The Abell Foundation has released a new report, “Fact Check: A Survey of Available Data on Juvenile Crime in Baltimore City,” collecting and analyzing available data on trends in juvenile crime rates, arrests, and outcomes in Baltimore City.
The report found that overall juvenile arrests are down in Baltimore, but juvenile arrests for violent crimes are up. However, for the first four months of 2018, total juvenile arrests were down 34 percent in comparison to arrest rates of the first four months of 2017.
In addition to arrest rates, the report also examines court cases for Baltimore’s youth. They found that the number of youth referred to adult court—indicating involvement in a violent crime—has increased slightly from 2013 (156 cases) to 2017 (216 cases). Even with that increase, less than 10 percent of juvenile arrests in 2017 were for crimes eligible for referral to adult court. While these numbers certainly need to be addressed, this directly contradicts the political narrative of a booming juvenile crime wave in Baltimore.
And there has been an increase in the return of juveniles originally charged in adult court back to juvenile court (19 percent in 2013 to 67 percent in 2017). The report concludes that to better understand the level of juvenile violence in Baltimore, they need more access to data about juvenile records—such as recidivism data for youth charged with violent crimes.