Almost a third of Americans arrested by the age of 23

New York Times this week claims that almost a third (30.2%) of Americans have been arrested by the age of 23. Had you been posed such a question, what would your guess have been? No doubt a lower number than this. “This estimate provides a real sense that the proportion of people who have criminal history records is sizable and perhaps much larger than most people would expect,” said Shawn Bushway, a criminologist at the State University at Albany and a co-author of the study, which appears in Monday’s issue of the journal Pediatrics. What’s more surprising is that number of young people getting in trouble with the law correlates positively to the number of businesses performing background checks on potential employees. You would imagine the correlation to be the other way around. That figure is significantly higher than the 22 percent found in a 1965 study that examined the same issue using different methods. The increase may be a reflection of the justice system becoming more punitive and more aggressive in its reach during the last half-century, the researchers said. Arrests for drug-related offenses, for example, have become far more common, as have zero-tolerance policies in schools. The study analyzed data collected as part of the federal government’s  National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The 7,335 participants were nationally representative and ranged in age from 12 to 16 when they were enrolled in the survey in 1996. The first interviews were conducted in 1997. Follow-up interviews have been carried out annually since then. The researchers found that the probability of a first arrest accelerated in late adolescence and early adulthood — at 18, 15.9 percent of the participants reported having been arrested — and then began to flatten out as the youths entered their 20s. What does this mean for businesses? Perform background checks. Think about it – are you currently hiring recent graduates? According to this study, almost a third of them could have been in trouble with the law. In an environment where there are few jobs but many job seekers, employers are in a position where they can pick and choose the best candidates. Don’t settle for gut feeling when a simple background can confirm or deny your confidence. For more information on background checks, and how you could implement them at your company, get in touch with Mind Your Business, Inc. today.]]>

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