Section IV - Persons Arrested



Persons Arrested

In protecting the public, law officers rely on their powers of arrest, which provide them with the legal authority to deprive deviant individuals of their liberty and hold them accountable for antisocial behavior. Because arrests are the ultimate goal of criminal investigations, the level of arrests is often viewed as a measure of police effectiveness. Although there is considerable variation in the allocation of law enforcement resources from place to place and even from time to time within the same agency, arrests for serious crime (e.g., murder, rape, robbery) are strongly pursued in all venues.

For UCR reporting purposes, one arrest is counted for each separate occasion in which an individual is taken into custody, notified to appear, or cited for an offense. Because one individual may be arrested several times during the year for different offenses, the arrest figures in this section should not be viewed as an annual accounting of the number of persons arrested but, rather, as an index of the number of arrests made by law enforcement.

National Distributions

The Nation's law enforcement made an estimated 13.7 million arrests for criminal offenses (excluding traffic violations) during 2001. Approximately 2.2 million of the estimated arrests for 2001 involved Crime Index offenses, which accounted for 16.4 percent of total arrests. (See Table 29.) During 2001, there was an overall decrease of 2.1 percent from the number of arrests during the previous year. The total arrests for Index offenses reflected a small decrease from the prior year's total (-0.7 percent). Within the Crime Index, violent crime arrests increased slightly, 0.1 percent, and property crime arrests declined 1.0 percent. (See Table 36.) The 5- and 10-year arrest trends indicated an 8.9-percent decrease from the 1997 arrest figure and a 0.5-percent increase from the 1992 number. (See Tables 32, 34, and 36.) By Age, Sex, and Race Nationally, adults made up 83.3 percent of the persons arrested in the United States during 2001. Approximately 45.9 percent of the total arrests nationwide involved persons under the age of 25, 31.4 percent were under the age of 21, and 16.7 percent of the total were under the age of 18. In terms of violent crime arrests, 44.2 percent of total arrestees were under 25

Table 4.1

Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations

by Region, 2001 United North- Mid- States eastern western Southern Western Drug abuse violations total states states states states Total1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Sale/Manufacturing:1 19.4 27.3 19.2 18.3 16.6 Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 9.7 18.8 5.7 10.1 6.2 Marijuana 5.2 6.5 7.5 4.6 4.4 Synthetic or manufactured drugs 1.4 0.9 1.3 2.2 0.8 Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 3.1 1.1 4.7 1.5 5.1 Possession:1 80.6 72.7 80.8 81.7 83.4 Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 23.1 25.2 13.3 23.5 25.1 Marijuana 40.4 41.6 51.6 48.0 28.5 Synthetic or manufactured drugs 2.7 1.7 2.7 3.5 2.4 Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 14.4 4.2 13.1 6.6 27.4 1 Because of rounding, the percentages may not add to total. years of age, 29.0 percent were under 21 years of age, and 15.4 percent were under the age of 18. A review of arrests for property crimes indicated that 58.3 percent of arrestees were under 25 years of age, 46.7 percent were under 21 years of age, and 30.4 percent were under 18 years of age. (See Tables 38 and 41.) Approximately 77.5 percent of arrestees nationwide were male. Males accounted for 82.7 percent of violent crime arrestees, and they comprised 69.6 percent of total arrestees for property crimes. Males were most often arrested for drug abuse violations, whereas females were most often arrested for larceny-theft. (See Table 42.) By race, 69.5 percent of total arrestees during 2001 were white, 28.1 percent were 232 PERSONS ARRESTED

Table 29

Estimated Arrests

United States, 2001


1, 2


Embezzlement 20,157 Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing 121,972 Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 13,653 Vandalism 270,645 Forcible rape 27,270 Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc. 165,896 Robbery 108,400 Prostitution and commercialized vice 80,854 Aggravated assault 477,809 Sex offenses (except forcible rape and prostitution) 91,828 Burglary 291,444 Drug abuse violations 1,586,902 Larceny-theft 1,160,821 Gambling 11,112 Motor vehicle theft 147,451 Offenses against the family and children 143,683 Arson 18,749 Driving under the influence 1,434,852 Liquor laws 610,591 Violent crime3 627,132 Drunkenness 618,668 Property crime4 1,618,465 Disorderly conduct 621,394 Crime Index total5 2,245,597 Vagrancy 27,935 All other offenses 3,618,164 Other assaults 1,315,807 Suspicion 3,955 Forgery and counterfeiting 113,741 Curfew and loitering law violations 142,889 Fraud 323,308 Runaways 133,259 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.

