According to a new study in Pediatrics, somewhere between 30.2 and 41.4 percent of 8- to 23-year-olds in the U.S. will be arrested before their 23rd birthdays. Now the younger kids in that age range aren't getting arrested at crazy rates -- the "greatest growth in the cumulative prevalence of arrest occurs during late adolescence and the period of early or emerging adulthood" -- but those in the under-23 crowd overall are being picked up by police more frequently than in the past. According to USAToday:
The new data show a sharp increase from a previous study that stunned the American public when it was published 44 years ago by criminologist Ron Christensen. That study found 22% of youth would be arrested by age 23. The latest study finds 30.2% of young people will be arrested by age 23.
There seems to be two probable causes for calculated increase in arrests (which excludes traffic violations): today's kids are more crime-happy, or today's police are more arrest-happy. (Or of course both.) The study's lead author, Robert Brame, points to the latter. "The criminal justice system is more punitive today. In adult systems, in 1972 to 1973, there were 100 inmates per 100,000 people in the population. It's an increase of about five times more today," Brame told HealthDay