Arrests

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Definition

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program counts one arrest for each separate instance in which a person is arrested, cited, or summoned for an offense. The UCR Program collects arrest data on 29 offenses, as described in Offense Definitions. Because a person may be arrested multiple times during a year, the UCR arrest figures do not reflect the number of individuals who have been arrested. Rather, the arrest data show the number of times that persons are arrested, as reported by law enforcement agencies to the UCR Program.

Data collection—juveniles

The UCR Program considers a juvenile to be an individual under 18 years of age regardless of state definition. The program does not collect data regarding police contact with a juvenile who has not committed an offense, nor does it collect data on situations in which police take a juvenile into custody for his or her protection, e.g., neglect cases.

Overview

  • The FBI estimated that 14,005,615 arrests occurred in 2008 for all offenses (except traffic violations). Of these arrests, 594,911 were for violent crimes and 1,687,345 were for property crimes.
  • The most frequent arrests made in 2008 were for drug abuse violations (estimated at 1,702,537 arrests). These arrests comprised 12.2 percent of the total number of all arrests.
  • The rate of arrests was estimated at 4,637.7 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants in 2008. The arrest rate for violent crime was 198.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime was 565.2 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • Violent crime arrests in 2008 declined 0.6 percent when compared with 2007 arrest data.
  • Arrests for property crime increased 5.6 percent in 2008 when compared with the 2007 arrests.
  • Arrests of juveniles decreased 2.8 percent in 2008 when compared with the 2007 number; arrests of adults declined 1.3 percent.
  • Arrests of males accounted for the following: 75.5 percent of all persons arrested; 81.7 percent of persons arrested for violent crime; and 65.2 percent of persons arrested for property crime.
  • In 2008, 69.2 percent of all persons arrested were white; 28.3 percent were black; and the remaining 2.4 percent were of other races.

Expanded arrest data

Expanded data about arrests include information about the age, gender, and race of the arrestees. These data are available in the following tables:

Age: Tables 32, 34, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 46, 47, 50, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 62, 64, and 65

Gender: Tables 33, 35, 37, 39, 40, 42, 45, 48, 51, 54, 57, 60, 63, and 66

Race: Tables 43, 49, 55, 61, and 67

Arrest Table

Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations
Percent Distribution by Region, 2008

Drug abuse violations   United States total Northeast Midwest South West
Total1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Sale/
Manufacturing:
Total 17.7 22.1 19.3 16.4 16.1
Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 7.7 13.4 5.6 7.5 5.8
Marijuana 5.5 5.9 8.2 4.3 5.4
Synthetic or manufactured drugs 1.5 1.2 1.2 2.6 0.6
Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 3.0 1.5 4.4 1.9 4.3
Possession: Total 82.3 77.9 80.7 83.6 83.9
Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 20.1 20.7 12.5 21.0 22.3
Marijuana 44.3 46.5 51.9 50.2 33.2
Synthetic or manufactured drugs 3.3 2.7 3.8 4.2 2.5
Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 14.6 8.0 12.5 8.2 25.9

1 Because of rounding, the percentages may not add to 100.0.

What you won't find on this page

  • Clearance data for violent crimes and property crimes.
  • The number of persons who were convicted, prosecuted, and/or imprisoned. The UCR Program does not collect this information.