Nearly Half Of All Young Americans Have Been Arrested: Study

If someone calls you a duck they might be insane. If everyone starts calling you a duck then you might want to start checking for feathers.

Research published in the journal Crime & Delinquency found that almost a full half of all young, male Americans have been arrested.

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.

It is easy to dismiss a few people as criminals, malcontents who cannot abide by the law. However, when a substantial number of people fall on the wrong side of the law it is not an indictment of them as individuals. It is an indictment of the law itself. It tells us that something is fundamentally wrong with law enforcement, the criminal justice system, the legislation in place or all of the above.

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