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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, 1980-2011

Year Whites Blacks American
Indians
Asians
1980 368.7 336.8 203.0 101.9
1981 303.4 332.1 171.4 125.1
1982 304.5 363.3 184.2 124.9
1983 261.3 342.8 143.9 125.1
1984 281.4 388.5 156.7 120.2
1985 312.0 478.7 156.6 142.2
1986 257.3 540.7 123.3 84.4
1987 258.0 696.9 141.2 93.5
1988 273.8 1,033.9 166.2 87.9
1989 270.9 1,270.7 168.5 48.8
1990 187.5 935.0 111.2 55.1
1991 168.4 975.4 86.5 59.9
1992 194.3 1,006.2 111.2 67.5
1993 266.6 1,091.4 153.6 76.9
1994 413.9 1,277.3 233.6 111.4
1995 507.1 1,491.7 334.0 143.6
1996 554.4 1,506.8 380.2 159.1
1997 572.3 1,421.5 399.5 161.7
1998 531.9 1,283.7 378.4 145.5
1999 516.3 1,117.2 360.9 136.5
2000 539.8 1,060.9 318.8 140.9
2001 554.6 991.3 329.6 152.2
2002 511.1 894.1 308.4 146.6
2003 539.1 930.4 330.2 128.9
2004 520.3 931.9 300.7 114.4
2005 506.4 970.0 325.7 114.1
2006 514.5 1,006.9 289.5 111.5
2007 517.0 978.5 298.9 112.2
2008 492.0 850.7 254.9 108.0
2009 479.9 765.2 272.7 114.3
2010 492.7 723.8 303.3 110.7
2011 433.2 624.7 283.9 108.6

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]

  • 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, before a modest decrease in 2011. Between 1991 and 2011, the American Indian rate increased far more than the white rate (228% and 157%, 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 33% from 1997 to 2011.


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