Monday, August 4, 2014
The topic of arrest rates came up in my church small group yesterday, and I found an interesting paper. According to Brame et al’s 2014 article, by age 23 49% of black men have been arrested and 38% of white men. The 2010 FBI stats show 2.2 times bigger arrest rate for black men than white. So it must be that while blacks and whites have about the same percentage of men ever arrested, many more of the blacks who are arrested have multiple arrests. Incarceration statistics bear this out; the fraction of black men incarcerated is far higher than for white men. I wonder how many of the white arrests are for drunk driving or disorderly conduct or wife beating?
It was interesting to me that this article, in a top criminology journal, was really just figuring out summary stats from a well-known national sociology dataset. That's certainly worth doing.
Note that having an arrest on your criminal record does not prevent you from obtaining employment. If it did, over 38% of middle-aged men in America would be out of the labor force for that reason.
Demographic Patterns of Cumulative Arrest Prevalence by Ages 18 and 23, Crime and Delinquency, 2014, Robert Brame firstname.lastname@example.org Shawn D. Bushway Ray Paternoster Michael G. Turner.