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Juvenile Crime Rate At Record Low

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

State Department of Criminal Justice data show arrests of Californians under 18 last year were the lowest they've been since 1954.

Arrests fell 20-percent overall, and included a 17 percent drop in felonies.

A law that reduced marijuana possession from a crime to an infraction only accounted for a quarter of the drop.

Mark Males is with the nonprofit advocacy group Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice.

He says there has been a slight improvement in the economic well-being of the poorest Californians.

MALES: "That is the population that tends to get arrested the most so beyond the socio-economic factors and the change in the marijuana law we're really not able to explain this but we're certainly researching it more."

Males says the drop comes at a time when juvenile incarceration rates at state and local jails are the smallest they've been in more than a decade.

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