U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Offenders Incarcerated for Crimes Against Juveniles

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2001
12 pages
This report explores the characteristics of offenders incarcerated for victimizing children and youth.
Offenders who victimize juveniles present unique challenges to the criminal justice system because of the vulnerable nature of their victims and because of society’s highly charged reaction to crimes against children and youth. The current analysis relies on the 1997 Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities to describe the characteristics of offenders against juveniles. Survey results indicate that 65 percent of offenders incarcerated for crimes against juveniles were sex offenders compared with only 7 percent of offenders incarcerated for crimes against adults. Most victims were family members or acquaintances of the offender. Offenders against juveniles tended to be white, married, and over the age of 30 years. Offenders who victimize juveniles were more likely than other offenders to have been physically or sexually abused as children. A review of sentencing decisions indicates that sentences for offenders who victimize teenagers were less severe than for offenders who victimize children in younger age categories. Overall, the findings suggest that offenders who victimize children and youth make up a large and growing proportion of prison populations. Figures, tables, references

Date Published: December 1, 2001