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How changes in arrest rates are affecting society

Ohio residents may be surprised to learn that if they were born between 1979 and 1988, they have an increased chance of getting arrested as compared to others who were born before 1949. Studies show that 6.4% of Americans born prior to 1949 have been arrested while 23% of those born between 1979 in 1988 have been arrested.

Some may point to the increased arrest rates as reason for the decades-long decrease in violent criminal activity; since 1993, violent crime has been cut by almost 50%. However, what might trouble some is the fact that many people are being arrested for nonviolent crimes.

About 19% of arrests of men and 28% of arrests of women are for robberies, thefts and assaults. Other misdemeanors account for 31% of arrests for women and 28% for men. About 9% of arrests for men are connected to drug offenses and 8% for women. What might be surprising for some is the fact that 11% of arrests for women and 16% of arrests for men are for underage drinking. Looking at it from this perspective, one sees that upwards of 25% of all arrests are for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol illegally.

This uptick in arrests is affecting people across racial lines. About one third of black men have been arrested, and over the past few years, there has been a tripling in the arrest rates for white men. Before long, it is probable that there will be a converging of arrest rates between the races.

When a person is arrested, a conviction can change their life. It could impact their ability to get a job, to find housing, to apply for government programs and to retain custody of their children. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help someone who has been arrested to defend themselves in court. They may work with their client to create reasonable doubt as to their guilt.

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