Younger Americans much more likely to be arrested than previous generations

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Americans under the age of 26 are much more likely to be arrested than Americans born in previous decades, with the increase in arrest rates occurring most rapidly among white Americans and women, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

The rising rate of arrests and convictions is associated with lower probabilities of being married, fewer weeks worked, lower hourly wages and lower family incomes during Americans' adulthood, according to the study.

The findings, published by the journal Crime & Delinquency, are based on the nation's longest-running that has followed families over generations to gather information about their work histories and earnings.

"Increased enforcement is likely a critical driver of this trend," said James P. Smith, author of the study and Distinguished Chair in Labor Markets and Demographic Studies at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "The evidence suggests that the growing criminalization of American youth is increasingly affecting all races and genders."

The study found rapidly rising rates of arrests, multiple arrests and convictions over time for all ethnic and . The rate for has increased almost three-fold in recent decades and the relative increase in arrests, multiple arrests and convictions among women were even larger.

"As more Americans are arrested and convicted during their younger years, we see an association with a variety of negative trends later in life, including lower chances of being married and less economic success," Smith said.

The findings come from a survey of participants in the national Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which has gathered information for 50 years about 5,000 American families and 35,000 individuals living in those families. The survey is representative of 95 percent of the American population, excluding career criminals, and is conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan.

While the survey is focused primarily on tracking work history and economic outcomes, the 2014 survey included supplemental questions created by Smith about participants' family history, including whether participants ever had been arrested or convicted of a crime by age 26.

Across all age groups, the most dramatic finding from the study were the differences in arrest rates across birth groups. People between ages 26 and 35 were 3.6 times more likely to have been arrested as compared to those who were at least 66 years old. About one-third of the men between the age of 26 and 35 had been arrested during their youth, 2.6 times the rate of those 66 and older.

Women experienced an even more rapid relative increase in arrests. Among those aged 66 and older, arrests before age 26 occurred among only one in 100 participants. But among those aged 26 to 35, about one in every seven women had been arrested at least once by age 26.

Black men who participated in the survey were more likely to have been arrested during their youth than white men (33 percent for blacks compared with 23 percent for whites), but the probability of being arrested was converging over time between the races.

Education levels were strongly associated with the risk of having been arrested among all ethnic and gender groups. Among men aged 26 to 35 with less than a , 60 percent of the men reported having been arrested by age 26. That compares with about 23 percent of male college graduates in the same age group, with little difference between racial groups.

"These findings show that education is strongly associated with differences in arrest rates between racial groups, especially for men in younger age groups," Smith said.

Arrests for all types of crime increased over time, with robbery and theft being among the most numerous. Drug arrests became much more common over time, even though drug arrests remained less common relative to many other offences.

Smith found that being arrested for a crime was associated with a 3.5 percentage point drop in the likelihood of being married, with multiple arrests further lowering the likelihood of marriage.

People arrested only once during childhood had about $6,000 less in annual earning as adults, with the earnings even lower (about $13,000 less) if someone had multiple arrests during childhood. People with violence or drug arrests averaged about $11,000 less in annual earnings.

"It is imperative that we better document the relative role played by criminal activity and enforcement because the trends have long-term consequences both for individuals and our society," Smith said.

The unedited study was made available online in July 2018 prior to the final article's publication in the March 2019 print issue of the journal Crime & Delinquency.


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Prop. 47 lessened racial disparities in drug arrests

More information: James P. Smith, The Long-Term Economic Impact of Criminalization in American Childhoods, Crime & Delinquency (2018). DOI: 10.1177/0011128718787514
Provided by RAND Corporation
Citation: Younger Americans much more likely to be arrested than previous generations (2019, February 25) retrieved 25 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-younger-americans-previous.html
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mqr
Feb 25, 2019
America's new motto "close a school, and open a prison". Their rich "think" that they are "clever" by putting lots of people in prison, paid by taxes of the poor. They could make more money investing in education, research, etc, but they are evil, they need to destroy the weak, the poor, children, women, minorities, etc. As I type, they are building larger prisons in the USA, they are creating a horrifying future for the next generations. And then they will blame the suicides, the drug addiction, the mass murders, etc, on the Hispanic immigrants. It is their government, their wealthy, who are destroying them and destroying themselves, sometimes by eating cake and sitting around like the very stable genious.

