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Juvenile crime across the country is tracked by numerous agencies. For the last 20 years, The National Center for Juvenile Justice has compiled reports that analyze data from the FBI, Centers for Disease Control, and state organizations.
The latest statistics on juvenile justice are from 2014. The report reveals both heartening and disappointing trends.
Today's Youth Less Likely to Murder
Today's youth are considerably less likely to be implicated in murder than youth in the 1990s. The number of known juvenile homicide offenders in 2010 was one-third that of the peak earlier point, 1994.
School Crime Is Common
A CDC survey of over 150,000 high school students in 2011 showed that school crime is common. Fights and theft fuel student fears, influencing truancy.
One third of high school students got in a physical fight within a 12-month period. Male students fought more often than females. The data was consistent with the prior survey's data from 2003.
About a quarter of high school students experienced theft or vandalism of property at school in a one-year period. Cars, clothing, and books were all listed as items destroyed or damaged at school.
The result of the fighting and property property crimes was increased fear. Six percent of high school students said they missed a day of school in the previous month due to fear of a school-related crime.
Still, the number of kids who carried weapons to school reportedly dropped. But that did not eliminate the threat altogether. Five percent of American high school students said they carried a weapon to school in the past month in 2011 and more than 7 percent said they were threatened or injured a weapon on school property during the previous year.
The Best News
The best news is that juvenile crime is not necessarily an indicator of future criminality. The report states, "Most serious juvenile offenders do not make a career of crime, and original crimes do not predict future offending patterns."