Our youth are being incarcerated at an alarming rate


Study reveals: 50% of black males, 40% of white males arrested by age 23

Nearly half of black males and almost 40 percent of white males in the U.S. are arrested by age 23, which can hurt their ability to find work, go to school and participate fully in their communities.

A new study in the journal Crime & Delinquency provides the first contemporary findings on how the risk of arrest varies across race and gender, says Robert Brame, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina and lead author of the study.

The study is an analysis of national survey data from 1997 to 2008 of teenagers and young adults, ages 18, and their arrest histories, which run the gamut from truancy and underage drinking to more serious and violent offenses. The study excludes arrests for minor traffic violations.

Most striking are the race differences revealed in the study, Brame says. In particular, the research points to a higher prevalence of arrest among black males and little race variation in arrest rates among females.

“A problem is that many males – especially black males – are navigating the transition from youth to adulthood with the baggage and difficulties from contact with the criminal justice system,” Brame says.

The negative impacts can be great, he says. “States vary on the age that adolescents are considered adults in the eyes of the criminal law, some as young as age 16 and 17,” he says. “Criminal records that show up in searches can impede employment, reduce access to housing, thwart admission to and financing for higher education and affect civic and volunteer activities such as voting or adoption. They also can damage personal and family relationships.”

Shawn Bushway, a criminal justice professor at the University at Albany who collaborated with Brame on the study, says they used data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 cohort (NLYS97).

“The study, which is the first to use nationally representative data to provide estimates of lifetime prevalence of arrest by race and sex, highlights the importance of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 97 cohort,” Bushway says. “The NLSY97 is the only survey collected by the U.S. government that includes longitudinal data on arrest for a cohort over time.”

The study’s key findings include:

By age 18, 30 percent of black males, 26 percent of Hispanic males and 22 percent of white males have been arrested.

By age 23, 49 percent of black males, 44 percent of Hispanic males and 38 percent of white males have been arrested.

While the prevalence of arrest increased for females from age 18 to 23, the variation between races was slight. At age 18, arrest rates were 12 percent for white females and 11.8 percent and 11.9 percent for Hispanic and black females, respectively. By age 23, arrest rates were 20 percent for white females and 18 percent and 16 percent for Hispanic and black females, respectively.




6 thoughts on “Our youth are being incarcerated at an alarming rate

  1. My 16yo niece’s locker was targeted by a random drug dug at a small school. They pulled her out of class, frisked her, then opened her locker to find a pack of Big Red and Spearmint chewing gun. The dog targeted both packs. Big Red was open, but Spearmint was not. They opened the spearmint, and tore each piece in half. They then let her go.

    This is at a school with a graduating senior class of maybe 50 people!

    Dogs pointing on gum? What does that tell you?

    1. those canine unit dog handelors can indicate to the dope dog to indicate anything the handler wants him to and it will,and to any one else the the dog did actualy indicate drugs. Then the dogs handler can have his own way as to what he will plant as say lookie here what my dog found in your locker or anywhere for that matter. ; Then try to get out of that “IN THE COURT OF THEIR LAW”. Notice ,I said their law. 🙁 👿

  2. They need to produce as many felons as possible
    2 reasons , removal of their gun rights
    And if they get suckered in bad enough , money for their for profit prison system

    1. Yes Bart, not only that but they would in the mean time, intiminate the kids and perhaps the parents to play lets make a deal and start turning other people in. The snow ball effect ya know.:(

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