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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juvenile Arrests
Q: How many arrests are made of persons under age 18?
A: In 2016, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. made an estimated 856,130 arrests of persons under age 18, 58% less than the number of arrests in 2007.

Estimated number of juvenile arrests, 2016

Most serious offense Number of
juvenile
arrests
Percent change
2007-16 2012-16 2015-16
Total 856,130 -58% -35% -7%
Violent Crime Index NA NA NA NA
  Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 850 -36% 18% 9%
  Rape1 NA NA NA NA
  Robbery 19,200 -44% -11% 4%
  Aggravated assault 28,060 -51% -23% -2%
Property Crime Index 184,430 -56% -38% -12%
  Burglary 31,990 -61% -41% -10%
  Larceny-theft 134,180 -55% -40% -14%
  Motor vehicle theft 15,720 -47% 20% 8%
  Arson 2,550 -64% -42% -6%
Nonindex
  Other assaults 128,930 -47% -26% -2%
  Forgery and counterfeiting 1,220 -61% -16% 19%
  Fraud 4,640 -36% -2% 3%
  Embezzlement 680 -59% 55% 16%
  Stolen property (buying, receiving, possessing) 10,890 -51% -16% 5%
  Vandalism 39,120 -65% -35% -6%
  Weapons (carrying, possessing, etc.) 19,420 -55% -21% 1%
  Prostitution and commercialized vice 500 -67% -37% -15%
  Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution) NA NA NA NA
  Drug abuse violations 98,490 -50% -30% -1%
  Gambling 260 -87% -73% -46%
  Offenses against the family and children 3,470 -40% 4% 1%
  Driving under the influence 6,480 -64% -31% -2%
  Liquor law violations 36,710 -74% -53% -15%
  Drunkenness 4,770 -72% -52% -13%
  Disorderly conduct 65,710 -68% -45% -8%
  Vagrancy 780 -80% -45% -27%
  All other offenses (except traffic) 155,180 -59% -35% -7%
  Curfew and loitering 34,180 -76% -51% -24%
  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=2016. Released on December 06, 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 2016 developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice based on data published in the FBI's 2016 Crime in the United States report. 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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