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Delinquency 1

Delinquency Case Rates

Delinquency Case Rates by Offense, Sex, and Race (1985-2005)

Exercise #2 Problem Definition Paper: Secondary Data Tables

Nicole Dickerson

SOWK 300

Ms. McArthur

January, 29 2010
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Abstract

This paper examines juvenile delinquency rates from 1985-2005. Race and sex are factors that

are clearly distinguished. An disordinate amount of males, including African American males,

are juvenile delinquents, and also adult prisoners. In every city and state in the United States

there are juvenilel detention centers, programs and delinquents. This has become a nation-wide

issue.
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Problem Identification

Juvenile delinquency has become a major crime issue in the United States. Questions and

solutions regarding the problem of juvenile delinquency continues to be debated upon by parents,

school officials, society, and legislators. The public has been overwhelmed with stories from the

media, providing graphic evidence of a crime wave generated by our youth who, according to

media reports, prey upon a defenseless public. The number of delinquency cases handled by

juvenile courts increased 45% between 1986 and 1995. Since 1986, cases involving offenses

against persons increased 98%, property offense cases increased 23%, and drug law violation

cases increased 120%. Also juvenile delinquency is more a male phenomenon than a female.

Nearly four of every five (78%) delinquency cases involved a male juvenile in 1995. This rate

was slightly less than in 1986 (81%). There is an overwellming number of males juvenile

delinquents and an even more overwellining number of African American males.


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Problem Definition

African American youth comprise 15.4% of the national youth population. The arrest rate

among African American youth (ages 10-17) was nearly twice the rate of their white peers

.African American youth are 1.4 times more likely to be detained than their white peers; among

all racial groups, whites are the least likely to be detained. Nationwide, one of every three young

Black males is in prison, on probation or on parole. Nationwide, young Black offenders are more

than twice as likely to be transferred to adult court than White, in turn equals to more Blacks in

prison. White youth are twice as likely to be defended by private attorneys as African American

youth, and young offenders who are represented by private attorneys are less likely to be

convicted and less likely to be transferred to adult court. Better representation more than likely

results in less time or no time at all. Nearly 60% of young offenders serving time in adult state

prisons are African American, although African Americans comprise only 15% of the youth

population. Minorites make up nearly two-thirds of the young offenders behind bars. Instead of

focusing on juveniles when they actually become delinquents prevention would be a welcomed

change to the alternative. After school programs, guest speakers, and “big brother/sister”

organizations are all great ways to help steer a juvenile into the right direction.
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Findings

Juvenile courts in the United States processed an estimated 1.7 million delinquency cases in

1995. Delinquency cases involve juveniles charged with criminal law violations. The number of

delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts increased 45% between 1986 and 1995. Since

1986, cases involving offenses against persons increased 98%, property offense cases increased

23%, and drug law violation cases increased 120%. Since 1994 most arrest rates have been in

steady decline. Murder arrest rates, for example, were 74% lower in 2000 than they were in

1993.Patterns of age-specific case rates varied among individual offense categories in 1996. Case

rates increased continuously with age for drug and public order offenses, while rates for person

and property offenses peaked in the 16-year-old age group and then declined slightly for 17-year-

olds (figure 7). Drug law violation case rates showed the sharpest increases after age 13. The

case rate for drug offenses for 17-year-old juveniles was 696% greater than the corresponding

case rate for 13-year-olds. For person offenses, the 17-year-olds’ case rate was 89% greater than

the 13-year-olds’ case rate. For property offenses, the difference in case rates between these two

ages was 100%, while for public order offenses, the difference was 241%
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References

Delinquency Case rates by Offense, Sex, and Race (1985-2005) [Fact Sheet]. (2008,

September 12). Retrieved January 2010, from National Center for Juvenile Justice

OJJDP Web site: http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/court/JCSCR.asp?qaDate=20080912

Juvenile Arrest Rates by Offense, Sex, and Race (1990-2008) [Fact Sheet]. (2009,

October 31). Retrieved January 2010, from Office of Juvenile Justice OJJDP Web

site: http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/ojstatbb/dat.html