Analyzing juvenile crime statistics, youngsters under 18 commit a high percentage of crimes. Although according to the juvenile arrest statistics of 2008, there is a decline in committing crimes by children. The percentage of crimes committed by them has fallen at a huge rate considering its high growth in the 90'th, when the rate of crimes committed by the juveniles has reached a dominant percentage with the correlation to the percentage of adult crimes.
Starting from the 2006-2008 a notable decrease over 5% has been recorded regarding the juvenile crimes. Considering a very high percentage of crimes committed by the youngsters in the 90'th, the peak of 1994 has recorded a 49% decrease of the Violent Crime Index. This can be considered as a huge step in providing all social groups with the safer future by the law enforcement authorities. The youngsters are not the only one who commit crimes; they also become the most frequent victims of the committed crimes.
During the 2008 there was noticed a rise in a number of simple assaults and drug abuse. These crimes had risen considerably comparing to a fall in the motor vehicle theft decrease of 13% or arson which declined on 46% between 1994 and 2008. Although juvenile crime is still at a huge rate; in the 2008 juveniles were allocated in 10 arrests by committing murder and in 4 for robbery, larceny-theft, and burglary. During 2008 juveniles were involved in 47% of arrests for arson, 38% for vandalism, 27% for burglary, robbery, and disorderly conduct, 19% of stolen property, and 18% of sex offences. There is a high group percentage in conducting crimes over the country. Although a decrease in committing crimes by juveniles is noticeable, their crimes are one of the most difficult cases in law enforcement.
The rate of crimes conducted in last decade has decreased by male and increased by female. This has been measured according to the percentage of arrests between 10-17 age groups per 100, 000 arrests. In 2008, law enforcement agencies have made 629, 800 arrests of females younger than 18. This is a shocking tendency which proves that the violence rate by females seems not to be decreasing comparing to male. In some categories as aggravated assault, larceny-theft, vandalism, and disorderly behaviour conducted by females did not decrease at all; however, it has increased at some percentage. It may be a reason considering that the population of women is higher than men. Women are more likely to get involved into group thinking than men do. But this does not explain the increase in violent crimes. Most mild crimes are mainly committed in groups, and violence is mostly a product of some individual actions.
The arrest rates among racial groups over the year did not change. The only thing that had changed was the volume of the arrests. Out of all juvenile arrests the rate of 47% involved white youth, the rate of black youth was 52% and 1% was Asian and American Indian group involved. The highest rate of the crimes committed by the black youth was murder rate of 58%, robbery 57%, and aggravated assault 42%. These rates show that most of the violent and hard crimes were conducted by this group. Considering that rate of murders committed by representatives of white population in 2008 has fallen on 69% since the peak in 1993 comparing to the rate of crimes committed by Afro Americans that increased for 40% by 2004. Also it was noticed a dramatic fall in Property Crime index of more than 42% on all racial groups.
As a result the statistics of 2008 shows a high decline of the juvenile crime. Considering the data and the amount of registered and committed crimes in the 90'th, this is measurable change. Although there can be some misleading information considering statistics as not all crimes are taken to the courts and not all arrests are approved as crimes. The number of the arrests presented in the statistics does not correspond in any way with the percentage of arrested people, taking into consideration a fact that one arrest can be brought up to several persons. Also an individual can be arrested more than once during the year by the law enforcement agencies. Hence, the arrests statistics can’t reflect the number of crimes committed by an individual, so as a consequence of crimes that one commits can result in one arrest. This is a very important remark regarding the juvenile statistics of crimes. There is a constant tendency of many arrests as a result of committed crime. Juveniles tend to commit crimes in groups more than adults do. This way the statistics of arrests in this group can’t be used to determine the level of committed crimes. Moreover this statistics has limitations in measuring the volumes of the arrests as the local law enforcement agencies always report the most serious crime as the purpose of the arrest. Therefore an arrest of an individual for burglary, who was discovered also to commit a murder, will be signed in the records as an arrest on behalf of committed murder. The practice shows that juvenile proportion of clearances often overestimates the juvenile responsibility for committed crime. The juvenile proportion of clearances only holds records of crimes committed only by them. If there is any adult involved in the case this record goes to the adult statistics of crime commitment. Therefore it is hard to sum the crimes actually committed by juveniles.
The statistics can be only considered as a guideline between the facts and the reality of crimes committed by the juveniles. The juvenile proportion of arrests overcomes the proportion of crimes. The count of the offences categories can be taken as an overview of the tendency of the crimes commitment. Moreover this is no secret that a lot of crimes that involve juvenile are not reported, and all the data are only calculated accordingly to the reported cases. This way all the data only reflect a facial view of the juvenile crimes and the reality can only be guessed.
- Puzzanchera, C. (2009). Juvenile arrests 2008. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Search/SearchResults.aspx?txtKeywordSearch=Juvenile Arrests 2008&fromSearch=1