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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
Percent change
2003-2012 2008-2012 2011-2012
All offenses1,319,700-37%-34%-10%
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter720-43%-42%-14%
Forcible rape2,530-39%-24%-10%
Aggravated assault36,350-40%-35%-11%
Motor vehicle theft13,080-71%-47%-7%
Simple assault173,080-28%-25%-9%
Forgery and counterfeiting1,440-69%-44%-9%
Stolen property (buying, receiving, possessing)12,940-47%-38%-3%
Weapons (carrying, possessing, etc.)24,690-37%-38%-13%
Prostitution and commercialized vice790-44%-46%-19%
Sex offense (except forcible rape and prostitution)12,430-32%-14%-1%
Drug abuse violations140,040-29%-22%-6%
Offenses against the family and children3,340-51%-42%-6%
Driving under the influence9,390-55%-41%-7%
Liquor laws77,810-42%-40%-12%
Disorderly conduct120,130-38%-36%-14%
All other offenses (except traffic)239,620-37%-33%-10%
Curfew and loitering70,190-49%-47%-9%
Violent Crime Index61,070-33%-36%-10%
Property Crime Index295,390-36%-32%-12%

Violent Crime Index includes murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Property Crime Index includes, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

[ CSV file ]

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

Adapted from Puzzanchera, C. (2014). Juvenile Arrests 2012. Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Data Source: Arrest estimates for 1980-2014 developed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and disseminated through the Arrest Data Analysis Tool.


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