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We’re Peaceful: Arrests for California Youth Keep Dropping

Arrest rates for California minors fell in 2016, hitting new record lows, according to recent state figures.

The California Department of Justice said arrests of young people dropped in 2016 for the ninth year consecutively, continuing a pattern of decline that has persisted for more than four decades as California turned into a minority-majority state.

California jurisdictions reported a 13 percent decline in arrests for youth between the ages of 10-17 in 2016, with 9,180 fewer arrests than the year before, reports the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ).

‘Yet the state of California has budgeted for an increased population at its Division of Juvenile Justice.’

The 2016 arrest rates among youth for violent crimes — which include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and kidnapping — fell 73 percent below the rate in 1990. That equals 68 percent below the rate in 1975, and would dip 8 percent below the rate when such record-keeping started being published, in 1957. Millennials, or people born between 1982-2004, have dramatically reduced these rates and have the lowest arrest rate for minors on record.

Generation Z, people born in 2005 or after, show an even lower arrest rate for those ages 12 and under compared to Millennial and previous generations, according to a fact sheet from the CJCJ.

“Yet the state of California has budgeted for an increased population at its Division of Juvenile Justice,” writes Mike Males, the fact sheet author. “And [it] has sponsored a study proposing the construction of new prison facilities for young adult men.”

Gov. Jerry Brown signed several juvenile justice reform bills late in 2017 that became law in January, including SB 394 that will allow people convicted with life without parole as juveniles to now be eligible for a parole hearing after age 25.

Read more at Witness LA.

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