Arrests of children ages 10-17

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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 help the youth enter treatment for substance abuse disorders.

What the data shows
Both in Maine and nationally, the rate of arrests per 1,000 youth has been declining.
In Maine the rate in 2016 is half what is was in 2006 and a third of what the rate was in 1998.
The 2016 Maine rate of 26.7 per 1,000 compares favorably with other states.  Of the 50 states, Maine has one of the ten lowest rates of juvenile arrests for aggravated assault, robbery and weapons. Maine is 25th in rates of arrest for drug abuse and 30th for arrests related to larceny.

In terms of variation by county, in 2016, Kennebec, Androscoggin, York and Aroostook Counties had rates between 31 and 37 per 1,000 youth.  Piscataquis County had by far the lowest teen arrest rate at 5.6 per 1,000 youth. The counties with the next lowest teen arrest rates were Washington, Waldo and Oxford, all with rates between 13 and 15 per 1,000.


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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 American Community Survey of the US Census. 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. In 2016, there were 18 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.

Data last uploaded: June 2018.