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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juvenile Arrest Rate Trends
In 2011, 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, 1980-2011

Year Whites Blacks American
Indians
Asians
1980 73.9 158.5 73.2 43.8
1981 75.2 182.0 60.7 42.1
1982 75.6 181.3 44.9 30.3
1983 71.4 179.1 35.9 28.6
1984 78.2 192.6 38.2 33.3
1985 90.0 203.6 50.8 37.7
1986 89.1 224.9 47.0 37.9
1987 85.1 240.1 50.4 45.7
1988 99.3 331.4 49.1 57.7
1989 105.8 369.5 60.6 46.3
1990 111.8 347.0 55.9 60.4
1991 130.8 431.3 71.4 71.2
1992 142.2 469.6 95.2 68.7
1993 161.9 499.9 105.3 76.4
1994 167.0 477.4 130.8 89.2
1995 149.6 418.0 133.9 73.4
1996 139.0 361.3 125.0 67.2
1997 136.5 348.0 119.7 67.2
1998 117.6 284.1 81.4 48.0
1999 108.2 251.4 89.7 51.4
2000 93.4 222.7 65.4 42.1
2001 93.1 226.0 61.3 36.4
2002 88.5 204.3 57.0 32.8
2003 96.4 226.9 51.2 42.3
2004 98.7 238.3 65.2 36.6
2005 103.9 288.2 63.6 34.7
2006 109.3 297.2 69.2 36.7
2007 100.9 282.8 59.7 33.3
2008 92.7 263.0 50.5 27.2
2009 79.9 223.2 45.5 24.2
2010 75.9 201.4 37.6 22.0
2011 67.3 189.4 36.5 20.0

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.

[ Graph version ] [Excel file]

  • 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 2011, the juvenile weapons arrest rate declined for all racial groups; down 47% for American Indian youth, 46% for Asian youth, 38% for white youth, and 36% 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 2.8 in 2011 - 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. February 25, 2014.

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

 

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