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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Age-specific Arrest Rate Trends
Q: What is the trend for age-specific arrest rates for violent crime offenses?
A: Violent crime arrest rates were higher in 2019 than in 1980 for adults age 30 and over; for juveniles, 2019 rates were well below the rates in 1980.
Note: Violent crimes include the offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, robbery, and aggravated assault.

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  • The peak year for juvenile violent crime arrest rates was 1994. Between 1980 and 1994, arrest rates for youth ages 15-17 increased an average of 76%. In comparison, the rates increased somewhat more for adults in their thirties (80%).
  • Between 1994 and 2019, violent crime arrest rates declined for all age groups, but the declines were greater for juveniles than for adults. More specifically, the rates dropped an average of 73% for youth ages 15-17, compared with 58% for adults ages 18-24, 40% for those ages 25-29, and 30% for those ages 30-39.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/qa05301.asp?qaDate=2019. Released on November 16, 2020.

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 through 2019 developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice based on data published in the FBI's Crime in the United States reports. 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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