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(28,784 posts)
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:56 AM Dec 2011

Study: 1 in 3 American Youth Are Arrested By Age 23

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


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

Tougher drug laws mean nearly 1/3 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.


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,”

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Study: 1 in 3 American Youth Are Arrested By Age 23 (Original Post) RainDog Dec 2011 OP
I must live in an unusual area. These stats don't apply in my neighborhood at all. nt MADem Dec 2011 #1
if you're white, you're more likely to get a better deal RainDog Dec 2011 #3
Being alive without being rich is becoming a crime, IMHO nt LiberalEsto Dec 2011 #2
This is what happens when authoritarianism meets racism. ZombieHorde Dec 2011 #4
This is Nixon's legacy RainDog Dec 2011 #5


(28,784 posts)
3. if you're white, you're more likely to get a better deal
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:42 AM
Dec 2011

and not end up with some sort of record for arrest - these young people are routed into drug rehab programs. The majority of people in drug rehab for cannabis in the U.S. are there because the court offered them the option.

According to SAMHSA, over 37 percent of the estimated 288,000 thousand people who entered drug treatment for marijuana in 2007 hadn't used weed in the 30 days prior to their admission. Another 16 percent of those admitted said they'd only used cannabis three times or less in the month prior to their admission. Do these individuals sound like they meet the clinical standard of dependence...defined as "the state of being psychologically and physiologically dependent on a drug" Hardly. In truth, the only reason these people are in "treatment" at all is because they were arrested with a small quantity of pot and were ordered to treatment in lieu of jail.

..According to the Aug. 13, 2009 issue of The TEDS Report, published by SAMHSA, nearly six out of 10 individuals enrolled in drug treatment for marijuana are referred there by the criminal justice system


I don't know if you are aware of this, but NYC and Chicago, for instance, have had "stop and frisk" policies that allow them to stop someone FOR NO REASON other than they might look like they might be someone who is somehow going to commit a crime.

The officers have people empty their pockets. If someone has a reefer in his pocket, the police then arrest them - even tho this is a violation of constitutional rights AND this policy is not allowed, supposedly.

This policy, however, targets minorities - by that I mean people of color, not underage, tho the two aren't exclusive.


(29,047 posts)
4. This is what happens when authoritarianism meets racism.
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 11:09 AM
Dec 2011

Better than Jim Crow, but still really disturbing.


(28,784 posts)
5. This is Nixon's legacy
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 12:19 PM
Dec 2011

The southern strategy of the conservatives was racist. Even they admit it.

Reagan ramped up this strategy with the zero tolerance "War on Drugs" which is a huge failure in terms of cost/benefit across a spectrum of costs and benefits.

Reagan's War on Drugs was, in effect, a call to endless war on the American people. We continue to see the way in which his policies began an assault on Constitutional rights that has continued with the Patriot Act.

Any time someone says he or she is a conservative and blathers about the Constitution - I have to wonder why they have supported candidates who continually undermine the constitution in order to engage in voter suppression.

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