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More young adults being arrested than in previous decades

The current generation of young adults living in Virginia and across the U.S. are significantly more likely to be arrested than young people from previous generations, according to a new study by the nonprofit RAND Corporation. The study was published in the journal Crime & Delinquency.

RAND researchers analyzed data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which is the longest-running household survey in the United States. The survey monitored 35,000 individuals from 5,000 U.S. families for more than 50 years. By examining the data, researchers found that Americans between the ages of 26 and 35 were 3.6 times more likely to have been arrested at some point before the age of 26 than Americans over the age of 66. They also found that the arrest rates for white men and women of all ethnicities were rising the fastest. For example, white men are nearly three times as likely to be arrested now than they were when the survey began. Meanwhile, only 1 in 100 women over the age of 66 have an arrest record, while 1 in 7 women between the ages of 26 and 35 have one.

The study found that education was a consistent predictor of an American's overall risk of getting arrested. For example, 60 percent of men between the ages of 26 and 35 without a high school education had been arrested at least once. In comparison, only 23 percent of college-educated men had been arrested. Meanwhile, American adults who had just one youthful arrest on their record earned an average of $6,000 less than those who had never been arrested. Those with more than one arrest earned approximately $13,000 less. Those with an arrest for a drug-related offense or a violent crime earned $11,000 less.

Individuals facing criminal charges for a misdemeanor or felony may benefit from contacting a criminal defense attorney. The attorney may represent a defendant in court and work to protect their client's future.

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