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Attorney General Lockyer Releases 2005 Annual Juvenile Justice in California Report

Misdemeanors Account For Nearly Two-Thirds of All Juvenile Arrests Reported
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today released the Department of Justice’s Juvenile Justice in California, 2005 report showing nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of juveniles were arrested for a misdemeanor offense, 26.5 percent were arrested for felonies and 13.4 percent were arrested for status offenses.

“Almost 38 percent of California’s population consists of young people under the age of 25,” Lockyer said. “It is my hope, through the efforts of my office, law enforcement agencies and schools and communities throughout the state, we can continue to improve public safety by enabling youth to be good citizens and avoid criminal behavior.”

Of the 222,512 juveniles arrested in 2005, 80.3 percent were referred to probation, 17.5 percent were counseled and released and 2.1 percent were turned over to another law enforcement jurisdiction. In addition, 343 juveniles were sent directly to adult court.

The report also shows out of 353 juveniles convicted in adult court in 2005, 234 (66.3 percent) received a prison/CYA sentence, 101 (28.6 percent) received probation with jail, 11 (3.1 percent) received probation, and 5 (1.4 percent) received jail time. No sentence was reported for 2 (0.6 percent).

In 2005, most formal juvenile court hearings resulted in the juvenile being made a ward of the court (63.5 percent) and 318 (0.3 percent) were remanded to adult court. Most wards (58.7 percent) were allowed to go home under the supervision of the probation department.

Comparisons are made between 2002 and 2005 data and presented in this report at key decision points in the juvenile justice process. Comparisons are not presented at all points in the process because of changes in the number of reporting probation departments and changes in the number of reportable offenses. In 2002, only the most serious offense was reported while, in 2005, up to five offenses per referral could be reported.

The data in this report is provided by 55 of the state’s 58 county probation departments representing about 92 percent of California’s population. Of the remaining three counties, Del Norte and Sierra were unable to provide any data, while Riverside only provided partial data for 2005. Therefore, the data from these three counties are not included in this report.

California law requires the Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Statistics Center (CJSC) to collect, organize and publish the annual report in order to aid the criminal justice system in identifying new approaches to curbing juvenile crime. The report provides specific information on the juvenile population, race/ethnic groups, gender, number of arrests, referrals to probation departments, juvenile court dispositions, offenses, and dispositions for juveniles tried in adult courts.

The full report can be viewed on the Attorney General’s website at http://ag.ca.gov/cjsc/publications/misc/jj05/preface.pdf .

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