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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Youth Arrests
Q: What proportion of arrests involve persons under age 18?
A: In 2020, juveniles accounted for about 1 in 13 arrests for murder, 1 in 20 arrests for aggravated assault, and nearly 1 in 5 arrests for robbery.

Juvenile proportion of arrests by offense, 2020

Offense Percent
All offenses 6%
Robbery 18%
Liquor laws 17%
Motor vehicle theft 14%
Vandalism 13%
Arson 12%
Disorderly conduct 11%
Burglary 10%
Stolen property 9%
Simple assault 8%
Murder 7%
Larceny-theft 7%
Weapons 7%
Aggravated assault 5%
Offenses against the family 4%
Drug abuse violations 4%
Fraud 3%
Drunkenness 1%
DUI 1%
Prostitution 1%

Note: Curfew and loitering violations are not presented in this figure because, by definition, only juveniles can be arrested for these offenses.

2020 was the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, which may have impacted policies, procedures, and data collection activities. Additionally, stay-at-home orders likely impacted the volume and type of law-violating behavior that came to the attention of law enforcement in 2020.

[ Graph version ]  [ CSV file ]

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/qa05102.asp?qaDate=2020. Released on July 08, 2022.

Data Source: Arrest estimates for 2020 were developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice based on the FBI’s 2020 Arrest Master File of 12-month reporting departments available from the Crime Data Explorer (https://crime-data-explorer.fr.cloud.gov/pages/downloads, retrieved June 14, 2022).


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