The number of juvenile arrests in the Garden State took a significant dip, dropping by 40 percent between 2010 and 2014 (the most recent data available), according to the Kids Count 2017 from the Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ). Commitments to juvenile detention facilities also continued to fall, from 423 in 2011 to 128 in 2014.
White youth accounted for more than half – 54 percent – of all juvenile arrests, followed by black youth at 45 percent in 2014. Still, racial disparities persist. Black youth were significantly overrepresented in these numbers since they made up just 15 percent of the state’s child population under 18 in that same year. In 2015, 67 percent of youth in county detention were black, compared to just 10 percent of white youth.
Kids Count is a national and state‐by‐state statistical effort to track the state of children in the United States, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) is a statewide child research and action organization and the New Jersey Kids Count grantee.