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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77088 Find in a Library
Title: Identifying Chronic Criminals (From Confinement in Maximum Custody, P 3-14, 1981, David A Ward and Kenneth F Schoen, ed. - See NCJ-77087)
Author(s): J Monahan
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: D C Heath and Co
Lexington, MA 02173
Sale Source: D C Heath and Co
125 Spring Street
Lexington, MA 02173
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Prior criminal behavior, age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, and opiate or alcohol abuse are examined as primary factors influencing chronic criminality, and implications for the criminal justice system are drawn.
Abstract: Research studies indicate that the chronic 'street' criminal is most likely to have committed five or more offenses and to be a young, black male with a low income and a history of opiate or alcohol abuse. On moral grounds, however, prior criminal history is the only factor that should be considered in the decision about whether to send a person to a 'last-resort' prison. To be young, black, and male should not be factors that determine culpability or severity of punishment or incapacitation. The factors of low-income and opiate or alcohol abuse point to the importance of providing vocational training and drug rehabilitation programs for offenders as means of reducing or eliminating low income and drug abuse as behavioral influences. If prior criminal history is the primary factor in assigning culpability and severity of punishment and incapacitation, it is important that juvenile criminal records be considered. Studies show that criminal behavior which begins in the juvenile years is likely to produce a chronic adult offender. For this reason, juvenile records should not be sealed to courts when considering the prior criminal record of an adult offender. Records could be sealed if a significant period of time has passed since a person's last offense. Notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Alcohol-crime relationship; Behavioral science research; Correctional reform; Corrections policies; Drug abuse; Drug Related Crime; Habitual offenders; Inmate classification; Juvenile delinquency factors; Law reform; Rehabilitation; Sentencing/Sanctions; Socioeconomic causes of delinquency; Unemployment
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