Young Black Boys in Miami-Dade County Disproportionately Arrested, Research Reveals

“Black youth were much more likely to be arrested and re-arrested compared to White Latinx and White Non-Latinx youth.”

Black youth constituted over 50 percent of arrests in Miami-Dade County last year, though they make up only one-sixth of the population, according to a recent University of Miami study.

Black youth constitute approximately 17 to 18 percent of the 10-to-17-year-old population in Miami-Dade County, but they account for 58 percent of all youth arrests since 2010 and 63 percent of arrests in 2022.

"Black boys made up 9 percent of the youth population and 52 percent of the arrests. So obviously we believe that that is a crisis," Dr. Marcus Bright, youth services administrator for the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust, which helped sponsor the report, told CBS Miami.

Bright emphasized that getting arrested at a young age can have enduring consequences.

"A single misstep or arrest, for any reason, could subject individuals to discrimination in terms of employment, housing, and education," he said. "This could significantly alter the course of their entire lives."


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The study also reveals that arrest rates for Black female youth surpassed those of both white Latinx males and white non-Latinx males in 2022. All Black youth have a higher likelihood of being arrested and re-arrested compared to their white-Latinx and White non-Latinx counterparts.

Members of the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust held a symposium of elected officials, community leaders and police officers in Miami Gardens Thursday night (Oct. 5) to discuss the report and how the community will move forward.

Researchers proposed the implementation of a public option for universal early learning coverage as a solution.

"Studies indicate that children who read fluently by the third grade are six times more likely to graduate high school,” Bright said. “By addressing this issue early on, we can mitigate the likelihood of engaging in activities that may lead to incarceration."

The report also advocates for increased mental health intervention in schools, including the appointment of a mental health coordinator in every school and a substantial increase in investment for mental health professionals.

Bright emphasized the importance of representation and exposing underrepresented youth to higher-earning careers.

"How can you aspire to be an engineer if you've never seen one?” he asked. “We know that Miami is the most unaffordable housing market in the country. And so to live here long term, we can no longer be overrepresented in the lower wage industry."

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