Child Rights and Remedies

By Robert C. Fellmeth | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN
Juvenile Crime and Delinquency

A. JUVENILE CRIME DEMOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND

1. National Juvenile Crime Trends

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, juveniles accounted for 16.4% of all arrests and 14.9% of all violent crime arrests in 2002, the most recently reported year (see Table 10-A).1 Nationally, between 1998 and 2002, the juvenile arrest rate for Violent Crime Index offenses fell 10.2%.2

While the rate of juvenile arrests for murder and aggravated assaults increased somewhat in the 1990s, the consistently sharp declines in the juvenile murder arrest rate from 1993 to 2002 have returned the rate to its 1984 level, negating all of the increases that stimulated so many changes in juvenile justice policy in the 1990s. Juveniles do not account for most violent crime. For several years, arson was the only crime where juveniles comprised the majority of arrestees, but since 2001 they have comprised less than half of the individuals arrested for that offense. In terms of murder and other major violent crimes, juveniles are not markedly over-represented in relation to their percentage of the general population.

Table 10-A. Percent of All Arrests Involving Persons Under Age 18 in the U.S.3

2. Child Victim Incidence

Juveniles are twice as likely as adults to be victims of serious violent

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