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Tue Dec 20, 2011, 08:56 AM

Study: 1 in 3 American Youth Are Arrested By Age 23 [View all]

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.

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.

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


http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/19/study-1-in-3-american-youth-are-arrested-by-age-23/#ixzz1h5ABwEvo

Raw Story's Headline Puts the Blame on Harsher Drug Laws

Tougher drug laws mean nearly 1/3 arrested by age 23
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/19/tougher-drug-laws-mean-nearly-13-arrested-by-age-23/

A study analyzing data from the federal government’s National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that 30.2 percent of 23-year-olds reported being arrested for something more serious that a traffic violation.

It’s the first time since the 1960s that researchers have tried to determine how often young people are arrested. A similar study in 1965 found that only 22 percent reported being arrested by age 23.

“I was astonished 44 years ago,” Carnegie Mellon University professor Alfred Blumstein told USA Today. “There’s a lot more arresting going on now.”

Researchers believe that a toughening of drug laws and the increased size of police forces contribute to the the increase. Five times more Americans are incarcerated now than in the 1960s.


Steve Cohen (D-TN) is a member of the House who has signed on with Barney Frank, Ron Paul, Democratic Reps. John Conyers (MI), Jared Polis (CO) and Barbara Lee (CA) to reschedule/decriminalize cannabis via HR 2306. In addition, the 40th anniversary of the WoD led to a tremendous outcry from leaders around the world to end the failed war on drugs.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/117052

Cohen noted:

"Marijuana use has not skyrocketed in the last year, but arrests are vamped up and they use arrest as a basis to get people, particularly people of color where it’s 7 times more likely you’ll be arrested if you’re African American and 4 times more likely you’ll be arrested if you’re Latino and more likely if you’re African American or Latino that you’ll spend a night in jail than if you’re Caucasian,”


http://www.democraticunderground.com/117024

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Reply Study: 1 in 3 American Youth Are Arrested By Age 23 [View all]
RainDog Dec 2011 OP
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