The Rise and Fall of American Youth Violence: 1980-2000

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The report, co-written by Urban’s Justice Policy Institute Director Jeffrey Butts, provides charts chronicling the sharp increase in violent juvenile crime between 1980 and 1994, and the rapid decline over the following six years. The numbers show that youth under 18 made up one-third of the overall violent crime drop of the past decade, even though they comprise a much lower percentage of the overall arrest rate. Violent juvenile crimes (murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault) dropped 34 percent between 1994 and 2000.

Counterintuitive to frequently made correlations between violence and substance abuse, the number of drug- and alcohol-related arrests skyrocketed, while violent crime arrests dropped. Arrests for driving under the influence rose 54 percent over six years, while liquor law and drug abuse violations rose 33 percent and 29 percent, respectively. 11 pages. $5 (Free online). Urban Institute, 2100 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20037. (202) 833-7200,