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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juvenile Arrests
Q: How many arrests are made of persons under age 18?
A: In 2015, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. made an estimated 921,600 arrests of persons under age 18, 56% less than the number of arrests in 2006.

Estimated number of juvenile arrests, 2015

Most serious offense Number of
juvenile
arrests
Percent change
2006-15 2011-15 2014-15
Total 921,580 -56% -37% -10%
Violent Crime Index NA NA NA NA
  Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 790 -38% -6% 3%
  Rape1 NA NA NA NA
  Robbery 18,500 -47% -22% -5%
  Aggravated assault 28,640 -53% -30% -5%
Property Crime Index 208,830 -48% -38% -11%
  Burglary 35,620 -57% -43% -12%
  Larceny-theft 155,950 -44% -39% -12%
  Motor vehicle theft 14,560 -58% 4% 15%
  Arson 2,710 -66% -45% -14%
Nonindex
  Other assaults 131,250 -47% -31% -7%
  Forgery and counterfeiting 1,030 -71% -35% -14%
  Fraud 4,520 -39% -13% 5%
  Embezzlement 590 -57% 42% 28%
  Stolen property (buying, receiving, possessing) 10,360 -51% -22% 0%
  Vandalism 41,720 -64% -39% -8%
  Weapons (carrying, possessing, etc.) 19,300 -59% -32% -7%
  Prostitution and commercialized vice 590 -62% -40% -21%
  Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution) NA NA NA NA
  Drug abuse violations 99,120 -50% -33% -13%
  Gambling 480 -78% -51% -16%
  Offenses against the family and children 3,440 -36% -3% 2%
  Driving under the influence 6,620 -67% -35% -5%
  Liquor law violations 43,130 -69% -51% -16%
  Drunkenness 5,470 -66% -52% -15%
  Disorderly conduct 71,330 -66% -49% -12%
  Vagrancy 1,070 -78% -41% 12%
  All other offenses (except traffic) 167,690 -56% -37% -10%
  Curfew and loitering 44,800 -71% -42% -16%
  Runaways* NA NA NA NA

1Beginning in 2013, the FBI broadened the definition of rape, removing the phrase “forcible” from the offense name and description. The new definition of rape is: Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. The new definition includes the NIBRS offenses of rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object.

Law enforcement agencies may submit data on rape arrests based on either the new or legacy definition of rape. Due to differences in agency reporting practices, national estimates for the offenses of “rape” and “sex offenses” are not available after 2012. Additionally, estimates for the Violent Crime Index (which included “forcible rape”) are not shown after 2012 as this category is no longer compatible with prior years.

*As of data year 2010, national estimates of running away are no longer available.

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Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/qa05101.asp?qaDate=2015. Revised on March 27, 2017.

Data Source: Arrest estimates for 1980-2014 developed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and disseminated through “Arrest Data Analysis Tool.” Online. Available from the BJS website.

Arrest estimates for 2015 developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice based on data published in the FBI's 2015 Crime in the United States report [Tables 29, 39, and 40]. These are preliminary estimates that will be updated upon release of final estimates on the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Arrest Data Analysis Tool.

 

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