Crime is down as crime reporting stays up
Wed Sep 28
The youth are so infamously rebellious that an adult shaking their fist at retreating teens while shouting, “Darn kids!” is a cliché. But do the kids of today deserve such a reputation? A new study shows that…
- Youth crime has plummeted 78% in the U.S. since 1994. The decline in youth arrests also outpaced the drop for adult arrests.
- 2020 was a particularly low year with over 25% fewer juvenile arrests over violent crimes. Arrests overall dropped 38% from 2019.
- And the decline is sharp as there were half as many arrests in 2020 as compared to 2015.
What’s been influencing the positive decline? In 2018, reports found that the general increased attention given to at-risk youth provided an opportunity for the family and community to intervene and prevent criminal arrests. California has been implementing a number of intervention programs ranging from therapy to rehabilitation with strong emphasis on community. Meanwhile, Boston credits 2018 juvenile justice legislation that:
- Raised the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 7 to 12
- Decriminalized minor offenses, including disturbing a school assembly or getting caught with alcohol
- Provided a one-time “pass” on first offenses to help juveniles keep their record clean
So why the constant stream of youth crime stories in the news? Experts say that the media’s attention-seeking reports can result in panic that causes people — and worse, political leaders — to jump to nonsolutions and create more problems. For example in Louisiana, the governor is responding to the uptick in media reports of youth crime with a proposal to move youth from juvenile facilities to a former death row. Louisiana, however, is the “lockup capital of the world” and has consistently failed to fund and implement long-promised therapeutic models while digging deeper into solitary confinement and restraints. Even so, their arrest numbers have also followed a generally downward trend.
BELOW THE FOLD BYTES
The New Superhero: Electricians
To save the world, we’re all going electric, especially with tax incentives in place. In fact, if we want to move away from fossil fuels, over a billion new electric devices, cars, and appliances will need to be installed. But here’s the problem: the U.S. is short on electricians. As in, there will be 80,000 new electrician jobs available every year until 2031. This means installations are delayed by months. Overall though, electrification is still good news for the U.S. as it means more jobs that simply cannot be outsourced or moved out of the country. Electrification (or moving away from fossil fuels) is actually creating more jobs than it is removing.
Anti-trans Attacks on Hospitals
Transphobic groups have turned an LGBTQ advocacy Google Map into a hit list. Boston Children’s Hospital received a barrage of violent threats after announcing itself as the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the U.S. Although the hospital will not perform gender-affirming surgery on patients under the age of 18, mis/disinformation of it spread leading to harassment of clinicians and staff. Other health centers and hospitals are also being targeted. Anti-trans activists are hoping life will be unbearable for trans people by making even basic, routine health care impossible, says one Harvard University civil rights attorney.
🎬 Action of the Week
Interested in getting involved with local efforts to prevent youth violence? Choose a nonprofit to volunteer with or donate to using the Youth Violence Prevention Nonprofits and Charities list provided by Great Nonprofits.
THIS WEEK'S SOURCES
- Good News Network: Youth crime decline 1 week old | 3 minutes long
- Dept of Justice: Full report findings 1 month old | 17 minutes long
- MST Services: Increased attention for youth 4 years old | 7 minutes long
- NPR: Expert opinions 1 month old | 9 minutes long
- CPO of California: Report on Cali decline 7 minutes long
- Eagle Tribune: Boston’s law updates 6 months old | 4 minutes long
- The Marshall Project: Louisiana’s juvenile lockups 19 minutes long | 7 months ago
- Nature: Social media crime reporting 44 minutes long | 2 years old
ASCII-ING ABOUT THE NEWS
) (_) |`| | | _() jgs \_|_|_/ Wow, I didn’t think the electrician shortage was that bad.
Art Credit: Joan G. Stark