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Characteristics of Crimes Against Juveniles

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2000
12 pages
This Bulletin reviews data from the 1997 National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data file that pertain to juvenile victims.
NIBRS is designed to become the national statistical database on crimes coming to the attention of law enforcement agencies. It collects more detailed information about individual crimes, victims, perpetrators, and crime characteristics than is available from the Uniform Crime Reporting program, the system it is intended to replace. Because NIBRS data include the age of juvenile victims, victim age is one of the important new variables that NIBRS makes available for the profiling of crime. The 1997 NIBRS data from jurisdictions in 12 States reveals that juveniles while composing 26 percent of the population of those States, accounted for only 12 percent of known crime victims, including 71 percent of all sex crime victims and 38 percent of all kidnapping victims. Simple assault is the most commonly reported crime against juveniles, constituting 41 percent of all juvenile victimizations reported to police. Girls predominate as victims of sex offenses and kidnapping, but boys predominate as victims of all other crimes. Children under age 12 compose approximately one-quarter of all juvenile victims known to police and at least one-half of the juvenile victims of kidnapping and forcible sex offenses. Adult offenders are responsible for 55 percent of juvenile victimizations, most disproportionately for kidnapping, sex offenses, and the victimizations of children younger than 6 and older than 15. Family perpetrators constitute 20 percent of the offenders against children, but they compose a majority of offenders against children under age 4 and are disproportionately represented among kidnappers and sex offenders. 13 figures, 3 tables, and 7 references

Date Published: June 1, 2000