Nearly one in three youth will be arrested for a non-traffic offense by the time they are 23 years old.
This startling statistic comes from a new report published today in Pediatrics. According to Robert Brame, a criminologist at UNC-Charlotte and principal author of the study, "arrest is a pretty common experience."
This analysis was last done in the 1960s, when researchers found that there were 100 inmates per 100,000 people in the population. Today's study found that there are now 500 inmates per 100,000 people. Researchers suggested that rates increased due to a more aggressive policy for truancy/vandalism/underage drinking/shoplifting and because transition from adolescence to adulthood has become a longer process.
Of particular note is the authors' decision to publish the study in a medical journal instead of a journal focused on criminologists. The researchers believe that pediatricians have a role preventing violent or unsafe behaviors in their at-risk patients, explained Prof. Brame in a HealthDay article.
He goes on to explain:
"We don't think that kids get arrested in isolation, we're assuming that other issues are going on in their lives and we want pediatricians to be aware and try to understand and start a broader discussion about what's going on in the lives of young people," Brame said.
Dr. Paula Braverman, who chairs the Committee on Adolescence of the American Academy of Pediatrics, agreed.
"Pediatricians have an opportunity to identify risk factors that are associated with increased chances of involvement in behaviors that can lead to delinquency," she said. Even during routine checkups or visits for medical issues, "we're asking about school, what's going on in the family. We're asking about drug use and we're screening for mood and mental health issues."
*Photo by Flickr user Steve Rhodes
Liz Wu is a Digital Accounts Manager at Prichard Communications, where she oversees digital outreach for Reclaiming Futures and edits Reclaiming Futures Every Day. Before joining the Prichard team, Liz established the West Coast communications presence for the New America Foundation, where she managed all media relations, event planning and social media outreach for their 6 domestic policy programs. Liz received a B.A. in both Peace and Conflict Studies and German from the University of California at Berkeley.
Updated: February 08 2018