Studying the Characteristics of Arrest Frequency Among Paroled Youthful Offenders

Published in: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, v. 41, no. 1, Feb. 2004, p. 37-57

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2004

by Pamela K. Lattimore, John MacDonald, Alex Piquero, Richard L. Linster, Christy A. Visher

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In recent years, much attention has been devoted to developing appropriate analytical methods to model criminal careers. Largely ignored in this methodological debate is the study of how the criminal behavior patterns of active offenders are related to individual characteristics. This article presents and analysis of the postrelease offending patterns of two cohorts of male youth released by the California Youth Authority in 1981 to 1982 and 1986 to 1987. The focus of the analysis is the frequency of arrest during the first three years following release. Negative binomial models are used to examine the relationship between a variety of factors that have been linked theoretically and empirically to the frequency of offending. Results suggest that measures of individual and geographic characteristics can be used to predict the average arrest frequencies and their variation among paroled youthful offenders. These findings suggest that there may be useful distinctions to be made among offending populations.

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