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Juvenile Crime Crime Rates Essay Research Paper

Juvenile Crime: Crime Rates Essay, Research Paper Juvenile Crime: Crime Rates It is comforting to know that, according to recent crime statistics, crime rates are dropping among adults. However, for teens the crime rate is

Juvenile Crime: Crime Rates Essay, Research Paper

Juvenile Crime: Crime Rates

It is comforting to know that, according to recent crime statistics,

crime rates are dropping among adults. However, for teens the crime rate is

soaring. Between 1990 and 1994, the rate at which adults age 25 and older

committed homicides declined 22%; yet the rate jumped 16% for youths between 14

and 17. This age group surpassed the 18 – 24-year-old group in the early ?90?s

as the most crime-prone. (Between 1986 and 1991, 18 – 24 showed a 62% increase

in homicides; 14 – 17 showed a 124% increase in murders.) It is this age group

that will be booming in the next decade (currently 39 million under 10).

However, the American Civil Liberties Union, in a fact sheet on juvenile

crime published in mid May of this year, stated that contrary to public

perception, the percentage of violent crimes committed by juveniles is low.

According to one estimate, only 13% of violent crimes are committed by young

people (Gallup Poll Monthly, Sept. 1994). The ACLU further suggests that the

public also holds greatly inflated perceptions about the violence of today’s

juveniles, claiming only about 0.5% of young people commit violent crimes. (?

Crime Time Bomb,? U.S. News & World Report, March 25, 1996)

Current social trends do little to contradict the dire predictions made

about youth crime rates. Nearly all the factors that contribute to youth crime

– single-parent households, child abuse, deteriorating inner-city schools –

are getting worse. At the same time, government is doing less (spending less)

to help break the cycle of poverty and crime.

Predicting a generation?s future crime pattern is, of course, risky.

Especially when outside factors remain unpredictable (Will drug use be up or

down? Will gun laws be tightened?). Also, from year to year, crime rates can

fluctuate much like the stock market. What goes up generally comes down, and

what goes down generally comes back up.

It is probably no surprise to hear that crime rates among juveniles vary

across race (structural limitations/discrimination, self-fulfilling prophecy,

etc.). Minorities, especially Blacks, have a higher arrest rate for violent

crimes (per 100,000) than Whites. Black males age 15 – 25, while only one

percent of the U.S. population, constitute 14% of the victims of homicide and

19% of the perpetrators. In the 1980?s, the arrest rate for murder rose for

young blacks by 145%.

Racial differences is only one factor which impacts juvenile crime.

Other areas that, directly or indirectly, deal with juvenile delinquency include

changes in the family structure and its functions, and in institutions and

policies aimed at rehabilitating these troubled youths.

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