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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juvenile Arrests
Q: How many arrests are made of persons under age 18?
A: In 2011, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. made nearly 1.5 million arrests of persons under age 18, 31% less than the number of arrests in 2002.

Estimated number of juvenile arrests, 2011

Most serious offense Number of
juvenile arrests
Percent of total
juvenile arrests
 
Female Under
age 15
     Percent change      
2002-11 2007-11 2010-11

Total 1,470,000   -31% % -29% % -11% % % %
Violent Crime Index 68,100   -27%   -29%   -10%      
  Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 800   -36%   -37%   -17%      
  Forcible rape 2,800   -40%   -22%   -2%      
  Robbery 23,800   -3%   -31%   -13%      
  Aggravated assault 40,700   -34%   -29%   -9%      
Property Crime Index 334,700   -30%   -20%   -9%      
  Burglary 62,000   -28%   -24%   -5%      
  Larceny-theft 253,800   -25%   -15%   -10%      
  Motor vehicle theft 14,000   -69%   -52%   -11%      
  Arson 4,900   -40%   -31%   8%      
Nonindex            
  Other assaults 190,900   -19%   -21%   -9%      
  Forgery and counterfeiting 1,600   -69%   -49%   -7%      
  Fraud 5,200   -39%   -27%   -9%      
  Embezzlement 400   -70%   -75%   -6%      
  Stolen property (buying, receiving, possessing) 13,300   -48%   -40%   -9%      
  Vandalism 67,900   -35%   -39%   -12%      
  Weapons (carrying, possessing, etc.) 28,200   -20%   -35%   -10%      
  Prostitution and commercialized vice 1,000   -32%   -34%   -7%      
  Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution) 12,600   -35%   -19%   -3%      
  Drug abuse violations 148,700   -20%   -24%   -13%      
  Gambling 1,000   -35%   -52%   -28%      
  Offenses against the family and children 3,600   -62%   -39%   -6%      
  Driving under the influence 10,100   -53%   -44%   -16%      
  Liquor law violations 88,300   -39%   -37%   -7%      
  Drunkenness 11,400   -39%   -32%   -10%      
  Disorderly conduct 139,200   -28%   -31%   -11%      
  Vagrancy 1,800   -10%   -53%   -15%      
  All other offenses (except traffic) 264,900   -33%   -29%   -11%      
  Curfew and loitering 76,900   -46%   -46%   -19%      
  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 2007 and 2011: murder (down 37%), rape (22%), robbery (31%), and aggravated assault (29%).
  • In 2011, there were an estimated 190,900 juvenile arrests for simple assault. More than one-third (36%) of these arrests involved females, 39% involved youth younger than age 15, and nearly two-fifths (59%) involved white youth.
  • Youth younger than age 15 accounted for more than half (57%) of all juvenile arrests for arson offenses in 2011 and nearly 40% of juvenile arrests for simple assault, vandalism and disorderly conduct.
  • Females accounted for nearly 10% of juvenile arrests for murder and robbery, but one-fourth of juvenile arrests for aggravated assault in 2011.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/qa05101.asp?qaDate=2011. Revised on February 25, 2014.

Adapted from Puzzanchera, C. (2013). Juvenile Arrests 2011. 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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