Entries in Arrested (3)


Arrests Increasing Among Young Americans, Study Finds

Doug Menuez/Photodisc/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- By age 23, up to 41 percent of American adolescents and young adults have been arrested at least once for something other than a minor traffic violation, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

The study gives no indication of how many of these young people committed violent crimes versus how many were rounded up for more minor infractions, such as disturbing the peace. But the study's authors say such a high percentage of arrests may point to a host of potential health and behavioral problems that put young people at risk for criminal activity.

"An arrest usually happens in context. There are usually other things going on in a kid's life," said study author Robert Brame, professor of criminal justice and criminology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

In the study, Brame and his colleagues analyzed responses to a national survey of more than 7,000 young people between 1997 and 2008.  They found that between 25 and 41 percent of the respondents reported one arrest by the age of 23; 16 to 27 percent of the respondents reported being arrested by age 18.

Not all of the young people remained in the study for all 11 years, accounting for the uncertainty reflected in the wide ranges of the study's findings.

But even at the lowest ends of these ranges, the study's findings were higher than projections of youth arrests made in 1965, the last time scientists studied this topic.

"Those are alarmingly high numbers," said Dr. Eugene Beresin, a child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor at Harvard Medical School.  "There are social, economic, educational and family risks associated with arrests.  And we all have to be worried about that."

Although an arrest doesn't necessarily mean a child, teen or young adult is a criminal, previous research has connected run-ins with the law with other problems -- drug addiction, physical or emotional abuse and poverty, to name a few.

Beresin said a high number of arrests could also indicate a high rate of untreated psychiatric disorders, another factor that has been linked to criminal activity.  According to the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, a nonprofit group, between 50 to 75 percent of incarcerated young people have diagnosable mental health problems.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Most Men Arrested Are On Drugs, Report Says

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Most of the men arrested last year in ten participating U.S. cities were on at least one drug when apprehended, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Office of National Drug Policy.

In Chicago, 83 percent of the men arrested were found to be on drugs -- the most of any of the cities cited in the government report. In Washington, D.C., the percentage of those on drugs when arrested was 52 percent -- the lowest on the list.

[Read the entire report on the Office of National Drug Control Policy's website.]

The report says the findings highlight the link between drug use and crime and "illustrate why we must approach our Nation's drug problem as a public health and safety problem," according to Gil Kerlikowske, the director of National Drug Control Policy.

Fewer adult males tested positive for cocaine in 2010, the study found, and are instead using drugs such meth, marijuana, and oxycodone.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Does Arizona Mother Accused of Poisoning Baby Have Munchausen's?

Tucson Police Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Police say they have arrested a 21-year-old Arizona mother for child abuse after her infant daughter was diagnosed with nine different rare infections.

Doctors treating the child suspected the mother, Blanca Montano, of having something called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, which caused her to poison her child intentionally to get attention, police said.

Montano took her two children to an Arizona hospital in late February with flu-like symptoms.  The children were diagnosed and treated for an infection.  Montano's son was soon released, but her infant daughter got sicker and sicker.  She was eventually diagnosed with nine separate rare infections over the course of her hospital stay, according to a statement from the Tucson Police Department.

Staff at the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona noticed the child's condition worsened every time she was alone with her mother.  They began to suspect Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy and reported their suspicions to the police.

After launching an investigation, the Tucson Police Department learned that Montano intentionally poisoned her child and caused her illness.  Once Montano was barred from visiting, said police, the baby's condition improved significantly.

Police arrested Montano on Tuesday, charging her with one count of child abuse.

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is often incorrectly referred to as a psychiatric disorder, said Dr. Marc Feldman, a psychiatrist at the University of Alabama who wrote Playing Sick? Untangling the Web of Munchausen Syndrome, Munchausen by Proxy, Malingering, and Factitious Disorder.

"It is not a mental illness," Feldman said.  "It is a form of abuse, just like sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse -- it's just a variant."

Feldman said Montano's case sounds like a typical Munchausen by Proxy case, in which a mother fakes or causes a disease in her child and then seeks out repeated medical attention for the child.  The reasons for harming one's own child are manifold.  He also noted that Munchausen mothers often have a history of abuse.

In the few cases in which mothers have acknowledged that they are perpetrators, said Feldman, they said they wanted attention, sympathy, care and concern.  The Munchausen mothers felt they were unable to get the attention they needed any other way.

"They felt anonymous in their daily lives and unappreciated as mothers," said Feldman.

After sickening their children, these women shift identities from that of invisible mother to admirable, indefatigable caregiver of a sick child whose illness eludes diagnosis.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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