Arrests of children for violent crimes in Maine

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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.  Violent crimes committed by juveniles including rape, murder, robbery and aggravated assaults are very serious and harm other people. Communities are safer if youth do not commit these crimes.

What the data shows
Statewide, the arrests for violent crimes against persons has fallen from a high of 12 per 10,000 youth in 1998 to 10 in 2006 to 8 in 2009 to 5 in 2012 and as of 2016, the rate of just 4 per 10,000 youth statewide. However, in 2017, it inched back up to 5 per 10,000 youth, with 59 juvenile arrests for violent crimes in 2017 compared to 45 in 2016.

Comparing Maine to the nation, Maine had the lowest rate of arrests of juveniles for aggravated assault in the United States in 2016 and for robberies, Maine was among the 5 states with the lowest rates. For more information, see Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

In 2017, the arrests by juveniles for violent crimes for crimes varied between a low of zero for Hancock, Somerset and Washington Counties to a high of 15 per 10,000 youth in York County and 13 in Cumberland County. Looking at the data for a 5 year period, 2013 to 2017, the average rate per 10,000 youth varied between under 2 in Knox and Sagadahoc Counties to a high of 12.2 in Piscataquis County and 10.8 in Androscoggin County and 10.3 in Lincoln County. 

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Definitions: Crimes of violence involve the element of personal confrontation between the perpetrator and victim and entail the use or threat of violence. By their very nature, violent crimes —murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — are considered more serious than property crimes. Violent crime does not include other assaults. The total number indicates only the number of incidents reported to police and does not reflect the number of criminals who committed them or the number of injuries inflicted. Repeat offenses by the same individual are counted more than once in the data.   

The measure reports the rate of arrests for violent crimes per 10,000 children ages 10-17. The numerator is the number of children arrested for a violent crime against times 10,000 and the denominator is the number of youth ages 10 -17 based on yearly estimates from the American Community Survey of the US Census. The state total includes the sum of the county arrests for violent crimes and any arrests for violent crimes made by the Maine State Police, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Maine Fire Marshall.

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 2017, there were 33 arrests of children younger than 10 and one of these arrests was for a violent crime. The arrest is counted in the county where it occurs. It could include youth who live in other states.

Data last uploaded: April 2019.