Many in U.S. Are Arrested by Age 23

The Times is reporting here on a study showing that:

By age 23, almost a third of Americans have been arrested for a crime, according to a new study that researchers say is a measure of growing exposure to the criminal justice system in everyday life.

The study, the first since the 1960s to look at the arrest histories of a national sample of adolescents and young adults over time, found that 30.2 percent of the 23-year-olds who participated reported having been arrested for an offense other than a minor traffic violation.

Astonishingly, the study¬†“did not look at racial or regional differences, but other research has found higher arrest rates for black men and for youths living in poor urban areas.”

This latter observation is not exactly a news flash to those of us who work in the criminal justice system. What’s problematic about this study is that it did not look at race. Other studies I have seen have noted that one in three young black and Latino men have been arrested whereas for young white men the figure is around one in a hundred.

In an age of political correctness, I suppose the latter is not something we can discuss openly. Yet until we can be honest about it, we are never going to effect any real change. The first step in correcting a problem is identifying it.


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