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Juvenile Justice

Nearly a Third of Youths Are Arrested by Age 23; Is Zero Tolerance the Reason?

Posted Dec 19, 2011 7:22 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A new study has found that 30.2 percent of youths are arrested for crimes other than minor traffic offenses by age 23.

The study published today in Pediatrics shows an increase in arrests since a similar study published in 1965, report USA Today and the New York Times. That study, which used different methods, found 22 percent of youths would be arrested by age 23.

The increase in arrests could be due to zero tolerance in schools and a more punitive justice system, the Times says. Criminologist Alfred Blumstein told USA Today that youths today are more likely to be arrested for domestic violence and drugs than they were in the 1960s.

The study used data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics between 1997 and 2008.

Professor Robert Brame of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte was the lead author of the study. "Arrest is a pretty common experience," he tells USA Today.

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