Change Indicator

Arrests of children ages 10 to 17 in Maine

Arrests of children ages 10 to 17

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Why This Indicator Matters

Getting arrested is a negative event for any youth. Youth who continue to have involvement with the juvenile justice system are more likely to have a criminal offense as an adult. Adults with criminal records face many barriers in finding and keeping employment. For youth who are arrested for using drugs or alcohol, the arrest may be the impetus for the youth to enter treatment for substance use disorders.

What the data shows
Both in Maine and nationally, the rate of arrests per 1,000 youth has been declining. In Maine, juvenile arrests declined dramatically 1998 to 2021, The rate for 2022 was slightly higher than 2021, however, 15.3 per 1,000 juveniles up from the all-time low in 2021 of 13.3. The rate in 2022 is less than half what it was in 2014 and a quarter of what the rate was in 2003. Statewide, there were 1,839 arrests of juveniles, ages 10 to 17 in 2022.

Of the 50 states, in 2020, Maine had one of the lowest rates of juvenile arrests for aggravated assault, and is in the top 10 for the lowest for robbery and weapons. To compare states, see: Crime Rates By State

In terms of variation by county, in 2022, Franklin was the highest at 27.1, while Androscoggin, Hancock and York Counties were all at 20 per 1,000 juveniles. By contrast, Knox County had the lowest juvenile arrest rate at 1.4 per 1,000 juveniles followed by Washington (4.9) and Waldo (5.2). 

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Definition and Source



The rate of children under age 18 arrested during a calendar year.  The rate is per 1,000 children ages 10 to 17.  The numerator is the number of arrests for any reason of someone under age 18. It includes repeat offenses for the same individual. The denominator is the population per county ages 10 to 17 based on yearly estimates from the Maine Office of Vital Statistics. Arrests include all arrests of anyone under age 18 except minor traffic violations. It includes crimes against persons, against property and other crimes such as those involving drugs and alcohol.


This data does not include crimes for which there have been no arrests made. Ages 10 to 17 was used as the denominator because there are very few arrests of children younger than 10.  In 2021, there were 6 arrests of children younger than 10 and these are included in the numerator. The arrest is counted where it occurs. In some counties, such as York, this number of children arrested may include youth who reside in other states but were arrested in Maine. In other cases, youth may be arrested by a state entity such as the Maine State Police and not be included in the county totals but are included in the state totals.

Last Updated

November 2023