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Lifetimes at Risk: Young Offenders Between 10-12 Years of Age

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages
Recognizing that early intervention is the key to preventing the development of patterns of violent behavior, this study obtained information on the number and characteristics of youths ages 10 to 12 years old who were arrested in Philadelphia for the years 1999 through 2004.
The number of juvenile arrestees in this age group ranged from a low of 948 arrests in 1999 to a high of 1,124 in 2000. Arrests for this age group accounted for approximately 9 percent of all juvenile arrests over the 6 years. African-American youth were involved in the highest proportion of these arrests. Approximately 38 percent of the arrests involved major crimes, i.e., homicide, rape, robbery, burglary, theft, and aggravated assault. The number and seriousness of arrests of youth in this age group warrants an examination of what is being done to address the causes of such early serious offending. Few programs specifically target the 10-12-year-old juvenile offender. The policy and practice recommendations offered in this report pertain to an assessment of funding allocation; identifying and addressing co-occurring problems; the evaluation and replication of service delivery models; the tailoring of best-practice models to specific populations; and a reduction in child abuse and domestic violence cases. Research recommendations are also presented. This study was based on incident-level arrest data obtained from the Philadelphia Police Department.