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1 in 3 Americans arrested by age 23

By age 23, at least a quarter of all youth in the U.S. — and perhaps as many as 41% — are arrested at least once for something more serious than a traffic violation, according to a new study of American teens.

The study is the first since the 1960s to try to determine the percentage of youth who are arrested. Previously, the research estimated that 22% of Americans had been arrested at least once for a non-traffic violation by age 23.

“We say in the paper that we think the real figure is on the order of 1 in 3,” says Robert Brame, lead author of the new study and a professor of criminal justice and criminology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The broad range in the estimate found by Brame and his team — from 25.3% to 41.4% — is due to missing data. The researchers used 1997-2008 data from the National Survey of Youth, which included more than 7,000 teens, but some didn’t have data from some of the years.

Researchers have not completed an analysis of the data by race, but prior studies suggest that minorities are arrested more frequently than whites. Previous research finds, for example, that black youth are arrested at double the rate of white youth for drug crimes, even though a larger proportion of white youth actually use and sell drugs.

Although it may seem shocking that at least one-third of U.S. youth has an arrest record, those who study juvenile crime don’t find the figure to be out of line. Since the 1970s, America has become much tougher on crime, lengthening sentences, increasing the police force and quintupling the number of people incarcerated. During that time, the number of Americans in prison has gone from half a million to 2.3 million, with approximately 93,000 incarcerated youth. Given the changes in the criminal justice system, some increase in youth arrests was to be expected.

“As a criminologist, I’m not terribly surprised by it,” says Brame.

The study captured arrests for all offenses other than traffic violations, including underage drinking, shoplifting, truancy, robbery, assault and murder. Most teens who are arrested are cited for minor infractions and don’t end up imprisoned. Still, for those who are, the detrimental effect of being detained may outlast the actual sentence.

Although the literature is mixed, several previous studies indicate that kids who are incarcerated do significantly worse later on, compared with those who are given alternative sentences that allow them to remain in their communities. One study, for example, compared children who committed the same crimes but wound up with harsh or lenient sentences: those who were sentenced to juvenile detention were three times more likely to be re-incarcerated as adults, compared with those whose judges gave them lighter, alternative sentences.

“It’s premature to say that we know sanctions for juvenile justice are ‘crimogenic,’” says Brame. “It may vary by type of offender, jurisdiction and types of services.”

But researchers do know that teens who wind up in trouble with the law tend to have early risk factors, such as having a troubled family, childhood behavior problems or difficulty in school. About two-thirds of teens who serve time in a correctional institution have a serious mental illness. Given that these risk factors can arise early, Brame thinks that pediatricians may be able to make a difference.

If pediatricians are made aware of how common arrest is, Brame says, they can identify at-risk kids and their parents, and connect families with services that can help troubled youth find better ways to cope, helping to either prevent arrest or mitigate its consequences.

The study was published in Pediatrics.

Maia Szalavitz is a health writer at TIME.com. Find her on Twitter at @maiasz. You can also continue the discussion on TIME Healthland’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIMEHealthland.



Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/19/study-1-in-3-american-youth-are-arrested-by-age-23/#ixzz1hAnizyTU


Added: Dec-21-2011 Occurred On: Dec-21-2011
By: ccfc
In:
Regional News
Tags: 1 in 3, arrested, USA
Location: United States (load item map)
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  • 1 in 3 American's are non-white too.
    Just saying.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • The increase is probably in part because there are so many more stupid laws in this country then when i was their age (1970's). Now there are more laws, more cops, more surveillance, instant computer identification of anybody by cops, more prisons (the worst thing is the increase in PRIVATE PRISONS!) What we have created, or THEY have created, is a revolving door, to make more money for the cities, counties and states - at the expense of more young people starting out their lives with an added More..

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • Well im 33 and so far my arrests were:
    age 13: assault (School fight)
    age 15: Illegal knife possession (while camping)
    age 17: Was hanging out with some guys who took some Chinese food without paying
    age 18: Pot
    age 20: Pot
    age 20: Public consumption of alcohol and underaged drinking
    Age 22: DUI
    age 23: Told a cop to go fuck himself when he made a comment about my GFs ass.
    age 25: Bar fight
    age 29: Matched vehicle description of a shooting suspect.
    age 31: Bar Fight
    age 32: Pissed of Queensb More..

