Change Indicator

Arrests of children for violent crimes in Maine

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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. Of the 50 states, in 2020 Maine had one of the lowest rates of juvenile arrests for violent crimes, including the second lowest rate of juvenile arrests and the third lowest for weapons offenses. To compare states, see: Crime Rates By State

Statewide, the arrests for violent crimes against persons fell from a high of 12 per 10,000 youth in 1998 to just 3.2 per 10,000 youth statewide in 2020. However, in 2021 arrests for violent crimes went up.  There were 71 violent crimes by juveniles in 2023 compared to 38 in 2020. The rate of violent crime of 5.9 per 10,000 youth is the highest since 2013.

In 2022, the arrests by juveniles for violent crimes for crimes varied between a low of zero for Washington County and a high of 14.3 in Piscataquis and 22.1 in Androscoggin per 10,000 youth.  

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Definition and Source



Crimes of violence involve the element of personal confrontation between the perpetrator and victim and entail the use or threat of violence. By their very nature, violent crimes —murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — are considered more serious than property crimes. Violent crime does not include other assaults or intimidations. The total number indicates only the number of incidents reported to police and does not reflect the number of individuals who committed them or the number of injuries inflicted. Repeat offenses by the same individual are counted more than once in the data.   

The measure reports the rate of arrests for violent crimes per 10,000 children ages 10 to 17. The numerator is the number of children arrested for a violent crime against times 10,000 and the denominator is the number of youth ages 10 to 17 based on yearly estimates from Maine Office of Vital Statistics. The state total includes the sum of the county arrests for violent crimes and any arrests for violent crimes made by the Maine State Police, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Maine Fire Marshall.

Data Source

Maine State Police query of 2022 juvenile arrest data.


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 none of these arrests was for a violent crime. The arrest is counted in the county where it occurs. It could include youth who live in other states. Arrests by Maine State Police could be in any county, and as such are included in that total, but not in any county. 

Last Updated

November 2023