Feb 25, 2019
Clearly these whites are a problem.

Send them back to Europe where they came from.

Over 3 million people in America's Gulag prison system.


Feb 25, 2019
The rising rate of arrests and convictions is associated with lower probabilities of being married, fewer weeks worked, lower hourly wages and lower family incomes during Americans' adulthood, according to the study.

Millennials! The definition of liberal democrats.

Feb 25, 2019
""Increased enforcement is likely a critical driver of this trend," "

Yea 60 years of welfare babies has nothing to do with the decline of American values does it. Remove the father from the family and send the mother out to work while the children run feral is a great idea.

Feb 25, 2019
mqr don't blame our moral decline on the rich. We have created a "Me" society that is only concerned with immediate pleasure and has no respect for the law. The drug culture is a direct result of this.

Feb 25, 2019
America's new motto "close a school, and open a prison".

Please provide evidence that we're closing schools. I see new schools opening all the time.

Over 3 million people in America's Gulag prison system.

Arrests for all types of crime increased over time, with robbery and theft being among the most numerous. Drug arrests became much more common over time

There's an easy solution: don't rob, don't steal, don't do drugs. More simply: don't break the law.

Feb 25, 2019
There's an easy solution: don't rob, don't steal, don't do drugs
Conservatives provide such complex and profound advice (sarcasm.) So this article highlights what is of course a very troubling reality. That many in the U.S. are struggling financially - and getting arrested a very alarming rate. The Conservative response - "tell them not break the law." Wow - why didn't we think of that solution?

America is becoming numb - to a society that is violent, poor, and facing increasing rates of mental illness, and depression. Just look at the explosion in terms of prescriptions of mental health medications. But conservatives would not want to look beneath the surface - and try to understand what the hell is going on here. Just tell them to stop breaking the law. Damn we are screwed.

Feb 25, 2019
"America is becoming numb - to a society that is violent, poor, and facing increasing rates of mental illness, and depression. "

All of the increases are traceable to loss of family values and morals in this society.

Feb 25, 2019
The rates are higher because there are more laws that they can hold people accountable for.
And Law Enforcement has engaged a no-tolerance mentality which puts a lot more people in the crosshairs...
Not to mention, there are over twice as many people in the country as when I was in my 20's in the70's...

Feb 25, 2019
"The rates are higher because there are more laws that they can hold people accountable for. "

I call BS on that. Drug gangs have turned our cities into war zones. Ghetto culture is revered as something to be emulated. Kids are being told that the world will end in 12 years if they take an SUV to soccer practice. All of this is traceable to poor decisions made by our politicians and the people who elected them.

Feb 25, 2019
All of the increases are traceable to loss of family values and morals in this society


It's so sad to see someone saying this in the present day... Throughout history, people have always condemned the morals of the poor and destitute, when in every case it was external factors that caused the societal decline.

In the present day, American society is degrading because of a few obvious factors:

- Over-concentration of wealth and power (leading to a violent struggle between the powerful for dominance)
- Destitution and a lack of social mobility causing people to fall into despair, leading to heavy drug and alcohol use
- Rage among the populace, who long to regain their power. A symptom of this is the American obsession with superheroes. The continued denial of their will leads to the rise of dark movements like Fascism, Nazism, and the like.

This is a story that has played out again and again throughout history. Is it the fate of the USA as well? Doesn't look good...

yep
Feb 26, 2019
"America is becoming numb - to a society that is violent, poor, and facing increasing rates of mental illness, and depression. "

All of the increases are traceable to loss of family values and morals in this society.


Like having a drug war against all available science then and now feeding curruption and black markets pushing violence into our schools and homes militarizing police making them so scared they shoot kids with candy bars. Private prisons that lobby for increased penalties and illegal people. Profiting from the suffering of others.

