As the arrest rate of juvenile for violent crimes has dropped in the last 12 years, the female proportion of arrests has increased, says a new report from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, an arm of the Justice Department. The report, Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report,” says that one fourth of all violent crime victims are juvenile and one third of juvenile violent crime victims are under 12 years old.
Racial disparity in the juvenile justice system is declining, the report says. The black arrest rate for violent juvenile crimes was six times the rate for whites in the late 1980s. By 2003, it had fallen to four times the white rate. The study says the number of youths held in public and private juvenile placement facilities incrased 28 percent betwen 1991 and 2003. However, the total number of youth in custody began to fall in 2000 “for the first time in a generation,” says the report, which was prepared by the Pittsburgh-based National Center for Juvenile Justice of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.