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Research reveals recent spike in juvenile crime trends, despite 10 year decrease

Inner Harbor juvenile shooting
Posted at 11:02 AM, Sep 12, 2023

BALTIMORE — The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services released new research revealing a concerning crime trend among our youth.

Over the past two years the juvenile crime rate has begun to creep up, and now kids are far more likely to become targets of gun violence.

Statewide the overall numbers are down over the last decade, but homicides and shootings involving youth has spiked.

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In 2013 - 29 victims under age 18 were killed. By 2022 that number rose to 47.

During that same period the number of non-fatal shootings quadrupled, from 41 in 2013 to 171 in 2022.

"Young people are more likely to be victims of gun crimes than arrested for gun crimes, and you might not know that just from watching the evening news or sort of looking at social media and it’s important to remember that young people are at risk,” said DJS Secretary Vinny Schiraldi.

With that said, the rate of juveniles being charged with murder and attempted murder has also increased over five years.

Some of the juvenile crime grabbing headlines in Baltimore recently include a deadly squeegee encounter downtown, and a mass shooting involving 30 victims in Brooklyn Homes.

More often than not, youth of color were found to be the victims in these cases. They also make up a majority of the incarcerated juvenile population.

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“It sort of indicates that kids aren’t necessarily getting worse," said Schiraldi. "It’s just that there’s much, much, much more availability of guns and I think that some reporting that some of you all have done shows that young people are carrying guns, because they think other young people are carrying guns to protect themselves and that just creates this volatile situation and then it’s worse in urban areas, because there’s more kids to bump into one another.”

Still in comparison, crime committed by youth occurred at a much smaller rate than adults.

According to 2021 data compiled by Maryland State Police, 92.9 percent of all arrests in Maryland are adults, opposed to 7.1 percent for juveniles.