Youth arrests down so far this year in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Through Nov. 4 of this year, 4,551 juveniles have been arrested in Nashville in 2017, according to publicly available data from the Metro Nashville Police Department.

This year’s arrests are down 4 percent compared to the 4,743 juveniles arrested during the same time period in 2016.

The number of arrests includes those for truancy and curfew violations, but it also includes arrests for more serious crimes like murder, robbery, and assault.

In 2017, the total number of arrests represents an average of about 15 youths arrested per day in Nashville.

Dawn Deaner is Nashville’s Public Defender. Her office is made up of roughly 45 attorneys who defend suspects that cannot afford a private lawyer.

She has served as the Public Defender since 2008 and previously served as an Assistant Public Defender in Nashville.

She reflected on youth crime during her time working in the public sector, saying, “I think what’s different today than where we were 20 years ago is that we have a much better understanding in the criminal justice system about brain development, about the fact that young people: their brains are not fully developed.”

Deaner went on to say, “I believe that how our children behave is a reflection more on us as adults than it is of our children. So, I think recognizing that we are responsible for caring for all of our children is something important, and I think we are headed in that direction just by coming to understand more about how brain development works and also how traumatic experiences in childhood impact us as human beings.”

So far in 2017, the highest number of arrests of Nashville youth have happened in Metro police’s East and South precincts.

Around 800 juveniles have been arrested in each precinct this year, which is up slightly compared to last year