U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Youth Violent Offending in School and Out: Reporting, Arrest, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Dated: 2021
Date Published

This study used violent-victimization data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (1994–2018) to examine whether criminal justice interventions (i.e. reporting to the police and arrest) for youth-perpetrated violence were more likely to occur in school than outside school.


The study found that on average, violence at school was 8.4 percentage points less likely than violence outside school to be reported to the police, but if there was a police report, violence in school was 8.0 percentage points more likely to involve an arrest. These statistical differences remained stable throughout the study period. Further analyses of the pooled sample by the offender’s gender and race found that school violence was associated with an increased likelihood of arrest only for Black youth, not White youth, and only for boys, not girls. Implications of these results for the school-to-prison pipeline argument are discussed. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2021