Many in U.S. Are Arrested by Age 23, Study Finds

A new study found that almost a third of Americans have been arrested for a crime by age 23.The study, the first since the 1960s to examine the arrest histories of a national sample of adolescents and young adults over time, found that 30.2 percent of the 23-year-olds who participated reported having been arrested for an offense other than a minor traffic violation; nearly a 10 percent increase from the 1965 study. Researchers say their results reflect growing exposure to the criminal justice system in everyday life and may be attributed to the justice system’s increased aggression in reach and zero-tolerance policies in schools during the last 50 years. “This estimate provides a real sense that the proportion of people who have criminal history records is sizable and perhaps much larger than most people would expect,” said Shawn Bushway, a criminologist at the State University at Albany and a co-author of the study. The researches hope their study can alert physicians to signs that their young patients are at risk.

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