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Report: Juvenile Arrests In Minn. Nearing 30-Year Lows

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The number of property crime arrests for juveniles in Minnesota hit a 30-year low in 2011, and other types of juvenile arrests are nearing 30-year lows, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs (OJP).

The report, titled “Back to the Future: Volume 1,” breaks down 30 years of juvenile crime statistics and justice data, spanning from 1980-2010. In general, the report paints a picture showing an increase in juvenile crime throughout the 80s that then peaks in the 90s. The numbers then fall off through the year 2010, where they’re recorded at levels close to – and in one case (property crime) – lower than where they were in the 80s.

“This is obviously a trend that we hope continues on a downward course for years to come,” said OJP director Raeone Magnuson in a press release. “[H]owever, the data also highlights areas that remain a concern, such as racial disparity in the juvenile justice system.”

Youths from communities of color in Minnesota are much more likely to be arrested that white youth, federal data shows. For example: in 2011, African-American youths were almost 6 times more likely to be arrested than white youth; Native American youth were about three times more likely to arrested than white youth; and Hispanic youth were two times as likely to be arrested that white youth. Asian youth, on the other hand, were less than half as likely to be arrested as white youth.

Still, the report shows that juvenile crime in all racial groups has declined since peaking between the years 1995 and 2000.

To help at-risk youth, OJP is supporting advocacy programs and agencies, Magnuson said. Specifically, OJP will administer 106 grants totaling more than $9.5 million to state programs that are working to cut down juvenile crime through “accountability-based” reform at the local and state level.

Arrest Data

The FBI divides arrest data into four categories: violent crime, property crime, status offenses and non-index arrests. Below are statistics from a Department of Public Safety press release announcing the report. They show the arrest rates per 1,000 youths ages 10-17 from 1980-2011.

Overall Arrests

The overall arrest rate includes data from all four offense categories.
- 1982—59.8 arrests (30-year low)
- 1998—133.9 arrests (30-year high)
- 2011—63.6 arrests

Violent Crime Arrests

Violent crimes are classified as serious, person-related offenses—murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault and robbery.

- 1980, 1983—1.3 arrests (30-year low)
- 1994—4.0 arrests (30-year high)
- 2011—1.7 arrests

Property Crime Arrests

Property crime consists of four offenses—larceny, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson.
- 1980—26.9 arrests
- 1992—33.7 arrests (30-year high)
- 2011—14.1 arrests (30-year low)

Status Offense Arrests

Status offenses include acts that are unlawful due to the offender’s legal status as a minor—curfew, loitering and runaway offenses.
- 1981—4.6 arrests (30-year low)
- 2000—22.9 arrests (30-year high)
- 2011—8.0 arrests

Non-Index Arrests

Non-index crimes are generally classified as less violent or less serious person- and property-related offenses. They include crimes involving drugs and alcohol, fraud, weapons, disorderly conduct, vandalism, prostitution and other sex-related offenses.
- 1982—27.8 arrests (30-year low)
- 1998—83.5 (30-year high)
- 2011—39.8 arrests

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