You are right, politicians caused increases with stupid laws to control markets benefitting corporate masters as people suffer and families are torn apart.

Feb 26, 2019
Just tell them to stop breaking the law.

Yeah, it's really that simple. Of course if you were raised in a home with apathetic, disengaged parents or without a father, statistically you are far more likely to do poor scholastically, to smoke, drink and do drugs, to be violent, to commit crimes, to end up in prison, to suffer from mental health problems and to be poor. That doesn't mean you can't rise above it, but the deck is stacked against you.

Unfortunately, the government can't solve the broken families problem. But they can stop exacerbating it with counterproductive social welfare handouts. The broken families problem can only be solved by individuals taking responsibility for themselves and the children they bring into the world. A simple first step is don't break the law. Follow up with don't drink. Don't have sex outside of marriage. Get married and stay married. Commitment, love and self-discipline solve most problems.

Feb 26, 2019
Throughout history, people have always condemned the morals of the poor and destitute, when in every case it was external factors that caused the societal decline.

No, you've got it exactly backward. It's always "internal" factors that cause societal decline; morality is at the top of the list. See my previous post. Morality is another word for "personal responsibility." When you blame everyone else except yourself for your problems, you can never solve them because you can't "fix" anyone but yourself.

In a free society like we have in the U.S. with free public education until college and free healthcare for poor people the only reason you stay poor is because you have a low IQ (unfortunately, a small percentage do), have a significant mental handicap (small percentage) or serious chronic health condition (small percentage), or you repeatedly make lousy choices (most).

Feb 26, 2019
Yeah, it's really that simple
If it's really that simple aksdad - why haven't you set up the solution program - and solved the problem for us? Do you see the contradiction that you set up here? Looking at an incredibly complex problem - that includes poverty, drug addiction, mental health issues, economic policies, racism etc. etc. et. - and saying that the solution to that problem is 'simple.' So then we ask why you have not solved the problem - if it would be so 'simple' to do so. You have no practical answer.
the only reason you stay poor is because you have a low IQ
Could you support such a bizarre assertion with any research? I work with poor people. The capitalist system has feedback loops - that keep people stuck in their lane. Trust me - it is not easy to break out of poverty.

Feb 26, 2019
So all of you guys want to clean out our jails eh. Perhaps making drugs legal would help right. Yea Perhaps prostitution should be legalized. Our courts have already "Fixed" the mental health issue by closing most of the mental heath facilities and putting these people on the streets. A kid has a disciplinary problem at school, well the school has a nice little cabinet filled with drugs that will make everything all better don't they.

Yea those antidepressants work very well on children right up until the point the kid shoots up the whole school. Then it is the guns fault.

Feb 26, 2019
Face it people we have created a culture where all of the old values are being discarded and all of your rocket scientists out there cannot figure out why the new untested ones are not working.

Feb 27, 2019
we have created a culture where all of the old values are being discarded
I agree MR. We did not use to get up and turn on the T.V. - so we could find out how many people were shot and killed in our town overnight. People use to look out for each other. But what do you expect MR - when you push a dog eat dog - screw everyone else - the only think that is important is my right to carry a gun - and take and take and take and take.... You end up with a society of Donald Trumps - who don't know what the word empathy means. It is all 'transactional.' Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine. A society of sociopathic hedonists.

Feb 27, 2019
Onions guns were very common in the 50s yet there were very few shootings and gangs were more like West Side Story than the random killers of today. Our culture has changed for the worse as human life has lost much of its value in modern society. To blame people like Trump for individual moral decline is not realistic. As a result drugs and suicide are much more prevalent in a culture that views itself as hopeless.

Feb 27, 2019
Everybody is a "victim" today. If you are a victim your life is in the hands of others and you look to government for the solution. Your blaming of people like Trump for today's problems show that you believe this to be true. The creation of victims is the foundation of the Democratic Party.

