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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juvenile Arrest Rate Trends
Juvenile murder arrest rates in 2012 were at their lowest levels since at least 1980 for white, black, and Asian youth.

Juvenile Arrest Rates for Murder by Race, 1980-2012

Juvenile Arrest Rates for Murder by Race

Juvenile Arrest Rates for Murder by Race

Note: Rates are arrests of persons ages 10-17 per 100,000 persons ages 10-17 in the resident population. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race, i.e., white, black, American Indian, or Asian. Arrests of Hispanics are not reported separately.

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  • After a period of stability in the early 1980s, the murder arrest rate for white juveniles increased 72% between 1987 and 1991. The rate held at this level for 4 years before declining 78% between 1994 and 2012.
  • The murder arrest rate for black juveniles followed a similar pattern, but the swings were more dramatic. Between 1984 and 1993, the murder arrest rate for black juveniles more than tripled (up 260%). After the peak in 1993, the rate fell sharply, dropping 87% by 2012 and nullifying the earlier increase.
  • The black-to-white ratio in murder arrest rates for juveniles varied substantially during the 33-year period. In 1993, the black rate was nearly nine times the white rate. This ratio declined during the late 1990s and early 2000s, falling to about 5-to-1. In 2006, the racial disparity peaked again at about 7-to-1, but then decreased through 2012, resting at a level of about 5-to-1.
  • The murder arrest trends for Asian juveniles appear to roughly track those for white juveniles. The annual murder arrest rates for American Indian juveniles are based on very small numbers and, therefore, vary greatly from year to year.

Internet Citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available:
http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/JAR_Display.asp?ID=qa05262. December 09, 2014.

Adapted from Puzzanchera, C. (2013). Juvenile Arrests 2011. Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.


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