Patterns of adolescent gun carrying and gun-related crime arrests in Indianapolis, Indiana over an 11-year time period

Lauren A. Magee, Allyson L. Dir, Richelle L. Clifton, Sarah E. Wiehe, Matthew C. Aalsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Adolescent males are disproportionately affected by homicide as both victims and offenders. Indianapolis has seen increases in youth homicides over the past few years; gun carrying increases an individual's risk for involvement in firearm violence. It is unclear how often youth are arrested for gun carrying and gun-related crimes. Examining these patterns may identify an opportunity for intervention. This study is a descriptive epidemiology analysis that examines patterns of gun carrying and gun-related crime arrests among justice involved youth in Marion County (Indianapolis), Indiana. We accessed juvenile court records from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2016 on all individuals arrested for a gun carrying offense (i.e., illegal possession of a firearm or gun; n = 711) and all individuals arrested for a gun-related crime (i.e., homicide, robbery, aggravated assault; n = 150). Data were analyzed in fall 2019. Proportions of juvenile arrests for both gun carrying (47.0 per 1000 arrests) and gun-related crime (25.4 per 1000 arrests) have substantially increased compared to ten-years ago (4.5 per 1000 arrests and 2.0 per 1000 arrests, respectively). Of those arrested, 27.7 per 100,000 population were arrested for a repeated gun-related offense; of which 21.5 per 100,000 were first arrested for gun carrying and 6.2 per 100,000 were arrested for a gun-related crime. The majority of gun-related repeat offenders were first arrested for gun carrying; therefore, these gun-carrying arrests may be an opportunity to intervene on an individual level by providing treatment, other needed resources, and discussing safe firearm storage with families and communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106199
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume139
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Firearm violence
  • Guns
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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