A Rise in Arrests of Young People

December 23, 2011

Current Events

Arrests of America's young people on the rise

America’s youth are in trouble – literally. Parents and non-parents alike might be shocked to learn a new study estimates that roughly 1 in 3 U.S. youths will be arrested for a non-traffic offense by age 23.” That’s the leading sentence in a recent CBS News story that highlights the findings of a study published in the journal Pediatrics.

That’s a staggering figure. And for parents, it’s an alarming figure.

Let’s make it more real, more personal. If you have young children, as we do, consider your child and two of his friends. On average, according to this study, one of the three will be arrested before they turn 23 years old. Or put another way, if you have three kids of your own one will be arrested, on average, according to this study.

What Does This Mean?

That’s a tough question. The researchers of the study drew some conclusions about the sharp rise in arrest rates since a similar study in the 1960’s. They inferred that a more diligent criminal justice system. is one obvious cause. But I think there may be more to the story than an increasingly “aggressive” court system.

I’m not a psychologist or sociologist or some other professional that studies these things for a living, but I believe there are other factors involved. I believe an growing sense of entitlements may have something to do with it. The attitude that many in society seem to have today that the world owes them something, that they deserve something. And when they don’t get it, they get mad and lash out.

Many youths today are too familiar with the courthouse stepsThis may be coupled with a growing disregard of others and their feelings. I wonder how many murders have been committed because one person felt “dissed.” There’s no regard for the other person’s family or the loved ones he may leave behind. “He dissed me; I’m going to kill him.”

At it’s core may lie selfishness, putting self before others, or thinking of yourself only.

Drug addiction may also be partially to blame. When your body is dependent on Meth or another drug, your sense of morality, of right and wrong, is secondary to your need for the drug. Stealing may be wrong, violence may be deplorable, but doing without a chemical fix is completely unbearable.

There are likely more causes as well; it’s a complex issue. Whatever the causes, the fact is that more and more young people are getting caught breaking the law.

What Does This Mean for the Prepper?

For the prepper, this has immediate and long-term implications.

Pre-TEOTWAWKI Troubles

As we plan for the end of the world as we know it (aka a post-TEOTWAWKI world) where food and other necessities are in short supply, we must take care to protect our storage.

Petty thefts during daylight hours are on the rise in many places around the nation. Hooligans will flagrantly burglarize a home while the owners are at work. They rummage for whatever is of value, looking for items such as prescription drugs, guns, and electronics.

Although it may not be the first choice for the criminal, the supplies you’ve put away for the future are at risk when someone enters your home uninvited to steal from you. Protect your supplies. Store them in hidden compartments. Don’t advertise to others that you have 10,000 rounds of ammunition saved. Don’t brag about the depth of your larders. Quietly prepare and protect.

Post-TEOTWAWKI Problems

After TEOTWAWKI when there is less of a police force available to keep law and order, those with a criminal bent will be left unchecked. People will have to fend for themselves for food, for water, and for security.

Preppers will be prime targets. Preppers will be prepared for the tough times. We will have food to eat, water purification methods to cleanse the precious liquid, and medical supplies needed to save lives.

Others will want what you have.  The grasshoppers will be angry and motivated and the ants will be their targets.

As you prepare, consider your future security needs. Don’t neglect the items that will help you to keep what you’ve stored. Learn to protect yourself and to spot potential trouble before it happens. Have a plan.

A Confirmation of What We Know

Despite being a shocking statistic, 1 in 3 people arrested before the age of 23, I think the study actually confirms what we already know deep down in our hearts. The moral decay of our society is continuing. And where there is no law, it will only get worse.

What do you think? Do you believe the study? And if so, what are you doing to prepare?

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7 Comments on “A Rise in Arrests of Young People”

  1. JR Says:

    There are several pieces here:

    a.) As Dostoyevski wrote over 100 years ago, “If there is no God, **everything** is permissible.” Or, as C.S. Lewis wrote about ethics “We castrate (say there are no absolutes) then bid the geldings be fruitful (go and have a wonderful, profitable) society. Ain’t gonna happen, as there is no BASIS for it.

    b.) I recently had some 18 year old blow my mailbox up. The police caught him. Rather than just making him come to me, apologize, and replace it, they brought it into the court system. This is just IGNORANT. I refused to press charges. It was a p-r-a-n-k. Yes it was stupid, yes he should be stopped, and yes he should replace it. He should NOT have a police record

    c.) We are trending more and more to a police state. The Founding Fathers clearly noted that if we don’t control ourselves, this is what will happen. Sadly, the people that need the real policing are our corrupt leaders (got that, Mr. Holder?), but they own the system.


    • Joe Says:

      Thanks JR! You make great points.

      a) C.S. Lewis had a great way to illustrate points through analogies like that.

      b) Agreed. Sometimes, the common sense approach is far better than nipping it in the bud.

      c) I’ve got a ton of really good quotes from our founding fathers about limiting government and protecting the people from the overreaching tendencies of those who seek political power.


  2. Schmoe Says:

    It seems that you and I come to different conclusions about the facts. When I look at the number of people incarcerated, I don’t automatically assume that all of those have been rightly arrested or imprisoned. As JR pointed out, individuals are no longer able to right small wrongdoings on their own. The reason more people are getting arrested is not mostly because of moral decay, but because of a rise of a meaner legal system.

    In my parents hayday, they have all sorts of stories of things that would now be considered criminal. Yet my parents are upstanding individuals. Some of their actions were immature and wrong, but mostly minor and victimless. And some they had to pay for directly to the ones who they wronged. But never were they considered criminals! Kids take time to grow up, and as they grow up they often try out different stupid things (like blowing up mailboxes). Yes, it is wrong. Yes, they should have to make it right. No, they should not have a criminal record for it unless it is truly criminal.

    We also come to different conclusions about preppers cautions. Instead of preppers being aware of criminals waiting in every dark corner to steal their stuff, they should be worried that, like some infamous preppers, they would be considered nutcases and a danger to society (think Ruby Ridge, Gregory Girard, etc.). They may be tracked down, watched, recorded, and have their houses invaded by the government. With the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act, you should be more worried about the world considering you a scary lunatic than somebody breaking and entering into your home (depending on the neighborhood you live in, of course).


    • Joe Says:

      Hi Schmoe –

      I do agree with you. The government has indeed become much more overreaching in its attempt to stop all crime and the legal system has lost a lot of its common sense.

      However, I also believe that there is a growing tendency in America for the violent crimes to be more heinous, more violent, and more depraved than in years past. And those levels of violence are growing in numbers in occurrence in addition to being enforced more often.

      And it is from those people I wish to protect my family. I’m not concerned about the exploding mailbox pranksters. They will likely not be a threat post-TEOTWAWKI. In fact they may be good, resourceful allies. It is from the ever-growing vile segments of society that I wish to protect my family.

      And part of that is to protect the food and other supplies that we’ve diligently stored away for a rainy day.




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