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ERIC Number: ED416280
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Youngest Delinquents: Offenders under Age 15.
Butts, Jeffrey A.; Snyder, Howard N.
School Intervention Report, v11 n2 p6-11 Win 1997
This report presents findings of a study that explored issues related to juvenile delinquency by examined the most recent data on juvenile arrests and the delinquency cases processed by U.S. juvenile courts. The study compared the characteristics of young offenders arrested in recent years with those arrested in 1980 and analyzed the responses of juvenile courts to those offenders once they had been charged. Findings show that offenders aged 12 or younger were involved in 9% of all juvenile arrests, and that arrests of juveniles aged 13 and 14 grew disproportionately. Arrest rates for juveniles aged 12 or younger were far lower than for older juveniles. However, Violent Crime Index arrests declined 3% for all juveniles between 1994 and 1995. Similar decreases were seen for those aged 12 and younger and aged 15 and older, with a 5% drop in violent crime arrests for those aged 13 and 14. Between 1985 and 1994, the number of delinquency cases involving 13-year-olds increased more than cases involving juveniles of any other age. In spite of these increases, the actual number of young juveniles remained relatively small when compared with the caseload of older juvenile offenders seen by law enforcement agencies and the courts. Recent trends are particularly encouraging as they relate to the delinquent behavior of offenders aged 13 and 14. Findings suggest that juvenile courts and juvenile justice agencies should continue preventive services and early intervention for offenders aged 14 and younger. They also suggest, however, that it is inaccurate to depict the typical juvenile offender as significantly younger than the offenders of 10 or 15 years ago. (SLD)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A