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Why are so many young Americans — about 1 in 3 — getting arrested? | 

Flickr, Vectorportal

This might seem to some a bit off-message for Humanosphere. But I would argue this is actually a global issue in that our country has a bit of an image problem overseas when it comes to crime.

I was just in Rwanda, where people get arrested for saying bad things about the government. When I raised this issue with Rwandans, they just point back at me and ask what’s up with America?

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Rate, not number. We have the highest proportion of our population in prison. The total number in prison in the U.S. today is about 1.6 million. And if you look at the entire picture, one of 32 Americans is in prison, on parole or under some kind of correctional system supervision.

Here’s another that story won’t help our image: Significant Number of Young Americans Get Arrested.

The headline is actually a bit understated, given the numbers. But the story by ABC’s Carrie Gann punches you right in the face with its first sentence:

By age 23, up to 41 percent of American adolescents and young adults have been arrested at least once for something other than a minor traffic violation, according to a new study published today in the journal Pediatrics.

Why are so many young people getting arrested? Continue reading