Arrests of children ages 10 to 17 in Maine

Change Indicator

Why This Indicator Matters

Getting arrested is a negative event for any youth. Youth who continue to have involvement with the juvenile justice system are more likely to have a criminal offense as an adult. Adults with criminal records face many barriers in finding and keeping employment. For youth who are arrested for using drugs or alcohol, the arrest may be the impetus for the youth to enter treatment for substance use disorders.

What the data shows
Both in Maine and nationally, the rate of arrests per 1,000 youth has been declining. In Maine in 2020, juvenile arrests declined dramatically from 2019, and in 2021, the number of arrests continued to drop even further. There were 2,489 juvenile arrests statewide in 2019 and 1,689 arrests in 2020 and just 1,565 juvenile arrests in 2021. In Maine the rate in 2021 is less than half what it was in 2016 and a quarter of what the rate was in 2006. 

Of the 50 states, in 2020, Maine had one of the lowest rates of juvenile arrests for aggravated assault, and is in the top 10 for the lowest for robbery and weapons. To compare states, see: Crime Rates By State

In terms of variation by county, in 2021, Franklin had the highest rate per 1,000 youth arrests ages 10-17 at 23.2. Somerset at 22.8 and Androscoggin at 19.2 had the second and third highest rates of juvenile arrests. Washington County had the lowest juvenile arrest rate at 3.5 per 1,000 youth followed by Waldo, (4.3) and Knox, (5.6). 


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Arrests of children ages 10 to 17

Data Provided By

Definitions: The rate of children under age 18 arrested during a calendar year.  The rate is per 1,000 children ages 10-17.  The numerator is the number of arrests for any reason of someone under age 18. It includes repeat offenses for the same individual. The denominator is the population per county ages 10 -17 based on yearly estimates from the Maine Office of Vital Statistics. Arrests include all arrests of anyone under age 18 except minor traffic violations. It includes crimes against persons, against property and other crimes such as those involving drugs and alcohol.

Data Source: Maine Department of Public Safety, Crime in Maine Reports

Footnotes: This data does not include crimes for which there have been no arrests made. Ages 10 -17 was used as the denominator because there are very few arrests of children younger than 10. The latest population estimates for ages 10 -17 are from 202, though the latest juvenile arrest data is from 2021. In 2021, there were 6 arrests of children younger than 10 and these are included in the numerator The arrest is counted where it occurs. In some counties, such as York, this number of children arrested may include youth who reside in other states but were arrested in Maine. In other cases, youth may be arrested by a state entity such as the Maine State Police and not be included in the county totals but are included in the state totals.

Data last uploaded: January 2023.