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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 89334 Find in a Library
Title: Delinquency and the Labor Market (From Delinquency and Juvenile Justice - Linkages Among Systems, P 1-51, James Garofalo, ed. - See NCJ-89333)
Author(s): H Schwendinger; J Schwendinger
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 51
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although research shows a general correlation between crime and unemployment trends, this cannot be said of delinquency because of the inconsistent findings in studies of official data and the absence of inverse correlations in the studies of unofficial data.
Abstract: Despite doubts in many official quarters, many findings validate the relationship between unemployment and crime. Significantly, this relationship is confirmed consistently by the more theoretically and methodologically sophisticated studies. Some of the studies do not show a simple positive relationship between unemployment and crime, but this lack of uniformity has been attributed by Gillespie to several factors. First, the kind of economic variable used to predict crime must be carefully differentiated. Second, certain crimes are more dependent on economic fluctuations than others, so that the variable of crime must be theoretically differentiated. The use of additional refinements in research methods, for instance, age-specific populations rather than the population as a whole and cutting-points for socioeconomic variables, give further support to the view that unemployment affects crime and in some cases delinquency. The studies using chronological data provide support for a correlation between unemployment and property crimes; but they suggest that the correlations between unemployment and delinquency are further dependent upon the age-graded distinctions between younger and older delinquents. Also, the studies were based on official rates, but over the last two decades, self-report questionnaires or interviews have obtained delinquency data from adolescents themselves. The self-report data has generally found very low or zero correlations between socioeconomic status and the kinds of delinquency measured, which raises questions about the causal role of any adverse economic condition, including unemployment. If such studies are taken at face value, then the possibilities of fighting delinquency through employment policies or other economic policies that ameliorate adverse class conditions are in doubt.
Index Term(s): Employment-crime relationships; Juvenile delinquency factors; Unemployment
Note: Available on microfiche as NCJ-89333.
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