Juvenile Crime and Victimization - Arrests
females males theft table
According to Howard N. Snyder's "Juvenile Arrests 2001" (Juvenile Justice Bulletin, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, December 2003), in 2001 there were an estimated 2.3 million arrests of people under age eighteen. (See Table 8.1.) Juveniles made up 17% of all arrests and 15% of violent crime arrests. Property crimes—burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson—accounted for 21.6% of juvenile arrests; drug or liquor law violations accounted for 15%; violent crimes accounted for 4.2% of arrests; and the rest were for a wide variety of offenses including fraud, vandalism, prostitution, offenses against family and children, and vagrancy.
Beginning in the late 1980s and peaking in 1994, there was considerable growth in the number of arrests of juveniles for violent crimes. (See Figure 8.1.) After 1994 the number began to decline, falling 44% between 1994 and 2001. The 2001 juvenile violent crime arrest rate was the lowest it had been since 1983. The juvenile arrest rate for murder fell 70% between its peak in 1993 and 2001.
In 2000 juvenile arrests for property crimes were at the lowest level in more than two decades. (See Figure 8.2.) Among property crimes committed by juveniles, larceny-theft (which includes things like shoplifting, theft from motor vehicles, and bicycle theft) was the most common offense.
Arrests by Gender
Among youths under the age of nineteen, far more males than females are arrested for most types of juvenile crimes. In 2001 28% of all juvenile arrests involved females. (See Table 8.1.) Detailed arrest data available for 2002 show that 150,845 males and 98,016 females under eighteen years old were arrested for larceny-theft; 26,958 males and 5,586 females under eighteen were arrested for motor vehicle theft; 54,915 males and 6,928 females under eighteen were arrested for burglary; and 15,858 males and 2,961 females under eighteen were arrested for receiving, buying, or possessing stolen property. (See Table 8.2 and Table 8.3.) However, more females than males were arrested for running away (54,010 females versus 36,339 males), prostitution, and commercialized vice (729 females versus 366 males).
Girls ages thirteen to fifteen were involved in approximately one-third (33.1%) of all arrests of juveniles in that age group in 2002, and 26% of all arrests of juveniles ages sixteen to seventeen were girls. (See Table 8.2 and Table 8.3.) Between 1980 and 2001 the rate of arrests of juvenile females increased more than the rate for males, particularly for violent crimes. (See Figure 8.3.) The change in arrest rates between 1980 and 2001 for aggravated assault (113% versus 22%), simple assault (257% versus 109%), and weapons law violations (140% versus 16%) were all much higher for females than males.
Arrests by Race/Ethnicity
Table 8.4 shows arrest trends from 1980 to 2001 by offense and race. Asian and Pacific Islander juveniles had the lowest arrest rates in all offense categories. African-American youths accounted for a disproportionate share of juvenile arrests.
|Number of juveniles arrested, by gender, age group, and type of offense, 2001|
|2001 estimated number of juvenile arrests||Percent of total juvenile arrests||Percent change|
|Most serious offense||Female||Under age 15||1992–2001||1997–2001||2000–2001|
|Note: Detail may not add to totals because of rounding.|
|SOURCE: Howard N. Snyder, " The number of juvenile arrests in 2001—2.3 million—was 4% below the 2000 level and 20% below the 1997 level," in "Juvenile Arrests 2001," Juvenile Justice Bulletin, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, December 2003, http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/ojjdp/201370.pdf (accessed September 16, 2004)|
|Crime Index total||587,900||29||37||−31||−28||−5|
|Violent Crime Index||96,500||18||33||−21||−21||−2|
|Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter||1,400||10||12||−62||−47||−2|
|Property Crime Index||491,400||31||38||−32||−29||−6|
|Motor vehicle theft||48,200||17||25||−51||−26||−2|
|Forgery and counterfeiting||5,800||36||11||−27||−26||−8|
|Stolen property (buying, receiving, possessing)||26,800||17||27||−45||−37||−6|
|Weapons (carrying, possessing, etc.)||37,500||11||34||−35||−26||0|
|Prostitution and commercialized vice||1,400||69||15||−8||−5||15|
|Sex offense (except forcible rape and prostitution)||18,000||8||54||−10||6||1|
|Drug abuse violations||202,500||15||17||121||−7||0|
|Offenses against the family and children||9,600||37||37||109||−11||6|
|Driving under the influence||20,300||18||5||35||5||−3|
|Liquor law violations||138,100||32||10||21||−9||−11|
|All other offenses (except traffic)||397,200||26||28||27||−13||−3|
|Curfew and loitering||142,900||31||28||34||−29||−13|