The researchers included 5,837 and 8,683 respondents aged between 18 to 23 years from the 1979 and 1997 cohorts, respectively.
The researchers included 5,837 and 8,683 respondents aged between 18 to 23 years from the 1979 and 1997 cohorts, respectively.

Millennials arrested more often than predecessor counterparts, even when fewer crimes are committed: Study

ANI | Updated: Apr 29, 2019 20:07 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 29 (ANI): A new research has revealed that millennials are more likely to be arrested than their predecessor counterparts irrespective of the self-reported crime.
The study also found that black men who self-reported no offences were 419 per cent more likely to be arrested at the beginning of the 21st century than non-offending blacks of the previous generation, and 31.5 per cent more likely to be arrested than whites of the same generation who did not self-report any crimes.
The study published in 'RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences' demonstrated the increasing effects of proactive policing practices and increased targeting of minor infractions had on an entire generation.
"The idea that there is a direct link between committing a crime and having contact with the criminal justice system is essential to public policy, political rhetoric, and criminology, and the assumption is rarely questioned," said Vesla Weaver, first author of the study.
"However, our study found that there is a loosening relationship between actually committing a crime and being arrested for the millennial generation, something that was not true for the previous generation, Gen X,” added Weaver.
For the purposes of this research, those who were between 18 and 23 years old in 1980 and 2002 are defined as Gen-Xers and millennials, respectively. The analysis does not capture later-born millennials and Gen-Xers.
To Weaver's knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to examine how the relationship between reported criminality and involvement with law enforcement has shifted across generations.
The study used the data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a nationally representative survey sample of more than 8,000 young adults that asked respondents to self-report crimes committed and experiences with various arms of the criminal justice system, including police, courts, and correctional institutions.
The researchers included 5,837 and 8,683 respondents aged between 18 to 23 years from the 1979 and 1997 cohorts, respectively.
These two generational cohorts were chosen to represent groups that were on either side of a dramatic change in policing, more attention to low-level crimes and greater resources being spent on the criminal justice system.
The results show that millennials had much more contact with the police even though their Gen-X predecessors reported more offences; only 10 per cent of young adults in the 1979 group were arrested even though 52 per cent reported committing at least one crime (not including drug use), but 25 per cent of the same age group in 1997 were arrested, even though only 15 per cent reported committing at least one crime (not including drug use).
Millennials overall were more likely to report being arrested, absence of committing a crime, than the previous generation. For the 1979 group, 18 per cent of those who reported being arrested also reported no offending, whereas 70 per cent of the 1997 group reported the same.
This disparity is particularly exaggerated by race. In 1979, blacks and whites both self-reported committing the same number of crimes and being arrested at similar rates, for all surveyed crimes.
The impacts of arrest are enduring, as studies have shown that arrest is associated with lower earnings, a greater chance of unemployment, lower educational attainment and a higher likelihood of continued involvement with the criminal justice system. The clearly disproportionate rate of black arrests further perpetuates racial inequity, say the research team.
The results showed the ramifications of a policy era characterised by broken windows policing, increased prosecutorial activism and a sweeping set of legislative changes that together bent the criminal justice system toward a focus on low-level or non-offenders, said Weaver.
"Our reform strategy should not only focus on decreasing punitive interventions but on realigning exposure to arrest with criminal offending," she added. (ANI)

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