DCLY May 2011 Issue Brief - Debunking Urban Legends: Summer Heat, Vacation Don’t Lead to More Youth Arrests

Despite the public presumption that crime goes up when kids are no longer sitting behind desks and are out on the streets during summer vacation, data from the Washington Metropolitan Police Department shows that youth are arrested less frequently during summer months when compared to the rest of the year, according to a new brief published today by DC Lawyers for Youth (DCLY).

The brief takes a look at seasonal and annual weekly averages of juvenile arrests and the seasonal average of juvenile arrests for violent offenses from 2007 to 2010 and found that there is no relation between summer and an increase in juvenile crime.

According to the brief, juvenile arrests during the specific weeks of summer vacation have been lower than the rest of the year since 2007. In 2009 and 2010, weekly arrests of juveniles were more than 8% lower during academic year weeks.  In addition, the report found that the only substantial seasonal spikes in juvenile arrests since 2007 occurred in the fall months of 2008 and 2009, and during the spring months of 2007, 2009 and 2010. Juvenile arrests for violent offenses have also decreased over summer months, decreasing from spring to summer over the past four years.

Download: Debunking Urban Legends: Summer Heat, Vacation Don't Lead to More Youth Arrests