Chapter 2: Jurisdictional and Program Self-Assessment
A Profile of Juvenile Offenders

Age of Youth at Arrest. Juvenile arrest rates tend to increase steadily by age, with the highest arrest rates for most crimes occurring when youth are 16-18 years of age. Violent crime rates increase dramatically in the 15-17 age group. However, there are substantial numbers of youth who are arrested for crimes at considerably younger ages. Figure 2:e shows the arrest rates for juveniles by different age groups (Snyder, 1999). For Violent Crime Index arrests, rates increase substantially with age; however, for Property Crime Index arrests, rates level off at age 16 (Snyder, 1999).

Figure 2:e Juvenile Arrest Rates by Age Group

Sex of Arrested Youth. The proportion of female youth being arrested has increased steadily. In 1998, approximately one-quarter of arrests of juveniles younger than 18 were girls (Snyder, 1999). The crimes for which female juvenile arrests increased the most between 1989 and 1998 are displayed in Table 2:e.

Table 2:e Increases in Female JuvenileArrests

Disproportionate Arrests of Minority Juveniles. Data on juvenile arrests in 1998 showed consistent overrepresentation of African American youth when compared with their proportion of the total population of juveniles. The U.S. population of juveniles comprises 79 percent White (including Hispanic youth), 15 percent African American, and 5 percent other. Table 2:f provides a breakdown by race and offense category (Snyder, 1999).

Table 2:f Juvenile Arrests by Race

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Jurisdictional Technical Assistance Package for Juvenile Corrections Report - December 2000