Juvenile crime is a serious problem. Each year, millions of juveniles are arrested for committing crimes. These arrests can have a serious impact on the juvenile’s life, including their future prospects.
Crimes involving minors have been increasing in recent years. However, it’s difficult to separate facts from misconceptions. In the following article, bail bonds specialists in CT differentiate what the stats show and what are some typical myths surrounding juvenile crimes.
What are some of the most important facts about juvenile offenses?
Juvenile crimes can range from vandalism and shoplifting to more serious offenses such as rape and murder. In the US, juveniles account for a significant percentage of crime. Boys are more likely than girls to be arrested. However, the gap between boys and girls is narrowing. In 2013, the arrest rate for boys was almost twice that of girls, while in 2007 it was almost three times as high.
Even though crime rates among minors have decreased since their peak in 1994, they are still much higher than adult crime rates. For example, the arrest rate for murder is less than 1 per 100,000 for adults, but more than 5 per 100,000 for juveniles.
Statistics on juvenile crime in the past year are troubling. In spite of continued declines in crime rates across all age groups, the overall arrest rate for juveniles increased by 6 percent from 2020. And while arrests for violent crimes decreased slightly, there was a troubling increase in arrests for drug offenses and property crimes.
These trends are particularly concerning given that juvenile incarceration rates continue to decline. In 2021, there were only 27,000 juveniles incarcerated in residential facilities, down from 45,000 in 2010. This reflects a shift towards community-based programs and alternatives to detention such as electronic monitoring and probation.
What are common myths about juvenile crimes?
Juvenile crime is a hot topic in the media and society as a whole. However, there are many myths and misunderstandings about juvenile crime.
- Myth: Juveniles are more likely to commit crimes than adults
The opposite is actually true. Adults are far more likely to commit crimes than juveniles. For example, according to the FBI, less than 2% of homicides committed in the US are by juveniles.
- Myth: Juveniles are more likely to be arrested for serious crimes
In reality, the majority of arrests made of juveniles are for minor offenses, such as disorderly conduct or loitering.
- Myth: Juvenile criminals are automatically sentenced to prison sentences
The vast majority of juvenile offenders are sent to rehabilitation programs or juvenile detention centers, where they can receive help and support. Only a very small number of juveniles are actually sentenced to life in prison.
- Myth: Juveniles who commit crimes cannot be rehabilitated
Many juveniles who commit crimes can be successfully rehabilitated with the right help and support. In fact, research has shown that rehabilitation is often more successful than punishment when it comes to juvenile offenders.