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NCJ Number: 99012 Find in a Library
Title: Predicting Absconding From Young Offender Institutions (From Prediction in Criminology, P 119-134, 1985, David P Farrington and Roger Tarling, ed. - See NCJ-99006)
Author(s): D Thornton; S Speirs
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: State University of New York Press
Albany, NY 12207
Sale Source: State University of New York Press
90 State Street, Suite 700
Albany, NY 12207
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study was conducted to develop a prediction scale for identifying those young offenders most likely to abscond from open correctional facilities. Information on male trainees allocated to open borstals between May 1, 1977, and December 31, 1978, was extracted from the Young Offender Psychology Unit data base.
Abstract: The construction sample consisted of 3,761 male borstal trainees, 23 percent of whom absconded; the validation sample consisted of 2,387 male borstal trainees, 20 percent of whom absconded. A total of 80 variables covering previous criminal and institutional history, family background, occupational status, ethnic origins, and indicators of psychiatric and physical disorders were cross-tabulated against absconding. Of these, 31 proved to be significant predictors. Six of the most significant variables were found to be especially successful in predicting absconding: previous absconding from a custodial institution, previous absconding from a noncustodial institution, motor vehicle theft, race, age at sentencing, and employment status at arrest. A log linear model was used to generate expected absconding rates for each combination of predictor variables, and a simple weighting scheme was devised that corresponded to expected absconding rates. The prediction scale was operationalized as an algorithm and applied to the validation sample. Logistic analysis was used to test the significance of relationships between risk categories and absconding, and regression models were fitted with the computer program. The linear trend was significant; departures from linearity were nonsignificant. Thus, the risk categories appear to be a straightforward linear index of proneness to abscond. Shrinkage was found to be neglible. Data indicate that on the basis of simple background information, it is possible to assess proneness to abscond. Tabular data and 10 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Corrections research; England; Escape; Juvenile absconders; Prediction; Research methods; Wales
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