The juvenile arrest rate for murder in the US fell 68 percent from 1993 to 1999, reaching its lowest level since 1966, Attorney General Janet Reno announced at the National Conference at the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
"These significant new figures reflect so much hard work and dedication at the federal, state and local levels," said Reno. "The reduced level of violent crime also shows how the power of prevention, when combined with constructive intervention and strengthened juvenile justice systems that hold every offender accountable, makes our communities safer."
Juvenile Arrests 1999 analyzes data from the FBI's 1999 Uniform Crime Reports. The juvenile arrest rate is defined by the number of arrests per 100,000 juveniles age 10 through 17. In addition to murder, the bulletin reports substantial drops in the juvenile arrest rate for every other violent crime. Forcible rape is down 31 percent from 1991 to 1999, the lowest level since 1980 and robbery is down 53 percent from 1994 to 1999, also at its lowest since 1980.
In 1999, the juvenile arrest rate for violent crime was 339 arrests per 100,000 juveniles. This means that approximately one-third of one percent of juveniles were arrested for a violent crime in 1999.
Even juvenile arrest rates that had increased during most of the 1990s declined in recent years. The rate for drug abuse violations dropped by 13 percent from 1997 to 1999, while the rate for curfew and loitering violations dropped 17 percent over the same period.