Washington, Jan. 6: Nearly half of black males and almost 40 percent of white males in the U.S. are arrested by age 23, a new study has found.
The arrests can hurt their ability to find work, go to school and participate fully in their communities.
The new study in the journal Crime and Delinquency provides the first contemporary findings on how the risk of arrest varies across race and gender, Robert Brame, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina and lead author of the study, said.
The study is an analysis of national survey data from 1997 to 2008 of teenagers and young adults, ages 18, and their arrest histories, which run the gamut from truancy and underage drinking to more serious and violent offenses.
Most striking are the race differences revealed in the study, Brame said.
In particular, the research points to a higher prevalence of arrest among black males and little race variation in arrest rates among females.
“A problem is that many males – especially black males – are navigating the transition from youth to adulthood with the baggage and difficulties from contact with the criminal justice system,” Brame said.
The negative impacts can be great, he said.
“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,” he added.
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.(ANI)