Butts, Jeffrey A. (2012). As Serious Juvenile Crime Declined, Police Made More Arrests for Less Serious Offenses. Research and Evaluation Data Bits [2012-01]. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.
Between 1995 and 2010, juvenile arrests overall dropped nearly 40 percent. The level of violent crime arrests in 2010 was half the level of 1995. Murder arrests declined more than 60 percent, while robbery arrests and serious (aggravated) assaults were down almost 50 percent. Taken together, arrests for the eight serious offenses included in the FBI Crime Index decreased nearly 50 percent between 1995 and 2010. Arrests for some of the most common, less serious offenses, however, increased substantially from 1985 through 2005, and they remained at higher levels in 2010 when compared with the early 1980s. As a result, offenses such as minor (non-aggravated) assaults, drug law violations, and disorderly conduct accounted for a much larger proportion of all juvenile arrests in 2010 than was true in 1980. Arrests by law enforcement appear to have shifted toward less serious offenses.