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NCJ Number: 68130 Find in a Library
Title: NARCOTICS USE AND THE CAREER CRIMINAL
Journal: POLICE CHIEF  Volume:47  Issue:6  Dated:(JUNE 1980)  Pages:26-31
Author(s): R M LOMBARDO
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS PAPER STUDIES THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NARCOTIC USE AND CAREER CRIMINALS, CITING THE LITERATURE AND PRESENTING A STUDY OF 508 NARCOTIC USERS WITH A HIGH RATE OF ARRESTS FOR OTHER CRIMES.
Abstract: A CRIMINAL CAREER INVOLVES PERIODIC INTERACTION WITH THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, AND OTHER SOCIAL RELATIONS AIDING THE CONTINUANCE OF CRIMINALITY. SOME RESEARCHERS BELIEVE NARCOTIC USERS ARE CAREER CRIMINALS DUE TO THE CONTINGENCIES SURROUNDING DRUG USE, SUCH AS CONTINUED USE OF ILLEGAL DRUGS, RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER DRUG USERS OR TRAFFICKERS FOSTERING ADDICTION, AND THE NEED TO STEAL MONEY TO BUY DRUGS. HOWEVER, RESEARCHERS DISAGREE ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NARCOTIC USE AND CRIME AS A CAREER. DAI AND CHEIN BELIEVE NARCOTIC USE CAUSES CRIME, WHILE O'DONNELL AND FINESTONE SEE IT AS MERELY ANOTHER FORM OF CRIMINALITY, COMMITTED BY THOSE WHO WOULD OTHERWISE BE CRIMINALS. OTHERS COMBINE ELEMENTS OF BOTH THEORIES, ASSERTING THAT NARCOTIC USE AND CRIME REINFORCE EACH OTHER. RECENT RESEARCH, HOWEVER, DENIES THAT A CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CRIME AND NARCOTIC USE CAN BE PROVEN; NEW TRENDS IN NARCOTIC RESEARCH MERELY SEEK A BROADER UNDERSTANDING OF CRIMINALITY. HOWEVER, NARCOTIC USERS DO COMMIT A DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF CRIMES AFTER DRUG USE BEGINS. IN THIS STUDY, INFORMATION WAS TAKEN FROM POLICE CRIMINAL HISTORIES. MOST SUBJECTS APPEARED TO BE CAREER CRIMINALS SINCE 49.5 PERCENT HAD OVER SIX ARRESTS, USUALLY FOR PROPERTY CRIMES. ARRESTS FOR THE MOST SERIOUS NARCOTIC OFFENSES, HOWEVER, OCCURRED AFTER PRIOR ARRESTS, INDICATING A DEEPENDING CRIMINAL CAREER. BUT 74.6 PERCENT OF FIRST ARRESTS WERE FOR NON-NARCOTICS CRIMES, INDICATING CRIME CAREER PROGRESS BUT ALSO SUPPORTING THE THEORY THAT NARCOTIC USE IS MERELY ANOTHER FORM OF CRIMINALITY. NARCOTIC USERS' CAREERS IN CRIME TAPER OFF AFTER ABOUT 15 YEARS. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Drug abuse; Drug offenders; Habitual offenders; Professional criminals; Recidivists
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68130

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