This research brief from the California Department of Justice's Criminal Justice Statistics Center presents data on the levels of youth crime in California for 2011.
Highlights of the findings in this report include the following: in 2011, all categories of juvenile crime in California declined, with felony arrests down 17 percent, violent and property felonies down 16 percent, and homicides down 26 percent; drug offense arrests dropped 47 percent from 2010 levels, due primarily to the change in classification for low-level marijuana possession; over the last 40 years, California's rates of serious youth crime and incarceration have decreased faster than the Nation as a whole; and for both sexes and all races separately, California youth arrest rates were at their lowest levels in 2011 since breakdowns became available in 1975. This report from the California Department of Justice's Criminal Justice Statistics Center presents data on arrests of youth under age 18 for all categories of crime for the year 2011. The changes in the rates of youth crime are also examined over time, and possible explanations are discussed for the recent decline in youth crime levels. The possible explanations that are insufficient in explaining the decline in youth crime rates include structural explanations, demographic explanations, "get tough" policy explanations, family and community explanations, and cultural explanations. Factors that may actually contribute to the decline in rates of youth crime in California are also discussed and include socioeconomic explanations, and marijuana law reforms. Tables, figures, and references
Ctr on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
40 Boardman Place, San Francisco, CA 94103, United States
United States of America