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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juvenile Arrests
Q: How many arrests are made of persons under age 18?
A: In 2012, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. made 1.3 million arrests of persons under age 18, 37% less than the number of arrests in 2003.

Estimated number of juvenile arrests, 2012

Most serious offense Number of
juvenile arrests
                   Percent change                 
2003-12 2008-12 2011-12

Total 1,319,700 -37% -34% -10%
Violent Crime Index 61,100 -33% -36% -10%
  Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 700 -43% -42% -14%
  Forcible rape 2,500 -39% -24% -10%
  Robbery 21,500 -15% -39% -10%
  Aggravated assault 36,300 -40% -35% -11%
Property Crime Index 295,400 -36% -32% -12%
  Burglary 53,800 -36% -36% -13%
  Larceny-theft 224,200 -30% -30% -12%
  Motor vehicle theft 13,100 -71% -47% -7%
  Arson 4,400 -46% -33% -11%
Nonindex
  Other assaults 173,100 -28% -25% -9%
  Forgery and counterfeiting 1,400 -69% -44% -9%
  Fraud 4,700 -36% -35% -10%
  Embezzlement 400 -61% -65% 6%
  Stolen property (buying, receiving, possessing) 12,900 -47% -38% -3%
  Vandalism 59,900 -43% -44% -12%
  Weapons (carrying, possessing, etc.) 24,700 -37% -38% -13%
  Prostitution and commercialized vice 800 -44% -46% -19%
  Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution) 12,400 -32% -14% -1%
  Drug abuse violations 140,000 -29% -22% -6%
  Gambling 1,000 -44% -41% -2%
  Offenses against the family and children 3,300 -51% -42% -6%
  Driving under the influence 9,400 -55% -41% -7%
  Liquor law violations 77,800 -42% -40% -12%
  Drunkenness 9,900 -43% -36% -14%
  Disorderly conduct 120,100 -38% -36% -14%
  Vagrancy 1,400 -30% -64% -22%
  All other offenses (except traffic) 239,600 -37% -33% -10%
  Curfew and loitering 70,200 -49% -47% -9%
  Runaways* n/a n/a n/a n/a

*As of 2010, the FBI no longer reports arrests for running away.

[ Excel file ]

  • All four offenses that make up the Violent Crime Index decreased considerably between 2008 and 2012: murder (down 42%), rape (24%), robbery (39%), and aggravated assault (35%).
  • In 2012, there were an estimated 173,100 juvenile arrests for simple assault. More than one-third (37%) of these arrests involved females, 39% involved youth younger than age 15, and nearly three-fifths (59%) involved white youth.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/qa05101.asp?qaDate=2012. Released on December 16, 2014.

Adapted from Puzzanchera, C. (forthcoming). Juvenile Arrests 2012. Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Data Source: Arrest estimates developed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and disseminated through “Arrest Data Analysis Tool.” Online. Available from the BJS website.

 

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