Research And Reports
Nearly 40 percent of the juveniles in state long-term youth correctional institutions in 1987 were there because they committed violent crimes, according to a survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Such facilities held 18,226 people age 17 and under last year, the study estimated.
Other offenses for which the youths were incarcerated included burglary and other property crimes (46 percent), drugs (6 percent), and public-order offenses (7 percent).
Slightly more than 2 percent of inmates were held for truancy, running away, and other offenses applied only to juveniles.
The study also found that 60 percent of the youths had been regular users of illegal drugs. Two out of every five were under the influence of drugs at the time of their offense.
Copies of the report, "Survey of Youth in Custody, 1987," can be obtained from the Justice Statistics Clearinghouse, National Criminal Justice Reference Service, Box 6000, Rockville, Md. 20850.
Teenage pregnancy cost the federal government at least $19.3 billion last year, according to an estimate by the Washington-based Center for Population Options.
That amount represented the federal share of Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Medicaid, and food stamps for all families in which the mother had had her first child when she was in her teens, the group said.
The study also predicted that births to teenage mothers who had their first children in 1987 would cost the federal government $5.7 billion over the course of the next two decades. Delaying those births until the mother reached age 20, it said, could have saved some $2.3 billion during that period.
The estimate did not include spending for public housing, social services, special education, and other services for teenage mothers and their children.