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Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
Nick Carpenter  651-201-7569
September 19, 2013
Number of Crimes Committed by Juveniles Nears 30-Year Low
Juvenile Arrests in Minnesota Down 55 Percent Since 1998

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The number of crimes committed by juveniles in Minnesota is nearing 30-year lows, according to a report released Sept. 19 by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs (OJP).

The Back to the Future: Volume 1 report highlights 30 years (1980-2010) of Minnesota juvenile justice data, including juvenile arrests, court case volume, admissions to residential placements and juvenile probation numbers.
From 1982 to 1998, the number of juvenile arrests in Minnesota increased from 31,812 to 79,584, an increase of 150 percent. Since the record year of 1998, the number of arrests declined to 36,192 in 2011, a decrease of 55 percent. Despite the spike in 1980s and 1990s, data show a net increase of 0.5 percent in juvenile arrests between 1980 and 2011.
“This is obviously a trend that we hope continues on a downward course for years to come; however, the data also highlights areas that remain a concern, such as racial disparity in the juvenile justice system,” said Raeone Magnuson, OJP director. “OJP will continue to do its part by supporting advocacy programs and agencies that target at-risk youth, and work to prevent or divert youth involvement in the juvenile justice system.”
OJP is administering 106 grants totaling more than $9.5 million this year to Minnesota programs and agencies that work to reduce juvenile crime by encouraging accountability-based reform at the state and local level; and prevent or divert youth, particularly those at-risk, from coming in contact with the juvenile justice system.
Juvenile Arrests in Minnesota
The Federal Bureau of Investigation classifies arrest data into four categories— violent crime, property crime, non-index crime, and status offenses. The following are rates are per 1,000 youths ages 10-17 from 1980-2011.
Overall Arrests
The overall arrest rate includes data from all four offense categories.
  • 1982—59.8 arrests (30-year low)
  • 1998—133.9 arrests (30-year high)
  • 2011—63.6 arrests
Violent Crime Arrests
Violent crimes are classified as serious, person-related offenses—murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault and robbery.
  • 1980, 1983—1.3 arrests (30-year low)
  • 1994—4.0 arrests (30-year high)
  • 2011—1.7 arrests
Property Crime Arrests
Property crime consists of four offenses—larceny, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson.
  • 1980—26.9 arrests
  • 1992—33.7 arrests (30-year high)
  • 2011—14.1 arrests (30-year low)
Status Offense Arrests
Status offenses include acts that are unlawful due to the offender’s legal status as a minor—curfew, loitering and runaway offenses.
  • 1981—4.6 arrests (30-year low)
  • 2000—22.9 arrests (30-year high)
  • 2011—8.0 arrests
Non-Index Arrests
Non-index crimes are generally classified as less violent or less serious person- and property-related offenses. They include crimes involving drugs and alcohol, fraud, weapons, disorderly conduct, vandalism, prostitution and other sex-related offenses.
  • 1982—27.8 arrests (30-year low)
  • 1998—83.5 (30-year high)
  • 2011—39.8 arrests
Other Juvenile Justice Systems
As juvenile arrests in Minnesota peaked during the 1990s and declined through the 2000s, so too did juvenile case filings in the juvenile court system, the number of youth placed on probation, and the number of juveniles placed out of the home in correctional settings:
  • Juvenile court case filings peaked in 1998 at 63,655 and declined 47 percent to 33,828 in 2011.
  • New juvenile probationers peaked in 1999 at 18,000 and declined 53 percent to 8,540 in 2011.
  • Out-of-home placements in juvenile correctional settings peaked in 2001 at 29,477 and declined 51 percent to 14,329 in 2011.
The decline in juvenile justice system involvement in Minnesota mirrors national trends.
Data cited in the report were collected by DPS’ Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Minnesota State Court Administrators Office and Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC).
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Office of Justice Programs
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides leadership and resources to reduce crime, improve the functioning of the criminal justice system and assist crime victims. To accomplish this, OJP administers grants; provides training and technical assistance; provides research and data; works to protect crime victims’ rights; and provides reparations benefits to victims of violent crime.


Editor’s note:

To view the complete Back to the Future: Volume 1 report, visit

The Office of Justice Programs also published a comprehensive report on racial disparities in 2012 entitled On The Level: Disproportionate Minority Contact in Minnesota’s Juvenile Justice System.

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