Arrest rates for minors have been falling for years. Data provided by the Office of Justice Programs and the Violent Crime Index shows that this is true for all races.

2005 to Today

The numbers do show that the drop has been happening since the 1990s, when things really spiked. For example, in 1994, African American minors set a high mark with around 1,600 arrests per 100,000 individuals. That was the highest it had ever been since 1980, and it's never topped that since.

However, the declines have been dramatic across the board since about 2005. When looking at the data for 2014, it can be seen that those of Asian descent saw the largest drop in that decade, with arrests falling by 56 percent. After that came those of Native American descent, with a drop of 51 percent. White minors were next, at 45 percent, and African Americans saw a decline in arrests of 38 percent.

For the purposes of this study, only those between the ages of 10 and 17 were considered. These are serious drops for all races over this time.

Minor Crimes

Juvenile crimes also tend to be more minor than crimes committed by adults. For example, when looking at murder cases, only 1 in 14 saw juveniles arrested. For aggravated assault, the number was 1 in 12. For robbery, though, the percentage jumped to 1 in 5. All told, minors are only arrested in just under 10 percent of all cases.

Youth Crime Options

Because of their age and the way that an arrest can impact their lives for years to come, it's crucial that young people know their legal options when facing charges. The outcome of a court case can influence their ability to get into college, to pursue certain careers, and much more. Proper steps must be taken to ensure that young people get a fair trial and have access to all legal tools at their disposal.

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