Study: Half Of US Black Men, 38 Percent Of White Men Arrested By Age 23
Columbia, S.C. (CBS CHARLOTTE) – Almost half of black males and nearly 40 percent of white males have been arrested in the U.S. by the time they reach the age of twenty-three.
A new study released Monday in the journal of Crime & Delinquency finds that a staggering amount of US men have the added burden of transitioning from youth to adulthood while meandering through the country’s criminal justice system. The study looks at some of the race and gender data of US arrests and the difficulties these individuals have finding jobs, higher education and participating in their communities.
According to the survey data from 1997-2008: By the age of 23, 49 percent of black males, 44 percent of Hispanic males and 38 percent of white males have been arrested.
By age 18, 30 percent of black males, 26 percent of Hispanic males and 22 percent of white males have been subject to arrest.
Arrested females showed less variance in terms of race, but by age 23, 20 percent of white females, 18 percent of Hispanic females and 16 percent of black females had been placed under arrest.
The study excluded arrests for minor traffic violations, but included arrests that showed a range from underage drinking and misdemeanor school disputes to more violent crimes. Robert Brame, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina and lead author of the study, said via press release that the repercussions for such a wide-scope of arrests in young men are very damaging.
“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,” said Brame.
“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.”
The study builds on a previous study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2012, and both studies provide the first look since the 1960s at the massive scope of the criminal justice system and its data showing that one-in-three Americans are arrested by age 23.
Brame said that the study can be used to re-evaluate future law enforcement tactics, and how social, economic and racial factors influence the country’s large percentage of arrests among youth.
“As a society, we often worry a great deal about the effects of children watching television, eating junk food, playing sports and having access to good schools,” said Brame. “Experiencing formal contact with the criminal justice system could also have powerful effects on behavior and impose substantial constraints on opportunities for America’s youth.”
“Going forward it will be constructive to support systematic studies into the sources of these variations and to continue efforts to understand the effects of criminal justice interventions on sanctions on future behavior.”