Section IV - Persons Arrested


SECTION IV Persons Arrested

Primarily a gauge of law enforcement's response to crime, arrest counts also provide definitive data concerning the age, sex, and race of perpetrators. Arrest practices, policies, and enforcement emphases vary from place to place, even within a community from time to time such as during a local police campaign to deter juvenile violence. Though the arrest practices for certain unlawful conduct such as drunkenness, disorderly conduct, vagrancy, and related violations may differ among agencies, those for robbery, burglary, and other serious crimes are more likely to be uniform and consistently enforced throughout all jurisdictions. The UCR Program's procedures require that an arrest be counted on each separate occasion a person is taken into custody, notified, or cited. However, annual arrest figures do not measure the number of individuals arrested since one person may be arrested several times during the year for the same or different offenses.

In 2000, law enforcement agencies nationwide made an estimated 14 million arrests for all criminal infractions, excluding traffic violations. Among specific crime categories, some of the highest arrest counts were for drug abuse violations at 1.6 million arrests and driving under the influence at 1.5 million arrests. Simple assaults and larceny-thefts registered 1.3 million and 1.2 million arrests, respectively. Drug abuse violations and alcohol-related arrests combined accounted for an estimated 31.3 percent of the overall arrests. (See Table 29.) In relation to the total United States population, the arrest rate was 5,010.4 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants in 2000. Among city population groupings, cities with under 10,000 inhabitants registered the highest rate, 6,460.1 per 100,000, and cities with populations from 25,000 to 49,999 experienced the lowest rate at 4,600.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. The arrest rate for rural county law enforcement agencies was 4,027.1, and for suburban county law enforcement, 4,021.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. (See Table 31.) Regionally, arrest rates per 100,000 population ranged from 4,012.2 in the Northeast to 5,570.6 in the South. The West and the Midwest had rates of 4,921.1 and 5,250.6, respectively. (See Table 30.)

Arrest Trends

Excluding traffic violations, the total number of arrests for the Nation in 2000 decreased 2.2 percent from the previous year's figures. Crime Index arrests declined 3.7 percent. Among those, violent crime arrests dipped 1.4 percent, and arrests for property crimes decreased 4.6 percent.

In comparing arrest figures from 1999 to 2000, adult arrests were down 1.7 percent, and juvenile arrests fell 4.8 percent. Adult arrests for violent crime declined 0.8 percent and juvenile arrests for violent crime decreased 4.4 percent. Property crime arrests also dropped for adults and juveniles at 4.2 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. (See Table 36.) Collectively, the Nation's cities registered a 2.9-percent decrease in the total number of arrests for 2000; rural counties, a decline of 0.2 percent; and suburban counties, a dip of 0.1 percent. (See Tables 44, 50, and 56.) Five-year trend data point to decreasing arrest totals for the Nation with 2000 figures down 5.1 percent from the 1996 numbers. Juvenile arrests for the period fell 15.3 percent, and adult arrests declined 2.7 percent. (See Table 34.) Though data from 1991 and 2000 show arrests for Crime Index offenses fell 25.3 percent with violent crime arrests decreasing 11.3 percent and property crime arrests falling 29.6 percent, data used to establish 10-year arrest trends show total arrests were up 0.2 percent. During the period, arrests increased for simple assaults, forgery and counterfeiting, embezzlement, drug abuse violations, offenses against the family and children, liquor law violations, curfew and loitering law transgressions, and other general offenses.

Drug abuse violation arrests for 2000 increased 0.5 percent over the 1999 figures, 7.5 percent above the 1996 level, and 49.4 percent higher than the 1991 total. Table 4.1 provides a breakdown of the types of drug abuse violation arrests during 2000 by geographic region.

Nationally, 5.5 percent of all persons arrested in 2000 were under the age of 15; 17.1 percent were under 18 years of age; 32.1 percent were under 21; and 46.0 percent were under the age of 25. The under-25 age group also accounted for 47.5 percent of arrestees in the Nation's cities collectively, 41.5 percent in suburban counties, and 41.2 percent in rural counties. (See Tables 41, 47, 53, and 59.) According to national age distribution figures for Crime Index offense arrestees, 27.5 percent were under 18 years of age; 43.1 percent, under 21; and 55.1 percent, under 25 years of age. The under-25 age group comprised 44.4 percent of the violent crime arrestees and 59.2 percent of the property crime arrestees in 2000.

