You may have heard people express concern about today’s young people and their odds of getting caught up in criminal activity. The way that some people tell it, young people are dangerous, highly likely to commit crimes and difficult to control. They worry about what will happen to society if this continues unchecked.
The truth, though, is that this is an outdated opinion. Juvenile crime rates continue to fall, as they have been doing for decades.
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, there was a concerning rise in all crimes and the arrest rates. Young people were also getting arrested far more often. That trend peaked in 1996 with 4,876.2 arrests for every 100,000 people in those age 10 to 17 years old.
Since then, though, the rate has dropped almost every year. At the most recent count, in 2018, the arrest rate was a mere 2167.1 for every 100,000 people. That’s a massive drop that more than halves the high point from 1996. It shows that most young people these days do not deserve a criminal reputation.
At the same time, of course, it also shows that tens of thousands of young offenders get caught up in criminal activity of one type or another. This can include everything from underage drinking and shoplifting to theft, drug charges and even homicide. Youthful criminal activity is less common than it was in 1996, but it still happens. An arrest can have a drastic impact on a person’s life. It’s important for all defendants to know their legal defense options after an arrest.