Juvenile Crime Statistics William Scott Bennett CJA/374 September 24, 2012 LeDetra C. Jones Juvenile Arrests 2008 Data is collected by law enforcement agencies within the United States and submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigations for tracking purposes. These numbers are used by analysts at the FBI to indicate trends in crime and to possibly develop alternative policing methods. A statistician can manipulate numbers to show what they feel is relevant, but aside from just being numbers in a spreadsheet it allows police forces to determine the trends within their respective communities.
According to Puzzanchera (2009) “In 2008, law enforcement agencies in the United States made an estimated 2. 11 million arrests of persons younger than age 18” (p. 1). The report from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U. S. Department of Justice shows that overall there is a downward trend among juvenile offenders during the year 2008. Overall Decrease While looking at a nine years span of statistics it is clear that juvenile arrests have decreased.
The data used in the report indicated a downward progress in juvenile arrests, showing a decline of 3% in overall juvenile arrests from 2007 to 2008 (Puzzanchera, 2009). During the study period it is clear to see that certain items have increased to include the increase in drug offense by juveniles as well as an increase in juveniles being arrested for simple assault. Increase in Drug Offenses The apparent increase in drug related offenses may be attributable to the increase in availability of the drugs.
In Colorado marijuana was legalized for medicinal purposes and suddenly became a popular drug with minors in schools, as it was obtainable at the home from parents or guardians that have a valid prescription. This has led to many students being prosecuted for both possession and distribution within schools. Increase in Simple Assaults As juvenile arrests have decreased over the past two years for simple assault it is still just a mere 10% lower than a peak in 1997. As this figure shows that simple assault arrests are decreasing, it is still far higher than it should be.
Implications for Females and Minorities Using the data provided by Puzzanchera (2009), it is obvious that female offenders are becoming more brazen in their ways. Whereas crime has been predominantly a male dominated venue, females are staking a claim to their rights to enter the world of crime. This change in roles is also noted in the adult arrest reports; female arrests have shown a slower decrease than male arrests. Minorities are also affected by the statistics of the Uniform Crime Report. When looking at minority arrests, the composition of the community really affects the numbers used.
Overall in the United States the racial compositions for juveniles according to Puzzanchera (2009) showed that 78% of juveniles were white, 16% were black, 5% Asian, and only 1% Native American. These figures can be severely misleading in that Hispanic juveniles are classified as white for these studies. However, using these numbers and the reporting by agencies, violent crimes committed in 2008 were done by 47% white youth, 52% black youth and a mere 1% were committed by Asian youth, leaving the last 1% to have been committed by native American youth.
As a result, black youth are more likely to commit violent crimes and be entered into the juvenile justice system. Disparities between Females and Males for Violent Crime Distinguishing between male and female roles in the criminal arena could be much like the movement of women’s rights. If females find themselves trying to fit in with a local populous, it may be tempting to do the same things as the males. Using this basis, females are fully apt to commit crimes in the same nature as males in most every discipline.
Often females may see themselves as having an advantage within the court system because of their gender. Females may be asserting that they are capable of doing anything that a male can do. Trends in Juvenile Crime Many factors can affect the trending of crimes committed by juveniles. As the economy has turned, it is likely that more people will steal in order to provide for the people in their care. As influences are brought to the juvenile arena, it may lend credence to a juvenile to partake in certain crimes in order to fit in or be accepted by their peers.
As we are using the data provided by the Uniform Crime Reporting program, we have seen a steady decline in juvenile arrests. This indicates, but does not promise a more responsible juvenile population. Conclusion If we are to quell the juvenile criminal before they meet corrections official in a larger facility, we must be able to rely on the resources available to do this. We have seen a steady decrease in juvenile arrests over the past years. In order to make this work to the fullest extent we should be able to offer juveniles an alternative program in order to make them more productive members of society.
Many schools have started after school programs that are not part of the ordinary tutoring or sports activities in order to allow the children to socialize in a structured environment and keep them occupied during the height of time when most juveniles are committing crimes. If we care about the future of our nation, it is our responsibility to demonstrate to our youth how to make them better members of our society. References Puzzanchera, C. (2009, December). Juvenile Arrests 2008. Juvenile Justice Bulletin, ().
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