Mortality rates two-10 times higher in young criminals: Study

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 19 (ANI): A team of US researchers finds that youth involved in drug dealing, alcohol use disorder and gang membership have higher mortality rates, especially from homicide by firearm. According to researchers from Northwestern University, mortality rates were two to 10 times higher than general population rates. Lead researcher Linda Teplin shared a data showing alarming premature mortality rates for delinquent youth at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston. The team studied a random sample of 1,829 youth, arrested and detained in Cook County, Illinois, between 1995 and 1998. The results showed, 16 years after detention, 111 of those died and 126 as of November 2016, most from homicide by firearm. Mortality rates varied by age, gender and race/ethnicity, but were two to 10 times higher than general population rates. They found that significant risk factors in adolescence for later mortality included drug dealing, alcohol use disorder and gang membership. Among delinquent youth, racial/ethnic minorities were at increased risk of homicide compared with non-Hispanic whites. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, African- Americans had 4.5 times and Hispanics had 2.8 times the hazard of homicide. African-American males had the highest mortality rates but among the lowest mortality ratios because death rates for this group in the general population are high. The researchers will also discuss a study on how criminal justice policies influence outcomes regarding mortality. (ANI)