To estimate the cumulative probability (c) of arrest by age 28 years in the United States by disability status, race/ethnicity, and gender.Methods
I estimated cumulative probabilities through birth cohort life tables with data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997.Results
Estimates demonstrated that those with disabilities have a higher cumulative probability of arrest (c = 42.65) than those without (c = 29.68). The risk was disproportionately spread across races/ethnicities, with Blacks with disabilities experiencing the highest cumulative probability of arrest (c = 55.17) and Whites without disabilities experiencing the lowest (c = 27.55). Racial/ethnic differences existed by gender as well. There was a similar distribution of disability types across race/ethnicity, suggesting that the racial/ethnic differences in arrest may stem from racial/ethnic inequalities as opposed to differential distribution of disability types.Conclusions
The experience of arrest for those with disabilities was higher than expected. Police officers should understand how disabilities may affect compliance and other behaviors, and likewise how implicit bias and structural racism may affect reactions and actions of officers and the systems they work within in ways that create inequities.