18 Counties With the Highest Juvenile Arrest Rates in Illinois

A report from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority shows that almost 30,000 children between the ages of 10 and 16 were arrested in Illinois in 2012. The data shows a downward trend in youth arrests that began around 2005 has continued ever since.

There were 18 counties with high arrest rates in 2012 (200 to 511 per 10,000), including:


See the other eight counties with high arrest rates at Reboot Illinois.

There were 11 counties with no reported youth arrests in Illinois in 2012, including:

Jo Daviess

See the other five counties with no reported arrests at Reboot Illinois.

Arrests in general, across every region, continued a downward trend from the last 10 years. Southern Illinois had the lowest rate overall, while Cook County had the highest. In 2012, Northern Illinois minus Cook County had a lower youth arrest rate than Central Illinois for the first time since 2003.

From the report:

A 34 percent decrease in the number of juvenile arrests statewide between 2003 and
2012, from 44,860 to 29,443.

A 31 percent decrease in the rate of juvenile arrests per 10,000 youth in Illinois between
2003 and 2012, from 348 to 239.

Statewide arrest data broken down by type of crime and gender shows that males 10 to 16 were about four times as likely as females 10 to 16 to be arrested in Illinois in 2012. Among females 10 to 16, crimes against persons are the most common, while males 10 to 16 were significantly more likely to commit property crimes in 2012 than any other type of crime. For both genders, sex crimes were the least prevalent among Illinoisans 10 to 16.

The report found that there are several kinds of risk factors that can indicate whether a child is likely to become a delinquent offender, including individual, social and environmental risks. Children who are more likely to break the law and end up in the criminal justice system in Illinois are more likely to display aggressive behavior, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, anxiety and substance abuse. Children who end up in the juvenile justice system are are also more likely to have "poor parent-child relationships," few friends and poor academic performance.

From the ICJIA 2012 annual report:

Research also has revealed that juvenile delinquency is correlated with drug availability, high levels of adult criminality, exposure to violence, and exposure to racial prejudice in the community.

The report offered recommendations for how the state can continue to decrease the number of children considered delinquent in Illinois. The report recommends that the state improve the quality and quantity of juvenile justice data and monitor it more closely, address and reduce the disproportionate contact that youth members of minority communities experience with the juvenile justice system, support gender-specific programming, study the prevalence of mental health in the system, monitor the impact of substance abuse and gang activity and support juvenile re-entry and rehabilitation services.