The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is a state agency which collects crime statistics. However, the GBI does more than collect crime data. Its impact is far-reaching since it provides a range of services. For instance, it provides assistance to law enforcement agencies in the areas of forensics, data computerization and criminal investigation. In addition, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation also acts as a repository for criminal history records which arrestees or the general public can access.
Details pertaining to juvenile arrests can also be found via the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). These details can be found in the Crime Statistics summary reports. There are few trends which are clearly represented on such report. Mainly, it highlights that on a whole, the arrest rate among youths is decreasing. When one looks at juvenile crime statistics by state, one may conclude that Georgia’s juvenile crime rates are similar to the national trend.
What is a juvenile crime
Juvenile crime refers to crimes which are committed by minors or persons under the age of 18. The age may vary depending on the state. For instance, in Georgia a juvenile or minor is considered to be a person who is under the age of 18. However, in few states such as New York and North Carolina, minor are considered to be those who are younger than 16. This is due to the fact that these states set criminal responsibility at an age which is much younger than what most other states set.
Main types of juveniles crimes
Juveniles participate in crimes similar to adults. They may be involved in felonies or misdemeanors. The term “felonies” refers to more serious crimes while misdemeanors refer to crimes which are less serious in nature. In the state of Georgia, there are several main crimes which juveniles commit. For instance, according to the 2012 Georgia crime report, juveniles committed mainly larceny. Of the 39, 767 juvenile arrests 18% were based on a larceny charge. 5% were related to burglary. Approximately 3% were related to aggravated assault while about 14% were related to other types of assault.
Georgia and juvenile arrest
Did you know that there were about 1,940,000 juvenile arrests in 2009? This is according to a report by the FBI’s juvenile crime statistics by state. Georgia had 50,718 juvenile arrests in that same year. Thus, the state of Georgia accounted for about 2.6% of total juvenile arrest. This is a small percentage.
Juvenile arrests on a decline
According to the FBI “Arrests of juveniles for all offenses decreased 10.4 percent in 2012 when compared with the 2011 number; arrests of adults declined 0.9 percent”. Juvenile statistics are also on the decline in Georgia. For instance, as is stated above, juvenile arrests fell from 57,797 in 2008 to 39,767 in 2012. In states such a Florida, there is also a decrease in juvenile arrests rates. According to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (FDJJ), juvenile arrests fell from 79 arrests per 1000 juveniles to 52 arrests per 1000 juveniles in 2011. In addition, the FDJJ had the lowest amount juvenile arrests since 1985 with 96,515 arrests occurring in 2011. The FDJJ notes that the juvenile arrest rate fell by 34% since 2007.
Types of crime on the decrease
In Georgia, certain specific crimes are decreasing among youths. These include larceny, robbery and murder. Juvenile crime statistics in Florida also highlight similar trends. For example, statistics on the FDJJ site highlight that between 2007 and 2012 murder/manslaughter arrests declines by 49%. Similarly, arrests associated with attempted murder fell by 42%. Armed robbery arrests fell by 48% and burglary fell by 24%.
Note, however, that Florida has much more juvenile arrests that Georgia. For instance in 2011, Florida had 96,515 juvenile arrests while Georgia had less than half of that number, i.e. 42480. This may not be a surprise to some who recognize that Florida has a much larger population than Georgia. The total population in the state of Georgia is about half of Florida’s population. After all, in 2012 Florida had a population of about 19.92 million while Georgia’s population is 9.92 million.
Juveniles and drugs
Georgia’s statistics on juvenile crime reveal that juveniles are very exposed to illicit drugs. For instance, persons between the ages of 12 and 20 years account for nearly 40% of all marijuana users. Marijuana possession is the main type of drug offense among youths in Georgia. This offense accounted for approximately 72% of the all drug-related crimes perpetrated by youths. There were 3,423 drug-related crimes. The second most common drug-related crime was marijuana sale/ distribution. These accounted for 13%. Next in line was the possession of dangerous non-narcotic drugs such as Barbiturates and Benzedrine. 4% of drug crime among juveniles was related to this type of offense.
Marijuana possession is also a common juvenile offense in other states. In California, there were 14,991 such arrests. However, a new bill was signed in January 2011 which reduced the possession of marijuana offense to an infraction. An infraction refers to an offense which requires a punishment such a fine instead of imprisonment. This bill resulted in a dramatic reduction in the number of juvenile arrests for marijuana possession since 2011. For instance, in 2011 there was a 61% decline.
New York also has similar trends. It was the number one reason for arrests in 2010. 50, 383 persons were arrested for marijuana related offenses in that year. Juveniles made up a significant percentage of this figure.
For more information on juvenile statistics check the Office of Juvenile Justices and Delinquency. This agency works in collaboration with the United States Department of Justice. You can also check the FBI Uniform Crime Report since it provides details on statistics, pertaining to crime rates as well as the types of crimes committed by juveniles.