Half of Black Men Arrested by Age 23
A new study published in the Crime & Delinquency Journal has found that nearly 50 percent of all black men have been arrested at least once for non-traffic crimes by the time they are 23-years-old. Based on data collected by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 49 percent of all black men have been arrested at least once by the time they turn 23, 44 percent of Hispanic men, and 38 percent of white men. Of course, not all arrests resulted in convictions.
By age 18, 30 percent of black men, 26 percent of Hispanic men, and 22 percent of white men have been arrested.
Among women, 20 percent of black women have been arrested at least once by the time they turn 23, 18 percent of white women, and 16 percent of Hispanic women.
The biggest problem is that this permanently prevents people who have been arrested from attaining jobs and admission to school. Kai Smith, the head of a gang diversion group in New York, told the AP “It’s really damaging … putting handcuffs on a child at 12, 13 or 14 years old. Even for something like jumping a turnstile, those acts have ripple effects that can be catastrophic.”
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has come out in support of raising the age that suspects go to adult court from 16 to 18. The only other state where 16-year-olds have to face adult court trials is North Carolina. In most states, younger teens would go to family court which prevents them from going to adult jail and allows their criminal record to be sealed.
Reverend Robert Waterman of the Antioch Baptist Church in Brooklyn said this can also create a dangerous cycle. “It really takes a toll on them and their futures,” he said. “Even the process of getting carried down to the police station — it becomes a custom or pattern that becomes part of their lives.”
(Image courtesy of Bob B. Brown)