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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Age-specific Arrest Rate Trends
Q: What is the trend for age-specific arrest rates for weapons law violations?
A: Weapons law violation arrest rates were higher in 2012 than in 1980 for juveniles ages 10 to 14, while rates for persons ages 15 to 17 in 2012 were below the rates in 1980.

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  • The peak year for juvenile weapons law violation arrest rates was 1994. Between 1980 and 1994, arrest rates for youth ages 15-17 increased an average of 148%. The rates increased considerably less for adults in their thirties. More specifically, the rates increased 15% for adults ages 30-34 and just 3% for those ages 35-39.
  • Between 1994 and 2012, weapons law violation arrest rates declined for all age groups, but the declines were somewhat greater for juveniles than for adults. More specifically, the rates dropped 68% for youth ages 15-17, compared with 53% for adults ages 18-24, 37% for those ages 25-29, and 35% for those ages 30-39.
  • Overall, the weapons law violation arrest rates for youth ages 15-17 in 2012 was 20% below the level in 1980. However, rates for adults declined more than the rates for juveniles between 1980 and 2012. Specifically, the rates fell 21% for adults ages 18-24, 23% for adults ages 25-29, 21% for those ages 30-34, 38% for those ages 35-39, and 41% for those ages 40-44.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/qa05307.asp?qaDate=2012. Released on December 16, 2014.

Data Source: Arrest estimates developed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and disseminated through “Arrest Data Analysis Tool.” Online. Available from the BJS website. Retrieved October 14, 2014.


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