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Unformatted text preview: U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention December 2009 Jeff Slowikowski, Acting Administrator Office of Justice Programs Innovation Partnerships Safer Neighborhoods www.ojp.usdoj.gov Juvenile Arrests 2008 A Message From OJJDP By summarizing juvenile crime data from the FBI report Crime in the United States 2008, this Bulletin can serve as a benchmark for juvenile justice professionals and other con- cerned citizens seeking to assess Americas progress in reducing juve- nile delinquency. As detailed in these pages, the lat- est data reflect such progress, with a 3% decline in overall juvenile arrests from 2007 to 2008 and a 2% decrease in juvenile arrests for vio- lent offenses over the same period. Similar positive trends are evidenced across most offense categories for both male and female and white and minority youth, in effect reversing the modest increases in juvenile arrests reported for 2005 and 2006. Nevertheless, although such trends are encouraging, they should not provide a pretext for a misplaced sense of complacency. One area that merits continued attention is the persistently dispro- portionate rate of minority contact with the juvenile justice system. The arrest rate for robbery in 2008, for example, was 10 times higher for black youth than for white. It is OJJDPs hope that the informa- tion provided in this Bulletin will guide our efforts to address such disparities and to prevent and com- bat juvenile delinquency for the sake of our children and our Nation. Charles Puzzanchera In 2008, law enforcement agencies in the United States made an estimated 2.11 mil- lion arrests of persons younger than age 18.* Overall, there were 3% fewer juvenile arrests in 2008 than in 2007, and juvenile violent crime arrests fell 2%, continuing a recent decline. Juvenile arrest rates, par- ticularly Violent Crime Index rates, had in- creased in 2005 and again in 2006 amid fears that the Nation was on the brink of another juvenile crime wave. These latest data show increases in some offense cate- gories but declines in mostwith most changes being less than 10% in either direction. These findings are drawn from data that local law enforcement agencies across the country report to the FBIs Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. Based on these data, the FBI prepares its annual Crime in the United States statistical compilation, which summarizes crimes known to the police and arrests made during the report- ing calendar year. This information is used to describe the extent and nature of juve- nile crime that comes to the attention of the justice system. Other recent findings from the UCR Program include the following: * Throughout this Bulletin, youth younger than age 18 are referred to as juveniles. See Notes on page 12....
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