Feb 27, 2019
Onions guns were very common in the 50s yet there were very few shootings
So? You kind of support my point - right? We have become a violent nation - a nation of sociopathic hedonists.
you look to government for the solution
I am not sure there are solutions to the problem of a selfish population of sociopaths. I was just using Trump as an extreme example of this phenomena . I am not sure there is any hope for the U.S. - or for the human race for that matter. Perhaps we deserve to devolve into total post apocalyptic mayhem. You just make shit up (90% of teachers support dems - for example) - Your lack of any moral, or entellectual honesty/integrity - make you just another part of the problem.

Feb 28, 2019
Liberal college professors outnumber conservatives 12 to 1.

Feb 28, 2019
As far as our plunge into the abyss goes it all has to do with the rejection and demonetization of time tested US values. Liberals, in all their hubris, think that they are intelligent enough to trash an existing value system and create one without serious side effects. They refuse to admit that their anti God secular system is crashing. They refuse to admit that their war against males and the 2 parent family unit has created depressed and aimless children. They refuse to admit that open borders has created a huge gang problem in our cities. They refuse to admit that our welfare system has produced a system where 70% of blacks are born to single mothers.

Feb 28, 2019
Our decline pretty much started with the drug culture of the 70s. Since then there has been a steady decline in values and personal responsibility.

Feb 28, 2019
The swirling down the drain continues.

https://www.local...-percent

Feb 28, 2019
"I am not sure there are solutions to the problem of a selfish population of sociopaths. I was just using Trump as an extreme example of this phenomena ."

Trump is no worse than most other corporate heads. Thus, it becomes very obvious that you dislike all capitalism. That is a pity since there is no other system that gives every person the freedom to succeed or fail on their own merits. Your welfare state robs people of the need to succeed leaving them without the dignity of accomplishment.


Feb 28, 2019
The swirling down the drain continues
We agree on the premise that the U.S. is going down the drain. It is a country in decline. We would however disagree on the cause. When you build a value system on greed - it is inevitable that the dogs eventually eat the dogs - and living in a world of dogs eating dogs - is not very pleasant.

Feb 28, 2019
Trump is no worse than most other corporate heads
Looks like you have never read any books about Trump. He is extreme in his sociopathy. Look at his friends - Sater, Cohen, Manafort, Flynn, etc. etc. A tribe of extreme sociopathic criminals.

That is a pity since there is no other system that gives every person the freedom to succeed or fail
You cannot conceive of another system.... Neoliberal capitalism has lead to a world in which we are now on the brink of an extinction event. We have factories where we make guns, cigarettes, vape machines, a war machine etc. etc. etc. The capitalist system is pathological. We are now exploring better options. I believe we have the technical ability to find a better system - I have no prediction regarding which wolf will prevail (see native american fable.)

Feb 28, 2019
So your friend Hillary was a better option eh? You think that there is some sort of magic form of government that can keep people from making bad decisions while preserving individual freedoms. Or perhaps you do not care about personal freedoms since they can harm the collective.

Feb 28, 2019
So your friend Hillary was a better option eh?
I have pointed out many times - that I hate the Clintons. So why do keep throwing out childish lies?
Or perhaps you do not care about personal freedoms
I care very deeply about personal freedoms - your childish taunting is sad. I think that social organization is a very complex topic. Figuring out how 8 billion of us - live sustainably on this finite planet is a massive and complex task. I don't share your cult like worship of a mythical free market system. I think free markets are better than centralized government decision making - in terms of allocation of resources. But we also need collective agreement on behavior. Figuring it out is complex - and we need a good education system - to then have a population that is able to think in complex and critical ways. Perhaps you don't care about the loss of insect populations (just for example). Some of us do.

yep
Mar 03, 2019
Our decline pretty much started with the drug culture of the 70s. Since then there has been a steady decline in values and personal responsibility.

You are a fool. Read some history. The steady decline happened because scientific findings like in the Shafer commission were ignored to follow racist and economic interests. Hypocrisy and greed lead the steady decline. Just read your dribble about personal freedom yet you are more then happy to take mine. Go f*ck yourself, your free market is a monopoly of lies for the profit of the few.

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