The Long-Term Incarceration Consequences of Coming-of-Age in a Crime Boom

Published in: Journal of Quantitative Criminology (2022). doi: 10.1007/s10940-022-09559-4

Posted on RAND.org on October 04, 2022

by David D B Bjerk, Shawn D. Bushway

Objectives

We examine the relationship between incarceration rates individuals experience in their thirties and the crime conditions they experienced throughout their youth.

Methods

We employ a cross state panel data regression design to assess how the crime conditions state/birth-year cohort members experienced from adolescence through their twenties impacts their incarceration rates in their early thirties.

Results

Birth-year cohorts who experienced higher crime during adolescence had substantially higher incarceration rates in their early thirties than birth-year cohorts in the same state who experienced lower crime during adolescence. By contrast, the crime rates state/birth-year cohorts experienced during their late teens and early twenties have little systematic relationship with their incarceration rates in their thirties.

Conclusions

The crime conditions individuals are exposed to during adolescence appear to be pivotal with respect to their long-term connections with the criminal justice system.

Research conducted by

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