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County juvenile arrests at lowest rate in a decade, SANDAG report says

Posted at 4:14 PM, Dec 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 19:14:50-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Juvenile arrest rates in San Diego County are the lowest they've been in a decade, according to a report released Friday by the San Diego Association of Governments.

City and county law enforcement officers made 13.9 juvenile arrests per 1,000 people in 2017, compared to 56.9 arrests per 1,000 people in 2008, more than four times more.

However, San Diego County still has the second highest juvenile arrest rate among large counties in Southern California, with San Bernardino County's rate sitting at 16.7 arrests per 1,000 people.

SANDAG's Criminal Justice Research Division prepared the report.

"The juvenile arrest rate comparison continues a 10-year decline," said SANDAG Division Director of Criminal Justice Cynthia Burke. "This trend also has been seen in other jurisdictions across the state and nation."

Arrest rates for adults remained steady at 33.5 per 1,000 people from 2016 to 2017. Adult arrest rates have declined since 2008, though, when law enforcement officers arrested 42.8 adults per 1,000 people.

Arrests for violent offenses ticked up for both adults, from 13,924 to 14,356, and juveniles, from 1,138 to 1,183. Property-related offenses fell for both demographics, with adult arrests dropping from 8,642 to 7,862 and juvenile arrests dropping from 1,027 to 829.

"This decline in property-related arrests for adults may be related in-part to Proposition 47 which was passed in 2014 and reduced several property and drug-related offenses from felonies to misdemeanors," Burke said.

According to SANDAG, misdemeanor rates spiked in 2015 after the enactment of Proposition 47 while felony rates dropped.

Since then, however, felony rates have stabilized at 8.6 per 1,000 for adults and 4 per 1,000 for juveniles while misdemeanor rates have dropped, especially among youth in San Diego County.

Adults in their 20s had the highest arrest rate of any age demographic at 60.3 per 1,000 while residents 70 or older were arrested at a rate of 1.7 per 1,000, the lowest of any age range. Residents 70 or older were more likely than their younger counterparts to be arrested for violent offenses, though, according to SANDAG.