Surgeon General's Warning On Youth Violence
January 18, 2001
The rate of acts of violence committed by young people has dropped from its 1993 peak. But a report by U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher released yesterday warns against letting "down our guard" on this issue.
- Arrests for violent crime surged between 1983 and 1993 -- "driven largely by rapid proliferation of firearms use by adolescents."
- But by 1999, arrest rates for homicide, rape and robbery had fallen below 1983 rates.
- However, in confidential surveys, 30 percent to 40 percent of boys and 15 percent to 30 percent of girls admit to committing a serious violent offense -- defined as one causing bodily harm -- by age 17.
Many violence prevention programs have proven effective and should be used more widely, says the report, which names 27 of those programs.
Source: Marilyn Elias, "Youth Violence Study Signals Uneasy Future," USA Today, January 18, 2001; "Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General," January 2001.
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