This Juvenile Justice Bulletin provides 2001 data on juvenile arrests from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program.
UCR data are derived from local law enforcement agencies who voluntarily report on crimes known to the police and arrests made during each calendar year. In 2001, juveniles accounted for 17 percent of all arrests and 15 percent of all violent crime arrests. In 2001, for the seventh consecutive year, juvenile arrests for Violent Crime Index offenses declined. Between 1994 and 2001, the juvenile arrest rate for violent crimes fell 44 percent. Similarly, between 1993 and 2001, the juvenile arrest rate for murder fell 70 percent. The 2001 juvenile arrest rate for Property Crime Index offenses reached its lowest level since the 1960's. Between 1980 and 2001, the juvenile arrest rate for burglary declined 66 percent. UCR data also indicate that during 2001, murders of juveniles fell 40 percent from their peak in 1993. Of all murders in 2001, 90 percent involved a victim that was 18 years of age or younger. Of these juvenile who were murdered in 2001, 72 percent of those who were 13 years or older were killed with a firearm. Trend analysis of juvenile arrests and clearance rates indicate that juvenile crime in general declined during 2001, and juvenile violent crime has hit its lowest level since 1988. This trend continues with the lowest levels of juvenile property crime in the past three decades. Further analysis of the data, however, indicate a trend of increasing female juvenile arrests; in 2001, 28 percent of juvenile arrests involved a female suspect. This trend in increasing female juvenile criminality mirrors adult crime trends. Finally, the UCR data indicate that a disproportionate number of juvenile arrests in 2001 involved minority suspects. The article offers an explanation of how to correctly interpret UCR data, especially concerning interpretations of arrest statistics and clearance statistics. Tables, notes