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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juvenile Arrest Rate Trends
Drug abuse violation arrest rates were equal for white juveniles and black juveniles in 1980.

Juvenile Arrest Rates for Drug Abuse Violations by Race, 1980-2012

Juvenile Arrest Rates for Drug Abuse Violations by Race

Juvenile Arrest Rates for Drug Abuse 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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  • Since 1980, drug abuse violation arrest rates for white juveniles generally declined through 1991 while the black rate soared. Between 1980 and the peak year of 1996, the black arrest rate for drug abuse violations increased nearly 350%. The declining trend in the white arrest rate turned around in the early 1990s, but not until 1994 did the rate surpass its 1980 level. In 2011, the white rate was 18% above its 1980 level.
  • Despite the substantial decline between 1995 and 2002 for black juveniles, the black rate was approximately 45% above the white rate in 2011.
  • The trend in the American Indian arrest rate essentially paralleled the trend in the white rate. Both rates increased substantially from 1991 to 2010, then decline through 2012. Between 1991 and 2012, the American Indian rate increased far more than the white rate (215% and 142%, respectively).
  • The rate for Asian juveniles declined considerably between the early 1980s and 1989 and then more than tripled between 1989 and 1997. This large increase returned the Asian rate to its levels of the early 1980s; however, the arrest rate then decreased 26% from 1997 to 2012.

Internet Citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available:
http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/JAR_Display.asp?ID=qa05274. 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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