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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83502 Find in a Library
Title: Patterns of Crime and Delinquency in Massachusetts, 1978-1981
Author(s): M E Brown; E Greenblatt
Corporate Author: Massachusetts Commissioner of Probation
United States of America
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Massachusetts Commissioner of Probation
Boston, MA 02108
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This Massachusetts study examined the records of 49,791 defendants, randomly sampled over the period 1978-81, with attention to the linkage between age, sex, and offense.
Abstract: In the aggregate, 28.8 percent of the cases involved property crimes, 25.5 percent public order crimes, 19.3 percent major motor vehicle violations, 15.7 percent crimes against persons, 8.1 percent controlled substance violations, and 2.6 percent nonassaultive sex crimes. About half the defendants were age 17-25, and one-third were age 26 and older, while about one-sixth were 16 or younger. Defendants aged 17-25 consistently accounted for the majority of offenses in every crime category. Property crimes were disproportionate among juveniles; nonassaultive crimes and controlled substance violations were disproportionate among young adults, while crimes against persons, nonassaultive sex crimes, and major motor vehicle violations were disproportionate among older adults. Eighty-six percent of the defendants were male, with the ratio between males and females constant over the 4 years of the study. Females were underrepresented in crimes against the person (11 percent), but overrepresented in property crimes (nearly 20 percent in 1981). Females were also overrepresented in nonassaultive sex crime (including prostitution), but underrepresented in major motor vehicle violations and drug crimes. The findings point to a potential long-term impact on the types of crimes coming before the Massachusetts courts, as the State's population shifts toward an older age. Crimes typically associated with juveniles may decline, while those committed more by young and older adults may increase. Tabular data are provided. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Age group comparisons; Crime Statistics; Female offenders; Male offenders; Massachusetts
Note: Research report
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