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Juvenile arrests drop nationally to four-decade low

Jail Cell
Posted at 10:59 AM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 12:22:35-04

WASHINGTON D.C. — Juvenile arrests have dropped to their lower levels in 4 decades, according to a report released by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Institute of Justice.

Just two years prior, in 2019, U.S. law enforcement agencies arrested about 696,620 youth under the age of 18; this number was 74% below the all-time peak in 1996 of 2.7 youth arrested.

Juvenile arrests also fell overall by 58% between 2010 and 2019; these include offenses such as burglary, theft, and arson.

However, from 2015 to 2019 there was a 10% increase in juvenile arrests for murder.

Relative declines in arrests have also been greater for boys than for girls across many offenses, with the female share of juvenile arrests growing from 18% in 1980 to 31% in 2019.

“These findings are encouraging and we are hopeful that the declines in juvenile arrests will continue in years to come,” said OJJDP Acting Administrator Chyrl Jones. “OJJDP remains committed to supporting programs and initiatives to help ensure that this trend continues.”

The reported arrest estimates used for this analysis were based on data provided by local law enforcement agencies to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program.

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