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Free «Juvenile crime statistics» Essay Sample

Any person under the 18 years old is considered a juvenile. Juvenile violence crime arrest rate was stable before the year 1983. However, the rate soared between 1988 and 1994. In the year, 2001, juvenile arrests by law enforcement agencies in the United States showed a remarkable decrease. Juvenile arrests had rapidly increased since the year 1983 and were highest in 1994 (Synder, 2003).

Syndner (2003) explains that between 1994 and 2001 the juvenile arrest rate for violent crime index fell by 44%. The violent crime index offences are made up of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated Assault (Andy, 2002).  In 2001, juveniles accounted for 17% of all arrests and 15% of all violent crime arrests. According to this report, juveniles were involved in 10% of the murder arrests, 14%of aggravated assaults arrests 31%of burglary arrests and 23% of weapons arrests (Synder, 2003). Juvenile arrests accounted for 12% of all violent crimes cleared by arrests in 2001

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According to Synder (2003) in the year 2001, 28% of juvenile arrests were female arrests. There was increase in female juvenile arrests as compared to male juvenile arrest. In 2001, law enforcement agencies made 645, 000 arrests of female aged under 18.

 
 
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During the period between 1983 to 2002 the number of juvenile female arrests increased by 27%.  Synder and sickmund (1995) observe that during the period between 1992 and 2001, there had been growth in female violent crime arrests in both juveniles and adults. Therefore, growth in these arrests is as a result of factors affecting females. The table below compares female and male juvenile arrests

 

Percent Change in Juvenile Arrests 1992-2001

Most serious offence

Female

Male

Robbery

29

32

Aggravated assault

24

21

Burglary

22

42

Larceny-theft

3

37

Motor vehicle theft

34

54

Simple assault

66

18

Vandalism

7

32

Weapons

8

37

Drug abuse violations

201

110

Liquor law violations

38

14

Curfew and loitering

57

26

Runaways

21

29

Data source: Synder, H.

 
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N. (2003).

 

Juvenile trends in crime may be observed by the use of juvenile arrest statistics.. However, there are several criticisms to this method. First, Arrests statistics report the number of arrests made and not the number of individuals arrested. Second, the numbers of crimes committed are not captured in these statistics. Third, an individual may be arrested more than once in a year ( Synder, 2003). Arrest statistics play an important role as a measure of the role of criminal and juvenile justice systems however they have limitations (Synder, 2003). Arrest statistics for the year 2001 show that 19% of arrests were handled within the law enforcement agencies, 72%were referred to a juvenile court and 7% were directly referred to a welfare agency (Synder, 2003). This data can be used to evaluate the efficiency of law enforcement agencies, criminal and juvenile justice systems.

According to Sydner (2003) the racial composition of juveniles in 2001 was 78% white, 17%black, 4% asian and 1% American Indian.

Sydner (2003) further notes that the black juveniles were overrepresented in juvenile arrests for violent crimes and to a lesser extent, property crimes. However, in the period from 1980 through 2001 the black to white disparity in the juvenile crimes declined.

 

Juvenile arrests are an important way of evaluating the effectiveness of justice systems. However, statistics from juvenile arrests cannot be used to measure an increase or decrease in juvenile crime. The decrease in juvenile crime shows that justice systems are effective.

   

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