Juvenile Crime Statistics

“In 2008, about one in ten murder victims were a juvenile,” (ncjrs.gov, 2009). When a child is harmed or obtain physical pain or injury, it is something that produces a reverberating sound with the community and it is something that is of growing concern. A juvenile that becomes a delinquent is considered to be a child and treated as such in a juvenile court until their habits goes beyond a level that is unacceptable and they are treated as adults.

When this happens a juvenile child can be lost forever and sent into an adult system. In this paper we will look at some statistics as they relate to delinquency prevention and juvenile justice. It will talk about the total decrease in juvenile arrests. It will talk about the increase in simple assaults as well as drug offenses. This paper will mention the conclusion that can be drawn for juvenile females and members of racial and ethnic minorities. I will also discuss the low numbers of arrest in male juveniles for violent crimes as well as the increase in arrests of juvenile females.

This paper will give an estimation of tracking juvenile arrests as a way of measuring the amount of and trends in juvenile crime. Between the year 2007 to 2008 the statistics show that there was a decrease of 3% in the amount of juveniles arrested. The statistic that is most astounding is how over the past decade how much the percent of juveniles that are arrested as dropped. Since 1999 to 2008 the amount of juveniles arrested per year has decreased 16%. That number is amazing if we consider that the 16% is based on the 2.1 million of juveniles that were arrested in 2008.

The number of juveniles that are being arrested continues to decrease and this is something that the juvenile justice system should be happy with and we as a community should be as well (ncjrs.gov, 2009). In 2008 the amount of simple assaults in males decreased 6% however it increased an amazing 12% in females. This is a stark comparison to a more serious crime of aggravated assault, which decreased 22% for males, and 17% for females. What does this imply about society? Potentially two things: juveniles are not being charged with serious crimes or juveniles are choosing not to commit serious crimes.

This is a good thing. 2008 also showed another decline in another serious and dangerous crime. It showed a 7% decrease in the amount of juveniles arrested for drug violations. It has been a common thread that the juvenile and criminal justice system is one that is biased toward people of ethnic and minority decent. The statistics would seem to imply this as well based on the larger and skewed amounts of ethnic and minorities that are arrested in comparison to non-minorities. What this does not take into account is that the minorities that are generally arrested come from heavily populated areas that are occupied by minorities.

The numbers are larger based on this but in an area that is occupied by one specific ethnic group or people they will be the ones that are arrested most regardless of their race. It is a matter of population. Another statistic that is alarming is the amount of female juveniles that are being arrested. The number has increased dramatically since 1999 and it would appear that female juveniles are becoming increasingly more violent. In 2008 females accounted for 30% of the arrests of juveniles.

This is startling because the number for juvenile females arrested has increased and the number of male juveniles has decreased (ojjdp.gov). Is it possible to measure trends in juvenile crimes based on the statistics of their arrests? It is possible to observe what is taking place and because we are able to see who is getting arrested and for what then we can most definitely observe trends. A trend that is taking place now is that female juveniles are becoming increasingly more violent and are being arrested for their actions.

This may be a cause for the decrease in male juvenile arrests or it is a side effect of the juvenile female behavior. Is old data and statistics a good measure to locate these trends? No. Old data is not a way to predict trends it is just a means that allows us to measure and compare to what is changing within the system and the juvenile that have been arrested and have been in the juvenile justice system.

Reference:Champion, D. J. (2010). The juvenile justice system: Delinquency, processing, and the law. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Internet Reference, http://www.lawyershop.com/practice-areas/criminal-law/juvenile-law/crimes,retrieved on November 26, 2012 Internet Reference, https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/228479.pdf, retrieved on November 23, 2012. Internet Reference, http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/default.asp, retrieved on November 26, 2012