Juvenile arrests for violent crimes fell 29% in the past 5 years
The FBI assesses trends in violent crimes by monitoring four offenses that law enforcement agencies nationwide consistently report. These four crimes—murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault— form the Violent Crime Index.
Following 10 years of declines between 1994 and 2004, juvenile arrests for Violent Crime Index offenses increased from 2004 to 2006 and then declined each year through 2011. As a result, the number of juvenile violent crime arrests in 2011 was less than any of the previous 32 years and 15% less than the previous low point in 1984.
In fact, with the exception of aggravated assault, juvenile arrests for violent crimes reached historically low levels in 2011. Following a 33% decline since 2008, the number of juvenile robbery arrests in 2011 was at its lowest level since 1980.
Similarly, the number of juvenile arrests for forcible rape fell 33% since 2004 to reach its lowest level of the 1980–2011 period. After falling to a relatively low level in 2004, juvenile arrests for murder increased through 2007 and then declined 37% by 2011 to reach the lowest level in three decades. The number of juvenile arrests for aggravated assault was cut in half between 1994 and 2011, resting at a level 8% above the 1983 low point.
Between 2002 and 2011, the number of arrests in all offense categories declined for juveniles but increased in several offense categories for adults.