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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    • @Bleys
      I got nothing. I might be the most boring person on LL.

      Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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    • @Bleys
      age 33: Pot
      age 34: Pot and Meth
      age 35: Pot, meth and crack
      age 35: prostitution
      ron paul 2012

      Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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    • @Bleys For gosh sakes Bleys: Always bring a piss cup! What you pour out the window of your car is YOUR BUSINESS! "Why no officer, that was my WATER cup!" (It's Illegal to pour anything but water out the car window, in CA anyway, see my comment re stupid laws)

      Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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    • @4-B-10-ZONE Rofl man, yeah law is retarded. In NY for example, if you have any amount of pot and over $200 cash on you... you get trialed as drug dealer and not just possession:P While few states away.... you can buy pot legally.

      Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • Break the stats down by race and see what we get.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • Comment of user 'poonpoker' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Police country

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

    (3) | Report

  • You can go your whole life without being arrested if you just do what you're suppose to do. Like sit down and shut up.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

    (3) | Report

  • I told those damn kids to get off my lawn but they didn't listen.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

    (3) | Report

  • Land of the Free looks like its becoming a police state.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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    • Comment of user 'rclark951' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Well I am close to 23. And have not been arrested. I know my rights, and I know not to be an idiot around the police. I constantly talk to them about there guns and there day to day job. I respect them and they respect me. There are usually really nice people. Usually.. I know a bunch of my friends though that have been arrested, haha.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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    • Comment of user 'mattplasse88' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @mattplasse88
      Haha. That is usually how it goes. People DO NOT know there rights.

      Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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    • Comment of user 'mattplasse88' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @killerz3000
      Well, its difficult for people to keep up with the constant flow of bullshit laws that become rules of the land and end up further limiting our civil liberties.

      When cops decide they do not like you, they will tag you with disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace (or any other bullshit 'violation' that they know will be difficult to dispute in court because its more subjective than objective).

      Cops shouldn't decide whether or not you will get ticketed, the law should decide and More..

      Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • Comment of user 'rclark951' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @rclark951 Spot on except for the last part. You have a choice, you do not have to bend over for the bank.

      Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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    • Comment of user 'rclark951' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @rclark951 hey crazy ass lab guy, good to see you're still around. you crazy ass guy

      Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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    • Comment of user 'rclark951' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Fuck the police.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • Comment of user 'mattplasse88' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Damn, they figured me into those percentages!

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • One in three Americans? That means there are more innocent people in Attica than out on the streets. No wonder you got guns. Vote me down if you like bastards! Ha ha

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

    (1) | Report

  • We know it america is fucked up.
    The land with freedom...................ehummm *kuch

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • I was arrested at Myrtle Beach, SC bike week. I was 23. I got pulled for running a red light on my bike. It was on the main strip and it was bumper to bumper traffic. I didn't run a red light, but i did leave my license in the hotel room. They sent me to jail. I was in there with members of the Hells Angels. I got bailed out quick though.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • I guess those statistics belong to a police state, as it is impossible that such enormous percentage of young American teens are criminals.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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    • @mcgus

      That has always been my argument since I found out that 25% of the World's prison population lives in the USA (5% of the World's population).
      Either the American people are 5 times more criminal than the rest of the World or that America is one of the worst Police (banana) Republic in the World.
      I guess as long as the Prisons' Shareholders are happy, nothing will change.



      .

      Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • Those Americans.... whatever.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • I guess I'm a part of that number sadly. Once many moons ago I had not paid a speeding ticket on time and as a result my license was suspended (unbeknownst to me). So i get pulled over for having a blown license light or some other BS and I get informed that I will be getting arrested for the warrant for the unpaid speeding ticket. I was placed in cuffs and taken to the jail where my photo and prints were taken and then I was released. The cops even called me a cab since they had to impound my c More..

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • U.S. Titanic-like society is sinking?

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • because the women want hot aggressive men!

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • I've never been arrested for anything in my life. Had countless speeding tickets though. I can't help it speed limits are for elderly people with terrible reflexes under worst possible road conditions.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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  • Comment of user 'scubasteve075' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I got arrested once and that was for having a bayonet lug on my AR-15, sad part is I didn't even own a bayonet to put on the fckn gun. In a free society a victimless law should be no law at all.

    Posted Dec-21-2011 By 

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