BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Bureau of Justice Statistics
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2005 www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs
  Contact: Pete Pierce 202-307-0703
  After hours: 202-532-5757

NATION'S YOUNGER TEENS EXPERIENCED LARGEST DECREASE IN CRIME VICTIMIZATIONS BETWEEN 1993 AND 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Juveniles 12-17 years old, like all other age groups, experienced a decline in violent crime victimizations from 1993 through 2003, with younger teens, 12-14 years old, having the largest decreases, the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics announced today. For juveniles 12-17 years old, the violent crime victimization rate fell from an estimated 130 victims per 1,000 teenagers in 1993 to about 60 per 1,000 in 2003. The decline occurred in all crime categories and among all racial and ethnic groups. The violent crime rate for younger teens fell by about 59 percent during the decade, compared to 50 percent and 53 percent declines for the older teens (15-17 years old) and adults respectively.

The data were compiled from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' National Crime Victimization Survey and the FBI's Supplemental Homicide Reports, which also found:

  • Juveniles 12-17 years old were, on average, more than twice as likely as adults 18 years old and older to be victims of violent crime (rape, sexual assault, robbery and simple and aggravated assault) during the 1993-2003 period.
  • Among juveniles 12-17 years old, blacks were five times as likely as whites to be homicide victims. The homicide rates for black juveniles—both as victims and offenders—fell by 71 percent during the period, the greatest decline among racial groups.
  • Juveniles were involved as victims or offenders during the period in 38 percent of all violent victimizations in which victims could estimate the age of the offender.
  • Four in five victims 12-14 years old who experienced nonfatal violent crimes perceived their offenders also to be juveniles.
  • Juveniles 15-17 years old were about three times more likely than those from 12-14 years old to have been a violent crime victim involving a firearm.
  • Among violence victims aged 12-14, about half reported the violence occurred at school, as did about a third of those 15-17 years old.
  • About one in six teenage victims of violence reported the incident happened in their own homes.
  • About one in eight teenage violence victims described the offender as a gang member.

The report, "Juvenile Victimization and Offending, 1993-2003" (NCJ-209468), was written by BJS statistician Katrina Baum. An electronic version of the document can be accessed at: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=1041.

Additional information about BJS statistical reports and programs is available from the BJS website at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/.

The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises five component bureaus and two offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education and the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy and OJP's American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk. More information can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov.

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