likely than blacks to be arrested for drug offenses. Since , arrests of blacks for drug offenses have soared. Were one to use arrest data alone, it could be concluded that there has been an explosion of drug use among black juveniles since the late s.

This conclusion is not borne out by self-reported drug use data. In fact, black 8th, 10th, and 12th graders consistently report lower use of all illegal drugs than is reported by white students Johnston et al. As with most offenses, boys are more likely to be arrested for drug offenses than are girls. Since the early s, the drug arrest rate for male adolescents has been between 5 and 6 times higher than that for girls.

Although males report higher drug use than females, the differences are much smaller than arrest rates would indicate. For example, in , Past-year cocaine use was reported by 6. Yet boys were arrested more than 6 times as often as girls for drug offenses in If drug use by boys is more frequent or done in more public places than drug use by girls, boys could be more likely to be arrested. It is obvious that the arrest rates for drug offenses do not reflect drug use as reported by young people, whether one looks at young people in the aggregate or by race or sex.

Drug offenses exemplify the need for caution when using any single data source as an indicator of offense rate. The study of delinquency and juvenile crime has historically focused on males in spite of the fact that girls account for about one-quarter of all juvenile arrests Chesney-Lind, As a proportion of juveniles arrested, the number of girls has increased since , when they accounted for 20 percent of all arrests of those under 18 Snyder, b.

Prior to , the FBI did not record arrests by sex and age, so national data on arrests of adolescent girls before the s are not available. Arrests of girls for both property crimes and violent crimes have increased over the past two decades see Figure For violent crime, the arrest rate of young females increased more than that of young males— percent between and compared with 60 percent for males.

In , the young male violent arrest rate was just under 20 percent higher than in , but the young female rate was about 90 percent above the rate Snyder and Sickmund, Nevertheless, of all reported juvenile arrests in , only 2. The types of offenses for which girls are arrested differ from the types for which boys are arrested. Table presents the five most frequent offenses for which boys and girls were arrested in , , and Boys have consistently higher arrest rates than girls for all crimes except for prostitution and running away.

In , boys and girls were arrested for index violent crimes at a rate of per , and per ,, respectively and for index property crimes at a rate of 2, per , and 1, per ,, respectively. For example, in , 21 percent of male high school seniors reported having been in a serious fight within the past 12 months, compared with 11 percent of female high school seniors Bureau of Justice Statistics, For more serious assaults, arrests and self-report data are more similar.

Arrest rates by sex calculated from UCR data by committee staff with the methodology used by Snyder b. The differences between male and female self-reports of offending have remained fairly constant since the early s Bureau of Justice Statistics, The increase in arrest rates of girls for index crimes, however, was greater than that of boys. This increase may be due as much to a change in police behavior toward girls as to a change in girls' behavior Chesney-Lind and Shelden, How much crime will there be in the United States in the next 5 or 10 years?

Will crime rates go up or down or remain about the same? Since juvenile crime is often an indication of crime problems to come, how many juvenile offenses will there be? Will the number of juvenile serious violent offenders or homicide perpetrators increase? What will be the resulting demands on the juvenile and the criminal justice systems?

Will trends in juvenile crime influence trends in adult crime? Over the past three decades, criminologists have made a number of attempts to address. Appendix B is a more complete and technical discussion of forecasting trends in juvenile crime. These attempts have usually taken the form of efforts to explain past variations or to project future levels of crime by applying techniques of demographic and statistical analysis. Such analyses may be useful exercises with respect to explanation of past experiences in the ups and downs of observed crime or to the projection of recent trends in order to anticipate resources that will be needed in the near future by the juvenile and the criminal justice systems.

Users of such analyses must be aware, however, that all projections are fraught with uncertainty, and the farther into the future the projection is made, the more uncertainty there is.

A review of several existing contributions to the crime forecasting literature suggests that these forecasts are heavily influenced by trends in crime rates in the years just prior to the period for which the forecasts are made.

For example, based on crime rates in the early s and anticipated decreases in the population at high risk of committing crimes i. Using a different methodology, other researchers also predicted falling rates of violent crime during the s Cohen and Land, ; Fox, with a gradual increase in the s Fox, or in the s Cohen and Land, None of these predictions was borne out—the juvenile population did not behave as expected in the projections.

Similarly, forecasts based on the sudden rise in juvenile violent crime in the mids to early s also proved incorrect. Shortly before violent crime rates dramatically decreased, Bennett et al. To the extent that crime forecasts are meant to represent likely paths that crime rates may take, they should attempt to minimize, or at least be cognizant of, the effects of continuity bias—that is, the assumption that the current patterns will continue—on the forecasts.

Uncertainty can be built into crime forecasts by adapting and applying the high-, medium-, and low-scenarios approach widely employed in demography. By using high-low projection cones the range of predictions between the low and high scenario , the scary forecasts of a new wave of juvenile homicide offenders in the first decade of the 21st century, made by some researchers in the mids, are shown to be relatively implausible.

