Juvenile Crime Down in Tulsa County

Aug 11, 2014

Tulsa County’s 55-bed juvenile detention center is almost half empty after this weekend.

"We — over the weekend — only had 29 beds of those filled, and only five of those were new intake cases," Tulsa County Juvenile Bureau Director Brent Wolfe said. "Clearly, there was not a lot of juvenile crime over the weekend. It's good news."

Wolfe said juvenile crime has been on a downward trend nationwide for the last 10 years. Locally, the annual number of referrals to the juvenile bureau has dropped from more than 5,000 to fewer than 3,000.

The reason for that isn’t entirely clear.

"Although we don't have a research study that actually can show correlation of cause and effect, it is our belief that it is all of the community working together in terms of prevention, intervention," Wolfe said.

Wolfe said lately there have been fewer arrests for misdemeanors like shoplifting, while arrests for more serious crimes have held steady. That’s with local police departments at or near full strength, too.