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NCJ Number: 202894 Find in a Library
Title: Imprisoned Nonviolent Drug Offender: Specialized Martyr or Versatile Career Criminal?
Journal: American Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:27  Issue:2  Dated:Spring 2003  Pages:167-182
Author(s): Matt Delisi
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined whether nonviolent drug offenders could be viewed as career criminals deserving of incarceration.
Abstract: Policy-related literature has questioned whether nonviolent drug offenders should be incarcerated. Those against incarceration of these offenders focus on the argument that violent offenders may be released from prison to make room for nonviolent offenders and that many drug offenses may be viewed as victimless crimes. This article examines the arrest and criminal histories of 500 incarcerated adults in an urban jail in the western United States. Results of zero-inflated negative binomial regression analysis reveal that in comparison with other types of criminal offenders, drug offenders had more extensive criminal histories. This correlation remained after controlling for the effects of age, race, sex, prison history, and arrest onset. As such, the author argues that nonviolent drug offenders can be viewed as career criminals, not as specialized offenders who rarely offend and only hurt themselves. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Criminal career patterns; Drug offenders
Index Term(s): Incarceration; Nonviolent behavior; Prison overcrowding
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