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NCJ Number: 206767 Find in a Library
Title: Profiles of Crime Recruitment: Changing Patterns Over Time
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:44  Issue:3  Dated:May 2004  Pages:401-418
Author(s): Keith Soothill; Elizabeth Ackerley; Brian Francis
Date Published: May 2004
Page Count: 18
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Using the six British birth cohorts derived from the Offenders Index, this paper describes the crime profile of new recruits into crime at the defining moment of their first criminal conviction.
Abstract: For the purposes of this study, "crime profile" is defined as the "proportions of first offenders who are recruited into certain types of crime at various ages." The main variables of interest in the study are gender, age, and principal offense type at the time of conviction. Study data consisted of the six cohort datasets from the Offenders Index. These datasets contain the complete criminal records for all offenders with a birth date in four preselected weeks of the years 1953, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, and 1978, yielding an approximate one-thirteenth sample of the population of offenders. For this study, the focus was on the principal offense at the first sentencing occasion recorded for an offender on the Offenders Index. Seven types of offenses were selected: robbery and violence, sex offense, burglary, drugs, deception, theft, and "other." As a result of the findings, this paper argues that the three exemplars of burglary, robbery and violence, and drug offenses show significantly different effects. Burglary has an age effect that is apparently consistent over time (no significant cohort or period effects) and gender. Robbery and violence have a significant cohort effect, in that there are significant differences between cohorts, but the shifts between cohorts may also reflect a period effect as changes in the use of the criminal justice system began to become more and more evident. Finally, standard list drug offenses showed some evidence of a period effect, but because of various "contaminating" features, the effect was perhaps not so marked as expected. This study thus provides some evidence of substantial changes in the type of offenses committed by those persons convicted for the first time. The practical implications are that the profile of those appearing in court for the first time has changed rapidly. Generally, they have committed a much more serious range of offenses. It is beyond the scope of this paper to conclude definitively whether this changing phenomenon can be interpreted as a success or a failure in crime control policies. 7 figures and 15 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Age group comparisons; Crime patterns; Crime typologies; First time offenders; Foreign criminal justice research; Gender issues; Juvenile first offenders; Longitudinal studies; Offender profiles; Trend analysis
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