Arrests of juveniles fell 17 percent in the U.S. between 2000 and 2009, but there still were more than 1.9 million arrests of people under 18 in 2009, says a just-published analysis of FBI data for the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Jeff Slowikowski, who was acting head of the agency when the report was compiled, said that although the trend is encouraging, it “should not lead to a misplaced sense of complacency. Juvenile crime and violence continue to plague many communities across the country.”
He noted that between 2000 and 2009, juvenile arrests for robbery rose 15 percent, and arrests for murder were unchanged. The report said that 51 percent of juveniles arrested in 2009 were black, much higher than blacks’ 16 percent share of the youth population. Girls are making up a higher proportion of teen arrests. In 1980, the juvenile male violent crime arrest rate was 8 times greater than the female rate. By 2009, the male rate was just 4 times greater.