Appendix B presents this type of projection with respect to juvenile homicide. The most likely projection suggests that the numbers of juvenile male homicide offenders will continue to decline during the period to and then increase slightly thereafter to the year However, the possibility that juvenile homicide rates will increase dramatically in the near future also exists and is portrayed by the upper bounds of the projections.

There are two additional implications of the uncertainty in forecasts of crime rates and offenders: Large-scale social systems have elements of complexity or nonlinear dynamics and uncertainty that militate against the accuracy of long-term forecasts.

In practical terms, this means that forecasting cones upper and lower bounds for enveloping the ranges within which crime is likely to fall with a high probability will grow very rapidly from the base year into the future.

To take this into account, the time periods of the forecasts should be relatively short and the forecasts should be revised when new information becomes available.

For most police, court, and penal components of the juvenile and the criminal justice systems, this is not particularly problematic, as forecasts typically are necessary only for one- or two-year government budgeting cycles.

Only occasionally are projections more than five years into the future required for budgeting or planning purposes. Official data to track or monitor crimes committed by juveniles and the justice system responses to juvenile offenders are clearly inadequate. They provide, at best, only a crude measure of perpetrators estimated by victims to be under 18 or of the number of arrests for the various crimes of juveniles under The reporting of crimes known to the police and arrest data is voluntary on the part of local police agencies and states.

Therefore, published FBI annual crime figures are based on different agencies' and states' reports each year, depending on which agencies and states submitted their data on time.

Official data are insufficient for studies to determine whether changing arrest rates are related to changes in police policies and practices or to changes in juvenile behavior.

Comparing victim reports and arrest data to juvenile self-reports of behavior improves the situation somewhat. Many self-report studies, however, are conducted with school-based samples, omitting dropouts and truants who may have higher offending rates than children and adolescents who attend school regularly.

Although the panel acknowledges the weaknesses in available data, we nevertheless had to rely on currently available data to analyze juvenile crime trends. Based on our analysis, the panel drew the following conclusions. There was an increase in juvenile homicide beginning in the mids, peaking in the early s, and decreasing in the late s.

This increase was not confined to juveniles, however. Although there are theories about the reasons for the increase and subsequent decrease in homicide, current research is inadequate to completely explain the trends. Some of the rise in other violent crime arrest rates between the mids and early s seems to have been a result of changes in police policies regarding whether to consider specific types of assault as aggravated assaults rather than simple assaults and an increasing willingness to arrest for assault.

Much of the rise in juvenile homicides appears to be linked to an increase in the use of firearms. Even at the peak rate of violence in the early s, the vast majority of arrests of those under age 18 were for property crimes, not serious violent crimes. Blacks are disproportionately represented among juveniles arrested for crimes committed in the United States. The degree to which this is a consequence of differential behavior or biases in the system remains a continuing debate, one to which the report returns in Chapter 6.

The increase in homicide rates among juveniles from the late s to the early s was entirely due to an increase in homicides committed with firearms.

Similarly, the decline in homicide rates since the mids seems to involve primarily handgun-related homicides. Rising rates of arrests for black youth on drug-related charges are not paralleled by increased reporting of drug use among black youth. Therefore, at least some of the discrepancy between arrest rates for blacks and whites for drug offenses may be related to differential visibility of black and white drug use and criminal justice system practices rather than to the juveniles' behavior.

Forecasts of juvenile crime based on the spike in homicide rates proved to be misleading and highlight the caution with which predictions of future juvenile crime trends must be made. Data to track or monitor crime committed by juveniles are inadequate.

The UCR data do not lend themselves to analyses of specific crimes in relation to the ages of juveniles who are arrested. Therefore, we do not know, for example whether changes in policies on violent crimes or on drugs and guns have led to changes in the age of juveniles being arrested. Because of the known high level of co-offending among juveniles, neither arrests nor self-reporting of offenses can currently be used to measure the impact of policies on social order.

The voluntary nature of UCR reporting results in unstable, potentially nonrepresentative samples of law enforcement agencies. Reporting both among and within states varies so widely that state-to-state compari.

Although the National Incident Based Reporting System may eventually provide much improved information about juvenile crime, full implementation is years away. In the interim, measures to improve the quality of the data and increase the number of agencies that report are needed. Furthermore, no system is in place to monitor the collection of data submitted to the FBI, yet FBI figures are used for policy making.

Incentives need to be established to encourage all police agencies to report data to the FBI. In addition, a monitoring system should be established to oversee the accuracy and completeness of the information received by the FBI for the Uniform Crime Reports and the National Incident Based Reporting System. Even with improvements in official arrest data, not all crimes result in arrest. Furthermore, until the full implementation of NIBRS, arrest data provide no information about co-offending, the circumstances of the crime, the use of weapons during commission of the crime, and so forth.

There will remain a need for better self-report and victim report data to provide a more complete picture of juvenile offending. Each of the current sources of self-report information have limitations and are the subject of continuing critiques and arguments.

