Juvenile Single Segment Analysis

Research Question 1: Are juveniles aged 10 - 17 more likely than adults to be involved in multiple offender incidents?

There has been much speculation that the majority of juvenile incidents involve multiple offenders. However, national data have not been available to address this question. NIBRS provides the opportunity to investigate this type of issue.

The data source for this research question is the 1996 NIBRS hierarchical data file. There were 1,487 agencies in nine states reporting during 1996. The file used for the analysis is an incident-level aggregated flat file, created by combining multiple segments of data. (See Creating an Incident-Level Aggregate Flat File for a detailed explanation of this process.) Variables from the following segments were used: administrative, victim, offender, offense, arrest, and property. Although these six segments were used, not all variables from all segments were needed for this analysis. For example, if there were multiple offenders in an incident, only a count was taken rather than information on all of the offenders.

Variables were then created for age group of offender and incident offender composition. The method of analysis is a two by two cross-tabulation showing counts and percentages.

Table 1 shows a total of 525,283 incidents involving adult and juvenile offenders either alone or with co-offenders. The majority (83.7%) of the incidents involved a single offender; 88.7% of the adult offender incidents were perpetrated by a single offender and 66.5% of the juvenile offender incidents were perpetrated by a single offender. For adult offender incidents, only 11.3% of the incidents involved multiple offenders whereas 33.5% of the juvenile offender incidents involved multiple offenders. Thus juveniles were more likely than adults to be involved in multiple offender incidents.

Additional analyses of this data file might examine these multiple offender incidents to determine the types of offenses committed by adult offenders and juvenile offenders.

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