Criminal Career Patterns

Alex Piquero, J. David Hawkins and Lila Kazemian

in From Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Crime

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199828166
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199951208 | DOI:
Criminal Career Patterns

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The empirical study of longitudinal patterns of criminal activity committed by offenders has been a central focus in criminology. Descriptive analysis of the nature of criminal offending has led to important information about the proportion of individuals who offend, the volume of their offending, their participation within and across crime types, patterns of escalation and de-escalation, and the cessation of offending. Yet, much of the knowledge base regarding criminal careers has emerged from a few select studies, limited in scope by their sample composition, data source, and observation period. Even fewer studies have dealt with specific criminal career dimensions that link the important theoretical and policy-oriented transition between juvenile and adult years, a period of the life course when many criminal careers end and a select few continue. This chapter reviews the empirical literature that focuses on several key criminal career dimensions linking offending patterns in adolescence to those in adulthood, including: prevalence, frequency, continuity, adult onset, specialization, diversification, escalation and de-escalation, stability and change, and co-offending. The chapter concludes with an overall summary statement, an identification of key research priorities, and some recommendations for practitioners and policymakers.

Keywords: criminal careers; offending; longitudinal; specialization; violence; age and crime; adolescence; emerging adulthood

Chapter.  16166 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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