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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juvenile Arrest Rate Trends
In 2012, the weapons law violation arrest rate for black juveniles was nearly three times the rate for white juveniles.

Juvenile Arrest Rates for Weapons Law Violations by Race, 1980-2012

Juvenile Arrest Rates for Weapons Law Violations by Race

Juvenile Arrest Rates for Weapons Law Violations 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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  • Arrest rates for weapons law violations peaked in 1993 for black juveniles, in 1994 for white and Asian juveniles, and in 1995 for American Indian juveniles. The increase between 1983 and the peak year was the greatest for American Indian juveniles (273%), followed by Asians (213%), blacks (179%), and whites (134%).
  • For most racial groups, the rates dropped quickly after their peaks. By 2002, the rate for black juveniles was 59% below its 1993 peak, the rate for American Indian juveniles was 57% below its 1995 peak, and the rates for Asian and white juveniles were 63% and 47% below their 1994 peak, respectively.
  • The juvenile weapons arrest rate increased for all racial groups through 2006 and then declined. Between 2006 and 2012, the juvenile weapons arrest rate declined for all racial groups; down 54% for American Indian youth, 36% for Asian youth, 46% for white youth, and 44% for black youth.
  • The black-white disparity in the juvenile weapons law violation arrest rate generally increased from 1980 through 1989, when the black rate was 3.5 times greater than the white rate. Subsequently, however, the larger declines in the black rate brought the black-white ratio to 2.9 in 2012 - slightly above the levels of the mid-1980s.

Internet Citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available:
http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/JAR_Display.asp?ID=qa05273. 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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