Press Release

For Immediate Release
November 1, 2007

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI Studies Crime in Schools

According to incident statistics submitted to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, of all arrestees involved in incidents occurring at schools, colleges, or universities from 2000 to 2004, 37.7 percent were associated with violent crimes.

The findings are part of the study “Crime in Schools and Colleges: A Study of Offenders and Arrestees Reported via National Incident-Based Reporting System Data” released today by the FBI.

For the study period 2000-2004, there were 17,065,074 crime incidents reported via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Of these incidents, 558,219, or 3.3 percent, occurred at schools, colleges, or universities (hereafter schools). Based on the data received for the incidents at schools, there were 688,612 offender records (both known and unknown), and 181,468 persons were arrested in connection with the incidents. Further analyses of known characteristics among these incidents revealed the following:

  • Among crimes against persons in schools for which law enforcement made arrests, 96.1 percent were in the assault category, which includes simple assault, aggravated assault, and intimidation.
  • Most offenders (38.0 percent) of crime in schools for whom age was known were 13 to 15 years old.
  • Males accounted for 76.7 percent of offenders who committed crimes at schools for whom gender was known.
  • White offenders accounted for 71.1 percent of the total offenders for whom race was known; black offenders, 27.4 percent; and all other races combined, 1.6 percent.
  • “Acquaintance” was the most frequently reported relationship type for crime in schools, occurring in 52.1 percent of known instances.
  • The most common weapon type reported was personal weapons (hands, fists, and feet, etc.), which were involved in 74.1 percent of all reported weapons among school incidents.

By identifying the characteristics of offenders and arrestees of crimes at schools, the study sheds light on some of the facets of a complex problem. Because the study population may not be nationally representative (approximately 33 percent of the nation’s law enforcement agencies voluntarily reported their crime data to the FBI via the NIBRS in 2004), the FBI cautions readers in making broad generalizations. However, the findings presented in it may be useful for those officials and policy makers at educational institutions who are seeking to develop effective, proactive policies.

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