The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs reviews arrest records from law enforcement agencies throughout the United States documenting statistics in relation to juveniles, location, and crime types. The statistical information developed and presented is used to help law enforcement agencies and individuals with interests in juvenile justice to develop programs to lower the types of crimes and help juveniles to refrain from committing crimes. The Juvenile Justice Bulletin of 2008 complied submitted information that reflected an “overall reduction of 2% in violent juvenile crime” (Puzzanchera, 2009, p. 1) and a “reduction of 3% in all juvenile crimes” (Puzzanchera, 2009, p. 1). Statistics showed “16% of all violent crime arrests” (Puzzanchera, 2009, p. 1) and “26% of property arrests” (Puzzanchera, 2009, p. 1) were committed by juveniles as compared to adults committing the same types of crimes. Based on the data received from various law enforcement agencies the overall arrests of juveniles across the United States were approximately 2.11 million. The 2.11 million reflects a substantial decrease as compared to time from 2005 and 2006.
One in every eight violent crimes committed was attributed to juveniles. “One in every 10 arrests of juveniles was for murder” (Puzzanchera, 2009, p. 4) and “one in four arrests was for robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft” (Puzzanchera, 2009, p. 4). The decrease in numbers does not include those juveniles that were arrested for violent crimes. The violent crime murder statistic has increased since 2003 by 17%. The juvenile arrest murder rate was “3.8 per every 100,000” (Puzzanchera, 2009, p. 1). Approximately one third of juvenile murders were individuals under the age of five caused by physical violence. The statistical data reflects that juveniles are responsible for 18% of all property crimes and 12% of all violent crimes in the United States. Between the years of 1999 and 2008, statistics have shown a decrease in the juvenile crime rate between males and females. Crimes committed by male juveniles decreased by 6%. Crimes committed by females increased by over 10% in the United States.
Crime trends have shown that it is more common for females to be involved in some form of violence to specifically include assault. Juvenile crime rates for simple assaults and drug violations has decreased from 1999-2008. Simple assaults arrests remained the same, Drug Abuse violations decreased by 7%, and Larceny-theft decreased by 17% for juveniles. The largest decrease in arrest by juveniles was a decrease of 50% for Motor vehicle theft. The arrest rate of females has increased from 1999 – 2008. Over 30% of juvenile arrests involved females. Simple assault, larceny-theft, drug abuse, and DUI arrests increased for females but decreased for males. Race of a juvenile and even an adult has always been a sticking point in many discussions involving crime. Studies have shown that African American juveniles are directly and indirectly responsible for over half of all juvenile crimes. Only 15% of the population is African American making the African American race one of the highest minority races for committing crimes.
Of the violent crimes committed in 2008 whites, 52% by black youth, and 1% of Asian and Indian youth committed 47%. With regard to property crimes whites, 33% by black youths, 2% for Asian youths, and 1% for Indian youth committed 65%. Based on the crime index rate black youths were 5 times more likely to commit violent crimes and more than double the rate of white youths for property crimes. The arrest rates submitted by the various law enforcement agencies are not based on the same principles in all states. The basics are the same, but differences can be found based on the behavior of the police, juvenile’s, and community standards allowing for some variations in the crime rates. In the state of South Carolina Juvenile Arrest rates with 98% of all law enforcement agencies reporting shows that 192 juveniles out of 100,000 were arrested for violent crimes, 784 out of 100,000 for property crimes, 388 out of 100,000 for drug abuse, and 94 out of 100,000 for weapons.
South Carolina ranks 32nd in Violent Crimes and 46th in Property Crimes as compared to all other states. To obtain the most accurate information to track the types and frequency of juvenile arrests measures, checks, and balances need to be in place. These measures, checks, and balances are needed to adequately note the crimes committed, the area committed, and the type of individual committing the crime. By knowing where, how, and whom law enforcement will gains the knowledge or where law enforcement presence is needed. Various agencies will use the statistical information to develop programs to deter crime and provide services for those requiring rehabilitation.
By understanding and implementing the information received there is the hope that a decrease in both violent and property crimes will be decreased. Crime will never be fully diminished but decreasing the occurrence and type of crime will benefit all of society. There are some challenges that are seen in obtaining statistical information. Society does not always report crimes. Not reporting can be due to cultural differences, an eye for an eye thought process, and fear. By not reporting crimes there is an understatement as to the true number and types of crimes. The information received is somewhat erroneous as the information obtained by the Office of Justice Program is received by the F.B.I. and not all law enforcement agencies report their arrests to the F.B.I.
Puzzanchera, C. (2009). Juvenile Arrests 2008. OJDP .