WASHINGTON, D.C. – Upon release of the fourth annual interagency federal report, America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, John J. Wilson, Acting Administrator of the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), said "The dramatic and sustained drop in youth violence provides continuing evidence that the dire predictions of a coming wave of juvenile violence were wrong. It also gives us considerable reason to believe that through comprehensive and coordinated efforts at the federal, state and local levels, we are making a difference for our young people, their families and their communities. However, we must continue to support prevention and early intervention programs that work if we are to continue to reduce juvenile violence."
The report shows that the rate of serious violent crimes committed by young people was the lowest recorded since National Crime Victimization Survey data were first collected in 1973. In 1998, the offending rate for youth was 27 serious violent crimes per 1,000 adolescents ages 12 to 17. This represents a drop by more than half from the 1993 high. Also declining was the rate of serious violent crimes against youth, which was 25 per 1,000 in 1998, down from the peak of 44 per 1,000 in 1993.
America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being is issued by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. The report is available from the Forum's Website at www.childstats.gov or through the National Maternal and Child Health Clearinghouse, 2070 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 450, Vienna, Virginia 22182. The phone number is 703/356-1964.
Information about OJJDP publications, programs and conferences is available through the OJJDP Website at www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org and from OJJDP's Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse, Box 6000, Rockville, Maryland 20857. The toll-free number is 1-800/638-8736.
Information about other Office of Justice Programs (OJP) bureaus and program offices is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov. Media should contact OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.
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