There is an urgent need for alternative sources of information to permit better estimates of the extent of juvenile crime and the circumstances under which it occurs.

Congress should appropriate additional funding to the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to improve the quality of existing information and to develop alternative sources of juvenile crime information.

There is a need to test the reliability and validity of reported age, race, and ethnicity estimates by victims in the National Crime Victimization Survey.

In addition, self-report surveys of juvenile criminal behavior should collect information regarding co-offending. Public policy on juvenile crime, particularly the trend toward more punitive sanctions see Chapter 5 , has been greatly influenced by predictions of future crime rates —predictions that have proven notoriously inaccurate.

Although short-term forecasts are necessary for allocating resources at the local, state, and federal levels, long-term forecasting is fraught with uncertainty. Because of the inaccuracies inherent in long-range predictions, public policy should not be based on the.

To improve future forecasts of crime rates and the number of offenders, the panel recommends the following: The incorporation of these characteristics into crime forecasts should result in more realistic uses and assessments of the forecasts.

Nevertheless, current capacity to forecast crime rates is very limited. Errors in forecasts over even relatively short time periods of 2 to 3 years, let alone for a decade or more, are very large. Even though youth crime rates have fallen since the mids, public fear and political rhetoric over the issue have heightened. The Columbine shootings and other sensational incidents add to the furor.

Often overlooked are the underlying problems of child poverty, social disadvantage, and the pitfalls inherent to adolescent decisionmaking that contribute to youth crime. From a policy standpoint, adolescent offenders are caught in the crossfire between nurturance of youth and punishment of criminals, between rehabilitation and "get tough" pronouncements. In the midst of this emotional debate, the National Research Council's Panel on Juvenile Crime steps forward with an authoritative review of the best available data and analysis.

Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Justice presents recommendations for addressing the many aspects of America's youth crime problem. This timely release discusses patterns and trends in crimes by children and adolescents--trends revealed by arrest data, victim reports, and other sources; youth crime within general crime; and race and sex disparities.

The book explores desistance--the probability that delinquency or criminal activities decrease with age--and evaluates different approaches to predicting future crime rates. Why do young people turn to delinquency? Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Justice presents what we know and what we urgently need to find out about contributing factors, ranging from prenatal care, differences in temperament, and family influences to the role of peer relationships, the impact of the school policies toward delinquency, and the broader influences of the neighborhood and community.

Equally important, this book examines a range of solutions:. The book includes background on the American juvenile court system, useful comparisons with the juvenile justice systems of other nations, and other important information for assessing this problem.

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The National Academies Press. Page 26 Share Cite. Page 27 Share Cite. Page 28 Share Cite. Page 29 Share Cite. Page 30 Share Cite. Page 31 Share Cite. Page 32 Share Cite. Page 33 Share Cite. Data from Federal Bureau of Investigation, to Page 34 Share Cite. Page 35 Share Cite.

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Page 56 Share Cite. Page 57 Share Cite. Page 58 Share Cite. Page 59 Share Cite. Page 60 Share Cite. Page 61 Share Cite. Page 62 Share Cite. Page 63 Share Cite. Page 64 Share Cite. Page 65 Share Cite. Page 25 Share Cite. Login or Register to save! Equally important, this book examines a range of solutions: Prevention and intervention efforts directed to individuals, peer groups, and families, as well as day care-, school- and community-based initiatives.

Intervention within the juvenile justice system. Role of the police.

Juvenile Crime Statistics Paper Essay Sample

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JUVENILE CRIME STATISTICS PAPER Juvenile Crime Statistics Paper CJA/ September 19, The information in this article gives statistics of juvenile .

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Juvenile Crime Statistics Juvenile Crime statistics Paper Juvenile delinquent actions identify an individual’s participation or involvement with an illegal act deemed to be an infraction of implemented Federal, state, or municipal law.

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Juvenile Crime Statistics Words | 3 Pages. Assignment; Juvenile Crime Statistics Paper CJA Juvenile Justice Systems and Processes Francisco Jorge Flores Sr. December 3rd, Mrs. Amy Gordon University of Phoenix Write a to 1, word paper summarizing the key points of the “Juvenile Arrests ” article. The black juvenile Violent Crime Index arrest rate was times the white rate in and in ; the rate disparity had declined to The reduction in arrest rate were primarily due to the decline in black-to-white arrest disparities for robbery, which was greater than the decline for aggravated assault.

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Juvenile Crime Statistics Paper There has been an overall decrease in juvenile arrests; law enforcement agencies in the United States arrested approximately million juveniles. (Puzzanchera, C) Overall, there were 3% fewer juvenile arrests in than in , and juvenile violent crime arrests fell 2%, continuing a recent decline. Juvenile Crime Statistics Paper Essay Sample. The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs reviews arrest records from law enforcement agencies throughout the United States documenting statistics in relation to juveniles, location, and crime types.