Juvenile Crime Statistics Paper

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Juvenile Crime Statistics Paper

Many countries have established juvenile courts aimed at trying cases of young people involved in criminal offenses. Most juvenile courts are involved in trying young children below the age of 18.  Most of the juveniles brought before the courts or are arrested are accused of crimes such as  violent crimes, robbery, murder, forcible rape, simple assault cases, burglary, weapons law violations, aggravated assault, drug violation among many other offenses. These statistics provides a picture on how the crime rates are committed hence providing the authorities with information on how the same can be contained. This paper seeks to present juvenile crime statistics in the United States as reported in 2008.

When compared to 2007, in 2008 the law enforcements agencies in United States recorded a drop of 3% of its arrests (Puzzanchera, 2009, p. 1). In 2008 2.11 million juveniles under the age of 18 were arrested. The violence crime arrests also reduced by 2% overall which impacted to this continued decrease in arrests.  However, even with the decline, some crime rates have increased wile other declined with most of them being less than 10% (Puzzanchera, 2009, p. 1).

In US, drug offenses and simple assaults formed part of the offenses in which juveniles were charged. These two crimes arrests increased in 2008 among female and decreased among male. For instance, the female reported cases of simple assaults increased by 12% while drug violations /abuse reduced by 2% (Puzzanchera, 2009, p. 2). On the other hand, male reported a decrease in both the crimes. Male simple assaults offense reduced by 6% while drug abuse reduced by 8% (Crime in United States, 2008). In 2008 juvenile arrest for female accounted for 30% but there was an increase in some cases such as simple assault, DUI and larceny-theft with male experiencing a reduction.

The juvenile arrests in United States disproportionately involved minorities that live there.  The racial composition of juvenile in 2008 between the age of 10-17 was 16% black, 78% white, 5% Asian and 1% American Indian.  In the statistics of the juvenile arrested in United States  in 2008,  52% cases involved black juveniles, 47% whites, and 1 % both American Indian and Asian youth (Crime in United States, 2008). This statistic demonstrated that black and whites juveniles are highly involved in criminal offenses in America compared to other racial groups such as Indians.  The high rates of crimes by black are an issue that needs to be attended to urgently to find out where the problem is emanating.  The implication of this is that, these youths may grow up to become a nuisance to the society if no urgent corrections steps are taken. The government and all the stakeholders, have the prerogative of endeavoring to find amicable solutions to the continued increasing crime rates among black juveniles.

Arrests on juvenile females on grounds of violent crime index increased overall, by 10% compared to male which changed by 8% from 1999 to 2008. However, female arrests recorded an increase in robbery with 38% compared to male at 24% (Puzzanchera, 2009, p. 6). In overall, the juveniles accounted for 16% of all the crimes associated with violent crimes arrests in 2008. Among the violent crime related violence i.e. murder and non negligent manslaughter, robbery, forcible rape and aggravated assault, robbery is the only crime that recorded an increase in percentage in terms of arrest by 2% from 2007-2008 (US Department of Justice, 2009).  Female accounted for 17% of juvenile violent index arrests, 44% larceny theft-arrests and 36% of juvenile property crime index (US Department of Justice, 2009). In addition, in the eight violent crimes reported one involved a juvenile.

In measuring amount and trends of juvenile crimes, juvenile arrests statistics are most favored and prepared. Juvenile arrests statistics and clearance statistics helps to give a picture on how crimes are committed or distributed among the juveniles. However, despite this, they have some controversies and therefore require clear understanding to be able to make correct assumptions of how the juvenile crimes are spread. One of the issue that needs to be understood when tracking juvenile arrests using arrest statistics is to understand that this arrest does not report the number of individuals arrested or the number of crime committed but rather records the number of arrests that are made by the law enforcement agencies in a given year. This is because, a person may commit a series of crimes which may result to a single arrest while a single crime may result to more than one arrest. In juvenile case a single crime may result to many arrests as many juveniles may commit a common crime in a group. On other hand, a clearance arrest measures those crimes that have been cleared or closed. A single arrest may lead to many clearances. These are some of the issues that need to be understood to be able to measure the crimes committed more accurately.  Therefore, it is apparent that the statistics may not provide the correct measurement and trends of the juvenile crimes but estimations.



Crime in the United States reports for 2004 through 2008, Available online at        www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm#cius, released September 2009; population data

Puzzanchera, C. (2009). Juvenile Justice Bulletin: Juvenile Arrests 2008, US Department of          Justice.

US. Department of Justice, (2009). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.           Retrieved from www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/crime/JAR.asp


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