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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 121799 Find in a Library
Title: Operational Definition of Prior Criminal Record
Journal: Journal of Quantitative Criminology  Volume:5  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1989)  Pages:333-352
Author(s): J F Nelson
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 20
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In New York State, there are a variety of measures of prior criminal record which are used to explain differences in incarceration.
Abstract: Analysis shows that measures based on arrest, conviction, or incarceration data are equally effective at explaining differences in incarceration. Measures based on counts do better in their logarithmic than in their arithmetic scales. Prior record is more closely related to incarceration for moderately serious than for serious or minor crimes, and prior record is more closely related to incarceration for crimes that have a theft component than for crimes that do not. An easy to compute composite prior record measure is developed that combines arrest and conviction data. It is as effective at explaining variation in incarceration as the most elaborate measures examined. 57 tables, 27 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Criminal histories
Index Term(s): Correctional planning; Recidivism
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