Youth Still Leading Violent Crime Drop: 1988-2018

Based on the latest statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the national violent crime arrest rate declined 38 percent overall between 1988 and 2018, but the steepest declines were observed among youth ages 10 to 14 (–53%) and 15 to 17 (–54%). The arrest rate for 18-20 year-olds dropped 47 percent while the arrest rates for adults ages 21-24 and 25-49 declined 42 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Gun Violence is not an “Urban” Problem

Using data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau in states with sufficient data, this analysis tests whether states conform to the conventional narrative of “urban gun violence.” Of 33 states in the analysis, 19 failed to conform to the urban gun violence narrative. Gun homicides in those states are just as likely (often, more likely) to occur in small, rural communities.

Young Men in Neighborhoods with Cure Violence Programs Adopt Attitudes Less Supportive of Violence

Young men living in neighborhoods with Cure Violence programs reported significant reductions in their willingness to use violence compared with men in similar areas without programs. Regression analysis explained 20 percent of the total variance in violence-related norms with significant reductions in willingness to use violence among young men in Cure Violence areas (–14%) and no significant change among residents in matched comparison neighborhoods.

Perceptions of Violence in East New York

Young men in East New York report substantially greater confidence in law enforcement to help with neighborhood violence (30% in 2015 versus 19% in 2014), but they were only slightly more willing to contact police in the event of violence (42% vs. 40%). Exposure to gun violence decreased between 2014 and 2015, with fewer respondents having seen guns in their neighborhood in 2015 (34% vs. 46%), but the proportion of young men that reported hearing gunfire in their neighborhood remained high in both years (79% in 2015 vs. 83% in 2014).

Perceptions of Violence in Harlem

This study’s main goal was to measure changes in violent norms and attitudes in specific areas of New York City. The survey measured each respondent’s willingness to use violence in 17 hypothetical confrontation scenarios that ranged from minor to severe provocations. An index (or a composite score) was created from all 17 scenarios.

Perceptions of Violence in the South Bronx

This research brief presents results from one of the first neighborhoods to be involved in John Jay College's evaluation of Cure Violence. The results depict the respondents’ personal attitudes toward violence and their experiences with violence, as well as their awareness of local violence prevention efforts and their confidence in police and local agencies.

Racial Disparities in Juvenile Drug Arrests

The enforcement of U.S. drug laws during the 1980s and 1990s had disparate impacts on black youth despite the fact that illegal drug use in the U.S. does not differ significantly by race. Even adolescent involvement in drug sales does not vary significantly by race. Studies find that black youth are only slightly more likely than white youth (6% vs. 5%) to be involved in any form of drug selling. According to the most recent national data available from the U.S. Department of Justice, however, drug arrest rates increased far more among black youth than among white youth in recent decades.

New York’s “Close to Home” Initiative – Did it Work?

The Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice reviewed the outcomes of New York's Close to Home initiative. Researchers collected statistical information about the effort, interviewed many of the officials who designed and implemented it, and talked with private providers and advocates about their impressions of the initative. The study suggests the effort successfully changed the youth justice system in New York City, and in the way intended by the designers of the reform.

Violent Youth Arrests Continue to Fall Nationwide

According to national arrest estimates calculated with data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), law enforcement agencies across the United States made about 53,000 violent crime arrests involving youth under age 18 in 2013, compared with more than 60,000 in 2012. The total number of violent youth crime arrests fell eight percent overall, led by a decline of 12 percent in arrests for aggravated assault.

Out-of-Home Placements Falling Among Younger Juveniles

Before 1995, placement rates among all delinquency cases were somewhat similar, although the rate among 17-year-olds was not declining as much as the rate for younger youth. After 1995, placement rates for 17-year-olds remained stable, while the rate among youth ages 16 and younger continued to fall sharply. Among adjudicated cases and adjudicated cases involving person offenses, the difference was marked.

Is the Decline in Juvenile Incarceration Due to Reform or Falling Crime Rates?

Juvenile justice advocacy groups in the United States are celebrating the nation’s falling rate of juvenile incarceration. How do we explain this welcome trend? Some see it as evidence of reform, suggesting that cities and states around the country are handling more young offenders with community-based programs rather than with incarceration or other forms of out-of-home placement. Is this accurate?

Violent Youth Crime Plummets to a 30-year Low

Violent crime arrests involving under-18 youth dropped considerably since 2008. The violent youth  arrest rate peaked in 1994, before falling through 2004. Violent arrests began to grow after 2004, however, reaching a rate of nearly 300 per 100,000 10-17 year-olds between 2006 and 2008. Between 2008 and 2011, the violent youth arrest rate fell sharply once again, plunging from approximately 300 to 200 arrests per 100,000 youth. In 2011, the violent crime arrest rate was 30 percent lower than it had been just three years earlier in 2008.

What’s the Evidence for Evidence-Based Practice?

Youth justice practitioners need to understand the basics of evaluation research, including the statistical methods used to generate evidence of program effectiveness. A study that reports statistically significant results is not necessarily evidence of effectiveness, and being evidence-based does not mean a program is guaranteed to work. In today’s youth justice system, understanding these basic principles of evaluation research is part of every practitioner’s job.