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Encouraging Juvenile Justice Data from Maine
by DAVID BACKES

Maine Juvenile Justice DataThe Maine Statistical Analysis Center recently released their 2012 Maine Juvenile Justice Data Book, which presents data and findings of youth involved with the Maine juvenile justice system. The results are encouraging, with arrest rates for both violent and drug offences dropping along with average daily population of youth in detention. Detailed findings can be found below.

Key Findings from the Data Book (emphasis mine)

  • From 2001 to 2010, the overall arrest rate of youth in Maine decreased by 26%, from 67 arrests per 1,000 youth to 50.
  • Most arrests in Maine are of adults. The proportion of youth arrests to all arrests in Maine dropped from a high of 17% in 2001 to just 12% in 2010, or 1 in every 8.5 arrests. Since 2001, the number of arrests of youth has decreased by 35%, while arrests of adults increased by 2%.
  • From 2001 to 2010, arrests of Maine youth for violent offenses decreased by 28%. Violent offenses comprised only 1.7% of all arrests of youth in 2010.
  • Arrests of Maine youth for drug offenses decreased by 33% from 2001 to 2010. As a proportion of all arrests of youth in Maine, arrests for drug offenses remained relatively stable, at a rate of 8 to 9% per year.
  • The average daily population of Maine youth in detention fell by 37.3% between 2006 and 2011.
  • Minority youth in Androscoggin and Cumberland Counties were statistically significantly less likely to be diverted from the juvenile justice system for an offense than white youth between 2005 and 2010.
  • Adjudicated youth who were placed in a Maine youth development center recidivated within one year of discharge from DJS supervision at a rate of 33%.

The data book is broken into five sections, (1) Maine Youth Population Trends, (2) Maine Juvenile Justice System Trends, (3) Maine County Trends, (4) Maine Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Trends and (5) Youth Recidivism Outcomes in Maine, and is available in full as a PDF download here.


juvenile-justice-system_David-BackesDavid Backes writes the Friday news roundup for Reclaiming Futures and contributes articles about juvenile justice reform and adolescent substance abuse treatment to ReclaimingFutures.org. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Santa Clara University. David works as an account executive for Prichard Communications.