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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 89569 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Duration of Adult Criminal Careers - Final Report
Author(s): A Blumstein; J Cohen; P Hsieh
Corporate Author: Carnegie Mellon University
School of Urban and Public Affairs
United States of America
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 135
Sponsoring Agency: Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 79 NI-AX-0099; 83-IJ-CX-0066
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study of the length of criminal careers examined length in years, the rate or intensity of offending, and types of crime committed.
Abstract: The focus of the study was on predicting future criminal careers as a function of prior criminal activity. Arrest data were used as a surrogate for crimes committed. To obtain the number of arrestees, arrest data from Washington, D.C., for 1974-77 was multiplied by the proportion of unique arrests. Results indicate that criminal careers average about 3.3 years (for those starting at 24 years) to 5.6 years (for those starting at 18 years). Property crime careers average 4-5 years, while murder and aggravated assault careers average about 10 years. These findings indicate that for property crimes, including the frequent target offense of robbery and burglary, active offenders in their thirties or early forties are prime targets for sanctioning through incapacitation. Offenders who have persisted in criminal careers to these ages have the longest expected remaining careers. Offenders who have committed murder and rape are still at the peak of their criminal careers in their late twenties and early thirties. Only aggravated assault has passed the bulk of its career by the late twenties. Time served in prison on a sentence averages about 2 years in the United States. Two-year terms represent from one-fifth to one-third of the maximum expected remaining careers for Index offenses combined and for property offenses individually. To the extent that these careers are not merely postponed by incarceration, large portions of those careers can be averted by 2-year prison terms imposed during the period of maximum residual careers. Computations are detailed in the appendixes, and graphic data are provided in the body of the report. Sixty-three references are listed.
Index Term(s): Criminal histories; District of Columbia; Habitual offenders; Offense statistics; Selective incapacitation
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