This report provides a summary and preliminary analysis of national and State juvenile arrest data for 1997.
Police agencies that year made an estimated 2.8 million arrests of persons under age 18. Juveniles accounted for 19 percent of all arrests and 17 percent of all violent crime arrests in 1997. The substantial increase in juvenile violent crime arrests that began in the late 1980s peaked in 1994. In 1997, the total number of juvenile arrests for the violent crime index offenses of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault declined for the third year in a row. Nevertheless, the number of juvenile violent crime index arrests in 1997 was 49 percent above the 1988 level; in comparison, the number of adult arrests for the same offenses in 1997 was 19 percent greater than in 1988. Fifty-six percent of the juveniles who were murdered in 1997 were killed with a firearm. Juveniles were involved in 14 percent of all murder and aggravated assault arrests, 37 percent of burglary arrests, 30 percent of robbery arrests, 24 percent of weapons arrests, and 14 percent of all drug arrests in 1997. Figures, tables, and reference notes