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Youth crime in the US way down

Words by Smiley Team

Some believe that crime is rampant in the United States, but new reports from the US Department of Justice say otherwise: crime among youth has gone down drastically over the last three decades.

The report, which analyzed FBI data, highlighted that youth crime, crimes committed by those 17 and younger, has dropped 78% from its 1994 peak, and has been shrinking even more drastically in recent years. 

Law enforcement agencies made an estimated 424,300 arrests of youth in 2020, a 38% drop from the previous year and half the number from five years earlier. 8% were for a violent crime. One-fourth of one percent was for murder.

“These data reflect an encouraging trend—one that has in fact been developing over the last three decades—and offer a welcome counter-narrative to claims that youth crime is on the rise,” said Liz Ryan, Administrator of the Office of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

“They also give us reason to be optimistic about the course of juvenile justice reform, particularly efforts in many jurisdictions to replace harsh punishments with personal development opportunities and to design programs that build support into accountability.”

Overall the share of violent crime committed by youth has gone down drastically over the last decade. In 2010 youth made up 14% of all violent crimes, now it's about half that. 

Inspired to Act?

DONATE: If you want to help support victims of crimes you can donate to Safe Horizon, an organization that helps victims get back on their feet.

SUPPORT: Help support children and the youth in your area. Spend time with your kids. Help support programs in your area to give kids something enriching to do. Programs like that help keep kids out of crime.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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