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Racial and Ethnic Fairness
For most offenses, black youth were arrested at higher rates than white youth in 2019.

Juvenile arrest rates by offense and race, 2019

Juvenile arrest rate (per 100,000) Ratio of Rates*
Most serious offense All races White Minority Black American
Indian
Asian Minority Black American
Indian
Asian
All offenses2,094.11,748.33,141.04,249.52,558.3454.71.82.41.50.3
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter2.61.65.57.83.50.13.44.92.20.1
RapeNANANANANANANANANANA
Robbery48.323.2124.3180.114.812.55.47.80.60.5
Aggravated assault81.461.1142.8195.1105.618.82.33.21.70.3
Burglary62.247.0108.4148.671.915.42.33.21.50.3
Larceny-theft251.6185.5451.6622.9233.773.42.43.41.30.4
Motor vehicle theft40.925.587.4122.852.86.23.44.82.10.2
Arson5.45.06.79.05.60.91.31.81.10.2
Simple assault379.2299.3621.1859.4384.475.62.12.91.30.3
Forgery and counterfeiting2.62.13.95.50.70.61.92.60.30.3
Fraud11.17.422.331.114.32.13.04.21.90.3
Embezzlement1.61.03.54.90.20.83.54.90.20.8
Stolen property (buying, receiving, possessing)26.912.470.8101.320.96.65.78.21.70.5
Vandalism96.189.0117.6157.9114.814.41.31.81.30.2
Weapons (carrying, possessing, etc.)48.335.786.5120.732.213.92.43.40.90.4
Prostitution and commercialized vice0.90.51.82.60.00.33.65.20.00.6
Sex offenses (except rape & prostitution)NANANANANANANANANANA
Drug abuse violations244.4243.2248.1316.1294.859.61.01.31.20.2
Gambling0.60.51.01.30.00.32.02.60.00.6
Offenses against the family and children9.28.212.212.549.60.71.51.56.00.1
Driving under the influence16.719.97.15.927.94.30.40.31.40.2
Liquor laws80.191.545.632.8256.017.50.50.42.80.2
Drunkenness10.410.79.57.554.11.80.90.75.10.2
Disorderly conduct162.3118.1296.1410.4227.421.42.53.51.90.2
Vagrancy1.01.01.21.61.10.11.21.61.10.1
All other offenses (except traffic)433.3388.2569.9765.2508.084.71.52.01.30.2
Curfew and loitering44.038.560.779.561.012.31.62.11.60.3
Violent Crime IndexNANANANANANANANANANA
Property Crime Index360.1263.0654.1903.4364.096.02.53.41.40.4
Violent crimes***132.385.9272.6383.0123.931.43.24.51.40.4

Note: Rates are arrests of persons ages 0-17 per 100,000 persons ages 10-17 in the resident population.

* The ratio of rates is created by dividing the minority rates by the white rate.

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.

The ratio of rates compares the rates of each minority group to white youth. A ratio of 1.0 indicates statistical parity, i.e., the rates for the comparison groups are equal. For example, if white youth and minority youth were arrested at the same rate, the ratio would be 1.0, indicating the rates for these groups are equal. When the ratio exceeds 1.0, the rate for the minority group exceeds the rate for white youth; when it is below 1.0, the rate for minority youth is less than the rate for white youth.

NA: Beginning 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 offense of “rape” 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.

** The "violent crimes" category includes the offenses of murder, robbery, and aggravated assault and is presented as an alternative to the Violent Crime Index, which is not available as a result of the change to the definition of rape in 2013. In any given year prior to the change in the rape definition, these three offenses accounted for more than 95% of arrests for Violent Crime Index offenses.


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  • While black youth were more likely to be arrested than white you for most offenses in 2019, arrests for alcohol related offenses (DUI, liquor laws, and drunkenness) were a notable exception. For DUI and liquor laws, for example, white youth were more than twice as likely to be arrested as were black youth.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/special_topics/qa11501.asp?qaDate=2019. Released on November 16, 2020.

Data Source: Arrest estimates for 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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