One of three California men is arrested at least once between the ages of 18 and 29, a new study shows.
One in six is accused of a serious felony, according to a study conducted by Robert Tillman, a research fellow in the state attorney general's office.
"Unless we take steps to address the forces like joblessness and drugs that lead young men into conflict with the law, we can expect little change in these shocking arrest rates," said Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp, who released the study.
Tillman tracked about 240,000 California men from the time they were 18 in 1974 until they reached age 29 in 1985. Of the group, 84,596 or 35.4%, were arrested at least once during the 12 years.
Of those who were arrested, nearly half were arrested more than once. Of the total group, 39,773, or 16.5%, were arrested for serious crimes such as murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, burglary, felony assault, felony theft or motor vehicle theft. Conviction records were not included in the study.
Among the whole group, 65.6% of the blacks were arrested at least once, compared to 33.9% of the whites. Latinos were included with the whites because law enforcement agencies often list them that way and no accurate breakdown was available.
Of the whites, 14.8% were arrested for serious crimes, compared to 40.8% of the blacks.
Of those arrested, 47.7% of the whites were arrested again, compared to 60.3% of the blacks.
Of the total, 15.8% were arrested five or more times. Those chronic offenders were responsible for 51.6% of the total arrests.