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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juvenile Arrests
Q: How many arrests are made of persons under age 18?
A: The 1.8 million arrests of juveniles in 2009 was 16% fewer than the number of such arrests in 2000.

Estimated number of juvenile arrests, 2009

Most serious offense Number of
juvenile arrests
                   Percent change                 
2000-09 2005-09 2008-09

Total 1,812,900 -16% -11% -9%
Violent Crime Index 85,900 -13% -10% -10%
  Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 1,200 0% -7% -7%
  Forcible rape 3,100 -30% -22% -6%
  Robbery 31,700 15% 9% -10%
  Aggravated assault 49,900 -24% -19% -11%
Property Crime Index 417,700 -19% 0% -4%
  Burglary 74,800 -21% -4% -10%
  Larceny-theft 317,700 -12% 8% -1%
  Motor vehicle theft 19,900 -61% -47% -20%
  Arson 5,300 -37% -33% -17%
Nonindex
  Other assaults 219,700 -6% -12% -5%
  Forgery and counterfeiting 2,100 -66% -49% -17%
  Fraud 6,200 -62% -21% -15%
  Embezzlement 600 -68% -47% -52%
  Stolen property (buying, receiving, possessing) 18,700 -28% -16% -10%
  Vandalism 90,500 -20% -13% -15%
  Weapons (carrying, possessing, etc.) 33,900 -7% -25% -15%
  Prostitution and commercialized vice 1,400 -4% -16% -8%
  Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution) 13,400 -23% -21% -7%
  Drug abuse violations 170,300 -14% -12% -5%
  Gambling 1,800 67% -13% 9%
  Offenses against the family and children 4,500 -49% -21% -22%
  Driving under the influence 13,500 -37% -25% -15%
  Liquor law violations 110,300 -15% -11% -15%
  Drunkenness 13,800 -37% -13% -11%
  Disorderly conduct 170,100 6% -17% -10%
  Vagrancy 2,700 -24% -29% -32%
  All other offenses (except traffic) 323,300 -17% -12% -10%
  Curfew and loitering 112,600 -27% -20% -15%
  Runaways* 93,400 -34% -14% -14%

*As of 2010, the FBI no longer reports arrests for running away. As a result of this change, all versions of this table prior to 2010 have been revised to remove the estimated number of runaway arrests from the estimated number of all juvenile arrests.

[ Excel file ]

  • In 2009, there were an estimated 49,900 juvenile arrests for aggravated assault. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of such arrests fell by nearly one-fourth (24%).
  • All four offenses that make up the Violent Crime Index decreased in the last year: murder (down 7%), rape (6%), robbery (10%), and aggravated assault (11%).
  • In 2009, females accounted for 18% of juvenile Violent Crime Index arrests, 38% of juvenile Property Crime Index arrests, and 33% of juvenile disorderly conduct arrests.
  • Youth younger than age 15 accounted for more than one-fourth of all juvenile arrests for both Violent Crime Index offenses (26%) and Property Crime Index offenses (28%) in 2009.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/qa05101.asp?qaDate=2009. Revised on December 17, 2012.

Adapted from Puzzanchera, C. and Adams, B. (2011). Juvenile Arrests 2009. Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

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

 

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