BOSTON, Oct. 18—A new study has found that while the number of adults arrested for murder has declined since 1985, there has been a stunning increase in the number of boys under 18 charged with homicide.

"Murder is plunging to a much younger age group," said James Alan Fox, dean of Northeastern University's College of Criminal Justice and a co-author of the report. "What is so dangerous about this is that a 15-year-old with a gun in his hand is a much more volatile individual than a 40-year-old or even an 18-year-old," Mr. Fox said.

The study, by the National Crime Analysis Project at Northeastern University, found that the number of 17-year-olds arrested for murder climbed 121 percent from 1985 through 1991, and the number of 16-year-olds arrested rose 158 percent. But the biggest increase—217 percent—was in the arrest of 15-year-olds. Even the number of arrests of boys 12 and under soared 100 percent in that time.

These figures are the clearest statistical confirmation of what had been just anecdotal evidence...

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.