Monterey County Ranks #1 for Youth Homicide Victimization in California for Second Year in a Row, New Study Reveals
WASHINGTON, DC--Monterey County’s young people suffer a murder rate that leads all California counties and is nearly three times the overall state rate for the same age range, according to “Lost Youth: A County-by-County Analysis of 2010 California Homicide Victims Ages 10 to 24,” a study analyzing unpublished California Department of Justice Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC). The study, available at http://www.vpc.org/studies/cayouth2012.pdf and funded by The California Wellness Foundation, uses the most recent data available to rank California counties by their homicide victimization rates for youth and young adults ages 10 to 24.
This is the second year that the VPC has released the study and the second year that Monterey County has led the rankings. While for 2010 Monterey maintained its top ranking compared to other California counties, the county’s homicide victimization rate for this age group dropped from 31.24 per 100,000 in 2009 to 24.36 per 100,000 in 2010.
Statewide, the homicide victimization rate for Californians ages 10 to 24 dropped from 10.48 per 100,000 in 2009 to 8.48 per 100,000 in 2010. The appendix from the study comparing California counties’ 2009 rankings to their 2010 rankings can be found separately at http://www.vpc.org/studies/cayouth2012ap4.pdf.
The study finds overwhelmingly that firearms, usually handguns, are the weapon of choice in the homicides of youth and young adults. The study also shows that there are vast disparities between groups: in California, young African-Americans are more than 22 times more likely to be murdered than young whites; young Hispanics are more than five times more likely to be murdered than young whites.
Josh Sugarmann, VPC executive director and study co-author states, “The homicide rates for youth and young adults across California show the urgent need for effective violence-prevention strategies that stress tailored, localized approaches that engage local leaders and community stakeholders.”
Monterey County, 24.36 per 100,000
The study contains a detailed analysis for each of the top 10 counties, including: gender; race/ethnicity; most common weapons; victim to offender relationship; circumstance; and, location. (To help ensure more stable rates, only counties with a population of at least 25,000 youth and young adults between the ages of 10 to 24 were included in the study. The selected counties account for 99 percent of homicide victims ages 10 to 24 in California and 98 percent of California’s population ages 10 to 24 for 2010.)
GENDER, RACE, and ETHNICITY
The study recommends further research into “the identification of the make, model, and caliber of weapons most preferred by this age group as well as analyses identifying the sources of the weapons” and an “expansion of comprehensive violence intervention and prevention strategies that include a focus on the psychological well-being of witnesses and survivors of gun violence.”
The annual study “Lost Youth: A County-by-County Analysis of 2010 California Homicide Victims Ages 10 to 24” is funded by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF). Created in 1992 as a private, independent foundation, TCWF’s mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.