Introduction and overview In 1998, more than 70 million people (26 percent of the total resident population) in the United States were classified as juveniles, that is, persons less than 18 years of age. The juvenile population fell to its lowest in 1984, but since that time has been growing gradually. It is estimated that, between now and 2015, the number of juveniles in the United States will increase by approximately eight percent. The number of juveniles ages 15-17, the age group responsible for two-thirds of all juvenile arrests, is in fact expected to have increased by approximately 19 percent by the year 2007 (this figure represents the total increase in this particular population between the years 1995-2007). Because public perceptions of juvenile delinquency have been influenced by the increasing media attention focused on high-profile incidents, some speculate that the incidence of juvenile crimes will increase alongside this projected increase in the general juvenile population. But do the relatively few high-profile cases accurately reflect the majority of crimes actually committed by juveniles? According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Program (OJJDP), 2.2 million juveniles were arrested in the United States in 2003, which represents a decrease of 11 percent from 1999 (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). The Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2002, indicates an even higher rate of decrease in the number of juvenile arrests nationwide, citing a 29 percent decrease since 1996 (OJJDP, 2006).
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Mental Health Needs of Young Offenders|
|Subtitle of host publication||Forging Paths Toward Reintegration and Rehabilitation|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 2007|
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