This leads to the second approach below of self-reported victimization data in order to account for unreported acts of violence.
Reports from young people themselves offer a way to measure violent behaviour that never reaches the attention of the justice system.
It could be said that arrest records are the best measure of the justice system's crime.
It is also important to consider that violence rates from police reports of incidents can be influenced by the reporting system itself, and rates can increase alongside efforts made to improve reporting (1).
Three main approaches to measuring the extent of youth violence are commonly used: official crime statistics, self reported data, and injury/mortality rates due to assaults. This type of data can answer questions about the number of crimes reported to the police, the volume and types of arrests, and how the volume changes over time.
However, it cannot completely answer questions about how many young people commit violent crimes or how many violent crimes were committed because many go unreported to the police.
Statistical Briefing Book (SBB) The SBB enables users to access online information to learn more about juvenile crime and victimization and about youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
Developed for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, SBB provides timely and reliable statistical answers to the most frequently asked questions from policymakers, the media, and the general public.
One limitation to self-reporting is that youth may fail to report their violent behaviour accurately, either deliberately or because of memory recall issues, and they may exaggerate their involvement, reporting rather trivial events in response to questions about serious forms of violence.
Sophisticated self-reporting measures can help to minimize the error of over-reporting.
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