Facts and Figures - 2001
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) published the Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report that reflects the continuing decline in violent juvenile crime and overall juvenile delinquent activity. While the period from 1987-1993 witnessed alarming increases in juvenile delinquency, the past six years have seen equally remarkable declines. With respect to juvenile violence and victimization, some highlights from that report include:
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families produced 10 Years Of Reporting, Child Maltreatment 1999, providing accurate and timely statistical data to inform child welfare practitioners and researchers on child maltreatment. Some of the significant findings from this report include:
- According to the 1999 FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) data, there was a 68% decline in homicides committed by youth from 1993 to 1999.
- The number of juvenile arrests declined in every violent crime category despite an 8% growth in the juvenile population from 1993 to 1999.
- The juvenile Violent Crime Index arrest rate (murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault) was at its lowest level since 1988 - 36% below its peak year in 1994.
- One-third of 1% of juveniles ages 10-17 were arrested for a violent crime in 1999.
- Between 1994 and 1999, the juvenile Property Crime Index (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson) rate dropped nearly 30% to its lowest level since the 1960's.
- The 1998 National Crime Victimization Survey reflected the lowest juvenile crime rate in the 25-year history of the survey.
- 1 in 4 reported juvenile murders in 1997 occurred in just 5 of the United States more than 3,000 counties.
- In 1999, 81% (slightly more than 1,000) of murdered juveniles were killed with a firearm.
- 670,000 arrests of females were made in 1999, a number reflecting a dramatic increase in the 80's and early 90's. This figure now accounts for 27% of all juvenile arrests.
- The juvenile population in 1999 was 79% white. In contrast, 41% of juvenile arrests for violent crime involved black youth. Black youth were also over represented in juvenile property crime arrests.
OJJDP also published "School Violence: An Overview" in the Journal of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Volume VIII, Number 1) and the report reflects:
- There were estimated to be nearly 3,000,000 referrals for child maltreatment received in 1999, almost one-third (29.2%) resulted in a disposition of substantiated or indicated child maltreatment (total of 826,000 victims nationwide).
- In 1999, almost nine-tenths (87.3%) of all victims were maltreated by at least one parent.
- In 1999, an estimated 1,100 children died of abuse and neglect, a rate of approximately 1.62 deaths per 100,000 children in the general population (rate has remained stable over the past 5 years of reporting).
- Children younger than one year accounted for 42.6% of the child maltreatment fatalities and 86.1% were younger than age 6 years of age.
- As of September 30, 1999, there were an estimated 568,000 children in foster care.
The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics released the fifth annual report in their series entitled America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2001 and some of the significant findings reflect the following:
- Less than 1 percent of the 1,350 children who were murdered during the 1998-99 school year were killed at school (e.g. killed on school property, at a school sponsored event, or on the way to or from school).
- The total number of incidents in which a child or adult was murdered or committed suicide at school declined by 27% from the 1995-96 school year to the 1998-99 school year.
- The number of school students who were victims of nonfatal crimes at school declined from 3.4 million in 1992 to 2.7 million in 1998.
- School students are 2.3 times more likely to be victims of serious violent crimes while away from school.
- Between 1993 and 1999, the percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 who reported carrying a weapon (knives, guns, or clubs) to school on one or more days the previous month declined from 12% to 7%.
- School associated violent deaths have declined by 72% from 1992 to 1999.
- 4% of high school students missed at least 1 day of school in the past 30 days because they felt unsafe at school or when traveling to or from school.
- In 2000, there were 70.4 million children under the age 18 in the United States, or 26% of the total population. Children are projected to remain a stable percentage of the total population, comprising 24% of the population in 2020.
- The poverty rate for children living with family members continued to decline from 18% in 1998 to 16% in 1999. This is the lowest rate since 1979.
- In 1999, the adolescent birth rate was at a record low at 29 births per 1,000 young women ages 15 to 17.
- Since the peak years of rates of use of illicit drug use between 1992 and 1996, the disturbing rates of use (e.g. 23% among 10th graders) have remained stable.
- Approximately 4 million youth suffer from a major mental illness resulting in significant impairments at home, school and with peers; it is estimated that 1 in every 5 youth (20%) in the juvenile justice system has serious mental health problems.
- The percentage of infants born of low birthweight was 7.6% in 1999. This represents the highest rate since 1973.
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