You don't have to be a San Diego criminal defense lawyer to know that the justice system in the United States has become increasingly aggressive and punitive over the last few decades. A new study confirms just how serious the problem of over-criminalization of American society is. According to the study, approximately one-third of Americans have been arrested for a crime by the age of 23.
The study analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and is believed to be the first of its kind since the 60s to analyze arrest statistics pertaining to adolescents and young adults. The study found that approximately 30.2% of young adults aged 23, who were considered in the analysis, had been arrested for non-traffic crimes. The last such study was conducted back in 1965, and in that year, the number of people arrested was just 22%.
It's obvious that those higher arrest numbers are the result of the justice system becoming increasingly aggressive over this period of time. The arrest rates for some kinds of crimes, like drug crimes, have simply skyrocketed.
This particular study did not look at the difference in arrest rates based on race, but earlier studies have found that blacks were more likely to be arrested at a younger age, than people of other ethnic groups. Additionally, people from lower socio-economic communities were also more likely to be arrested at an earlier age.
According to the research, the risk of being arrested is at its peak when the person is about 18 years old. Approximately 15.9% of the persons in the survey had been arrested at this age. The arrest rates began to taper out when the persons entered their 20s.