In a recent report filed by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), there were 2.11 million arrests of individuals under 18 years old. About 56,000 were for aggravated assault. An estimated 231,700 arrests were for other types of assault, and 3,340 were for sexual assault. Juveniles accounted for 16% of all violent crime arrests and 11% of all murder victims.
The FBI holds data on juvenile arrests in what they call their “jouvenile violent crime index.” Although the past two decades saw a decrease in violent crimes amongst young people, the recent statistics show that the numbers of violent crime victims are increasing.
Often, substance abuse and youth violence occur together. An OJJDP sponsored study called The Pathways to Desistance followed over 1300 serious juvenile offenders from the east coast to Arizona for seven years after they were convicted of a violent crime. Researchers regularly interviewed the participants to understand the factors that contribute to offenders who either resisted or continued to engage in violent crimes after their arrest.
The study found that substance abuse and criminal behavior associate closer with one another over a period of time. Still, there is no evidence to support the fact that one causes the other.