Juvenile Crime, Courts, and Corrections
David S. Tanenhaus
Juvenile crime, as commonly defined in the United States, is comprised of all the offenses committed by persons younger than eighteen years of age. According to the most recent figures available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics National Crime Victimization Survey, which serves as the national barometer of crime trends, in 1997 juveniles under eighteen years of age committed 27 percent of all the serious violent crimes in the United States, 14 percent of the sexual assaults, 30 percent of the robberies, and 27 percent of the aggravated assaults. Yet, only 42 percent of serious juvenile crimes were reported to law enforcement agencies, so the nation's official crime statistics (that is, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program) did not accurately reflect the actual number of crimes committed, including those committed by juveniles. According to the official crime reports on homicide, juveniles committed 12 percent of the nation's ...