Law enforcement arrested juveniles (persons under age 18) for the offense of larceny-theft most often than any other offense in 2000, whereas adults were most often arrested for drug abuse violations. (See Table 38.) Table 4.1

Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations

by Region, 2000

Drug abuse violations United States Total Northeastern States Midwestern States Southern States Western States Total1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Sale/Manufacturing:1 19.0 26.0 19.5 17.0 17.0

Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 9.3 18.1 5.0 9.1 6.7 Marijuana 5.6 6.3 9.3 4.8 4.7 Synthetic or manufactured drugs 1.1 0.7 0.7 2.0 0.8 Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 3.0 1.0 4.4 1.2 4.9 Possession:1 81.0 74.0 80.5 83.0 83.0

Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 24.2 26.5 14.0 24.2 26.8 Marijuana 40.9 42.0 52.1 50.5 28.5 Synthetic or manufactured drugs 2.2 1.5 1.8 2.7 2.3 Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 13.6 3.9 12.6 5.5 25.5

1 Because of rounding, the percentages may not add to total.

Males comprised 77.8 percent of all persons arrested in the United States during 2000. (See Table 42.) The male gender accounted for 73.6 percent of Crime Index arrestees, 82.6 percent of those arrested for violent crimes, and 70.1 percent of property crime arrestees. Drug abuse violations and driving under the influence, the offenses for which men were most often arrested, jointly totaled 22.9 percent of all male arrests. Comparatively, those same offenses accounted for 16.5 percent of overall female arrests and 21.5 percent of total arrests. By gender, 45.0 percent of male violent crime arrestees and 41.6 percent of female violent crime arrestees were under the age of 25.

As in previous years, females were most frequently arrested for larceny-theft in 2000. Larceny-theft arrests totaled 71.1 percent of female arrests for Index offenses and 13.9 percent of all female arrests; 57.7 percent of all female larceny-theft arrestees were under 25 years of age.

In comparing 2000 arrests by gender to those for the previous year, the total number of male arrests was 2.6 percent lower than the 1999 figure, and the total number of arrests for females dipped 1.0 percent. Though male arrests for violent crimes declined over the past year by 1.7 percent, female arrests for violent crimes slightly increased by 0.1 percent.

A 5-year trend comparison of 1996 and 2000 arrest data indicates that arrests for both males and females decreased, down 6.4 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Male violent crime arrests fell by 13.4 percent during that same period, while female violent crime arrests rose 2.1 percent.

Ten-year trend data show a 0.2-percent increase in total arrests when comparing 1991 to 2000. Though total arrests for males declined 3.8 percent, total arrests for females climbed 17.6 percent. Regarding arrests for violent crimes, male violent crime arrests fell 17.1 percent, but female arrests for violent crimes jumped 32.7 percent. (See Tables 32-37.) Race distribution figures for the total number of arrests in the Nation during 2000 show that 69.7 percent of the arrestees were white, 27.9 percent were black, and the remainder were of other races. (See Table 43.) Whites made up 64.5 percent of the Index crime arrests, 66.2 percent of the property crime arrests, and 59.9 percent of the violent crime arrests.

Table 29

Estimated Arrests

United States, 2000


1, 2


Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 13,227 Forcible rape 27,469 Robbery 106,130 Aggravated assault 478,417 Burglary 289,844 Larceny-theft 1,166,362 Motor vehicle theft 148,225 Arson 16,530

Violent crime3 625,132 Property crime4 1,620,928 Crime Index total5 2,246,054

Other assaults 1,312,169 Forgery and counterfeiting 108,654 Fraud 345,732 Embezzlement 18,952 Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing 118,641 Vandalism 281,305 Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc. 159,181 Prostitution and commercialized vice 87,620 Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution) 93,399 Drug abuse violations 1,579,566 Gambling 10,842

Offenses against the family and children 147,663 Driving under the influence 1,471,289 Liquor laws 683,124 Drunkenness 637,554 Disorderly conduct 638,740 Vagrancy 32,542 All other offenses 3,710,434 Suspicion 5,682 Curfew and loitering law violations 154,711 Runaways 141,975

1 Does not include suspicion.

2 Because of rounding, the figures may not add to total.

3 Violent crimes are offenses of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

4 Property crimes are offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

5 Includes arson.

Table 30

Number and Rate of Arrests

by Geographic Region, 2000 [Rate: Number of arrests per 100,000 inhabitants] Offense charged United States total (9,017 agencies; population 182,090,101) Northeast (2,282 agencies; population 34,768,148) Midwest (1,944 agencies; population 33,896,012) South (3,126 agencies; population 56,487,758) West (1,665 agencies; population 56,938,183)



9,123,428 1,394,983 1,779,741 3,146,735 2,801,969 ...

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