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. 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. Of the 50 states, Maine has one of the lowest rates of juvenile arrests for violent crimes, including the 3rd lowest rate of juvenile arrests for aggravated assault, the 3rd lowest for weapons offenses and the 4th lowest for robbery. To compare states, see: Crime Rates By State

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 2019, the rate of just 3.8 per 10,000 youth statewide. 

In 2019, the arrests by juveniles for violent crimes for crimes varied between a low of zero for Franklin, Oxford, Knox, Hancock, and Piscataquis 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 10.6 in Androscoggin County and 7.3 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 2019, there were 13 arrests of children younger than 10 and none 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.Arrests by Maine State Police could be in any county, and as such are included in tht total, but not in any county. In 2019, there were 2 juveniles arrested for violent crimes by the Maine State Police.

Data last uploaded: February 2021