black, and the remainder were of other races. Whites accounted for 60.2 percent of the total arrestees for violent crime and 66.0 percent of property crime arrestees. Whites were most frequently arrested for driving under the influence. Blacks were most often arrested for drug abuse violations. (See Table 43.) Drug and Alcohol Offenses Overall drug arrests reported for 2001 revealed a 1.4-percent decline from the 2000 figure. (See Table 36.) However, arrests for drug abuse violations have increased 40.3 percent since 1992, and juvenile arrests for these offenses have increased 121.3 percent since the 1992 report. (See Table 32.) During 2001, adults accounted for 87.2 percent of drug abuse arrests, and males accounted for 82.2 percent of the total. (See Tables 38 and 42.) Of all arrests for drug abuse violations, 40.4 percent were for possession of marijuana. Possession of heroin, cocaine, and their derivatives accounted for 23.1 percent of total drug arrests. (See Table 4.1.) Arrests for drug- and alcohol-related offenses during 2001 accounted for an estimated 4.3 million arrests-31.0 percent of the total. Arrests for drug abuse violations were estimated at 1.6 million, and arrests for driving under the influence were estimated at 1.4 million. Approximately 610,591 arrests involved liquor law violations. Arrests for drunkenness were approximated at 618,668. (See Table 29.) Male offenders accounted for 82.4 percent of total arrests for drug and alcohol offenses during 2001. (See Table 42.)

Regional Offense Distributions and Rates

The U.S. is divided into four regions: the Northeast, the Midwest, the South, and the West. (See Appendix III.) In 2001, data collected regarding the Nation's four regions reflect the following:

The Northeast During 2001, the Northeast Region recorded an overall arrest rate of 4,014.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. The region reported an arrest rate per 100,000 people of 198.7 for violent crimes and 481.1 for property crimes. Arrest rates for individual violent crimes were measured at 3.2 murder arrests per 100,000

CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES 2001 233 inhabitants, 9.6 forcible rape arrests, 45.4 robbery arrests, and 140.4 aggravated assault arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. In terms of property crimes, the rate of arrests for larceny-theft was measured at 357.8, the arrest rate for burglary was computed at 82.2, and the arrest rate for motor vehicle theft was calculated at 35.3 arrests per 100,000 in population. (See Table 30.) The Midwest The Midwest had a total arrest rate of 4,922.2 per 100,000 people in 2001. The regional arrest rate for violent crimes was calculated at 187.2 per 100,000; for property crimes the rate was 608.4 arrests for every 100,000 in population. Individually, the region's arrest rates for violent crime offenses were murder, 5.3; forcible rape, 11.0; robbery, 34.5; and aggravated assault, 136.4 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. Concerning property crime arrest rates, larceny-theft arrests were computed at 460.8 per 100,000 population, burglary arrests were measured at 78.0 percent, and motor vehicle theft arrests were calculated at 64.0 arrests per 100,000 regional inhabitants. (See Table 30.) The South In the South, the most heavily populated region, the overall arrest rate for 2001 was recorded at 5,376.6 arrests per 100,000 in population. The violent crime arrest rate was measured at 202.1, and the property crime arrest rate was 604.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. A breakdown of the individual violent crimes showed that murder had a rate of 6.0 arrests per 100,000 population. Forcible rape arrests were measured at 9.7, robbery arrests at 38.0, and aggravated assault at 148.4 per 100,000 in population. A breakdown of the property crimes for the region showed the Southern States reported an arrest rate of 448.0 for larceny-theft, a rate of 108.9 for burglary, and a rate of 41.5 arrests per 100,000 for motor vehicle theft. (See Table 30.) The West In 2001, the Western Region...

To continue reading