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

  • Nationwide, law enforcement made an estimated 13,687,241 arrests (except traffic violations) in 2009. Of these arrests, 581,765 were for violent crimes and 1,728,285 were for property crimes.
  • The highest arrest counts among the Part I and Part II offenses were for drug abuse violations (estimated at 1,663,582 arrests), driving under the influence (estimated at 1,440,409), and larceny-theft (estimated at 1,334,933).
  • The arrest rate was 4,478.0 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants of the total estimated United States population. The arrest rate for violent crime (including murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) was 191.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime (including burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson) was 571.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • Two-year arrest trends showed violent crime arrests declined 2.3 percent when compared with 2008 arrests, while property crime arrests increased 1.6 percent when compared with the 2008 arrests.
  • Arrests of juveniles for all offenses decreased 8.9 percent in 2009 when compared with the 2008 number; arrests of adults declined 1.2 percent.
  • Nearly 75 percent (74.7) of the persons arrested in the Nation during 2009 were males. They accounted for 81.2 percent of persons arrested for violent crime and 62.6 percent of persons arrested for property crime.
  • In 2009, 69.1 percent of all persons arrested were white, 28.3 percent were black, and the remaining 2.6 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, 2009

Drug abuse violations   United States total Northeast Midwest South West
Total1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Sale/Manufacturing: Total 18.4 22.3 19.8 17.7 16.4
Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 7.1 12.7 5.2 6.8 5.4
Marijuana 6.0 6.3 8.9 5.0 5.7
Synthetic or manufactured drugs 1.7 1.4 1.3 3.0 0.6
Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 3.5 1.8 4.4 2.8 4.8
Possession: Total 81.6 77.7 80.2 82.3 83.6
Heroin or cocaine and their derivatives 17.7 18.8 10.9 17.2 21.2
Marijuana 45.6 47.0 52.8 51.3 34.3
Synthetic or manufactured drugs 3.7 2.8 3.9 4.8 2.6
Other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs 14.6 9.1 12.5 9.0 25.6

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.