Last year, about 14,000 juveniles were arrested in Nebraska. If you’re at all pessimistic or haven’t taken a timeout from the news lately, it would be easy to look at this figure, shake your head and pronounce something about “kids these days.”
But it wouldn’t be quite fair.
The number of juvenile arrests has actually been steadily declining for the past five years, following a peak in the mid- to late-90s and a big drop through the early 2000s. And the 14,030 juveniles arrested in 2010? That’s the lowest number since 1988.
What is perhaps even more telling about what the “kids these days” are up to, however, is the percentage of youth who have committed a violent crime.
Care to guess?
Scroll down for the answer.
In 2010, only 1.5% of juvenile arrests were for violent crimes. This percentage is consistent with past years. Violent crimes, per the FBI’s definition, include felony assault, robbery, forcible rape, and murder and manslaughter. That leaves the other 98.5% who committed non-violent crimes, anything from theft to alcohol violations.
The numbers just might tell a surprising story, one that maybe isn’t so pessimistic after all.
Are you surprised by any of these data?