On the basis of prior research findings that employed youth, and especially intensively employed youth, have higher rates of delinquent behavior and lower academic achievement, scholars have called for limits on the maximum number of hours per week that teenagers are allowed to work. We use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to assess the claim that employment and work hours are causally related to adolescent problem behavior. We utilize a change model with age-graded child labor laws governing the number of hours per week allowed during the school year as instrumental variables. We find that these work laws lead to additional number of hours worked by youth, which then lead to increased high school dropout but decreased delinquency. Although counterintuitive, this result is consistent with existing evidence about the effect of employment on crime for adults and the impact of dropout on youth crime.
Household survey data on age at first use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and hard drugs can be biased due to sample selection and inaccurate recall. One potential concern is attrition, whereby individuals who get involved with substance use at an early age become increasingly less likely to be surveyed in successive years. A comparison of data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) with data from a longitudinal study suggested that attrition might have caused substantially less bias than did "forward telescoping," the inflating of age at first use over time. The evidence of forward telescoping was particularly pronounced with respect to age at first use of alcohol. This paper presents a procedure for correcting the distribution of age at first use for forward telescoping (but not attrition) by viewing a portion of the NHSDA data collected in successive years as constituting a cohort study. Results are presented from applying this procedure with NHSDA data collected from 1982 to 1995 for respondents born 1968-1973. The findings suggest that prevention programs need to be introduced at an earlier age than would be indicated by "uncorrected" retrospective data. Other implications are also highlighted.
Data collection using the life event calendar method is growing, but reliability is not well established. We examine test-retest reliability of monthly self-reports of criminal behavior collected using a life event calendar from a random sample of minimum and medium security prisoners. Tabular analysis indicates substantial agreement between self-reports of drug dealing, property, and violent crime during a baseline interview (test) and a follow-up (retest) approximately three weeks later. Hierarchical analysis reveals that criminal activity reported during the initial test is strongly associated with responses given in the retest, and that the relationship varies only by the lag in days between the initial interview and the retest. Analysis of validity reveals that self-reported incarceration history is strongly predictive of official incarceration history although we were unable to address whether subjects could correctly identify the months they were incarcerated. African Americans and older subjects provide more valid responses but in practical terms the differences in validity are not large.
The Author(s) 2010. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com Nearly two decades have passed since the publication of ‘‘Age, Criminal Careers, and Population Heterogeneity: Specification and Estimation of a Nonparametric Mixed Poisson Model’’ by Nagin and Land (1993). In that article Nagin and Land laid out a statistical method that has come to be called group-based trajectory modeling. The principle objective of the paper was to address issues related to the ‘‘hot topic’’ of the time—the criminal career debate—not to lay out a new statistical methodology. As described in the paper’s abstract, these issues were: ‘‘First, is the life course of individual offending patterns marked by distinctive periods of quiescence? Second, at the level of the individual, do offending rates vary systematically with age? In particular, is the age-crime curve single peaked or flat? Third, are chronic offenders different from less active offenders? Do offenders themselves differ in systematic ways?’’ Figure 1 reports Nagin’s (2005) updated version of the trajectories reported in Nagin and Land (1993). The analysis is based on the classic dataset assembled by Farrington and West (1990), which includes data on convictions from age 10 to 32 in a sample of over 400 males from a poor neighborhood in London, England. A four group model, analyzed using the zero-inflated Poisson modeling option, was found to best fit the data. The largest trajectory group accounted for 69.5% of the population, and was composed of individuals who generally had no convictions. The three offending trajectories included an adolescentlimited group (12.4% of the population), which peaked sharply in late adolescence, and then declined to a near zero rate of offending by age 20, a high chronic trajectory (5.9% of the population) with a high-humped shaped trajectory and a low rate chronic trajectory that accounted for the remaining 12.2% of the population. Also, shown in the figure are 95% confidence intervals around each trajectory. The dominant legacy of Nagin and Land (1993), however, was not its answers to the specific questions listed in the abstract but the methodology itself. A review of applications
The clearance rate is often used as an indicator of the risk of detection, in spite of the fact that these are different matters. This article suggests a method to make estimates of the risk of detection based on information from the Swedish crime statistics. The risk of detection is expressed as a function of the dark figure. Empirical estimates of the risk are given for drunken driving, residential burglary, and assault between strangers. These estimates are followed up with some calculations concerning the impact of crime activity level on the risk of getting caught. One major conclusion of the findings is that the risk of detection varies very moderately with the dark figure. This means that if there is some knowledge of the dark figure, it is often possible to make fairly good estimates of the risk of detection.
There is substantial evidence that catastrophic events, including terrorist attacks, lead to increased levels of post-traumatic
stress, especially in communities in close proximity to the incident. Some scholars also argue that these events disrupt social
organization. On the other hand, many contend that these incidents produce social cohesion as community members coalesce to
help each other in time of need. These ideas have resulted in competing hypotheses in the literature. The first is that violence
will increase in the wake of catastrophic events due to heightened levels of individual stress and community disorganization.
The second is that violence will decline after these events because of increased social cohesion, especially in the face of
an outside threat. In order to test these competing hypotheses, we employed autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA)
techniques to model the impact of the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11 attacks on monthly homicide counts at the
local, state, and national level. Unlike prior studies that provided evidence of an effect but did not use rigorous time-series
techniques, we found no support for either of the competing hypotheses. We conclude that while such catastrophic events may
have an effect on individual and collective efficacy well beyond the immediate impact of the incidents, these effects are
not strong enough to influence homicide rates.
From within an organizational strain perspective, this paper examines the effects of managerial succession, CEO background, decentralized management, and product dominant strategies on the reported corporate antitrust offending levels of 43 basic manufacturing companies over a 22-year period. In the aggregate, findings suggest that past illegal involvement predicts future offending; companies headed by finance and administrative CEOs have higher offending levels than do firms headed by CEOs from other backgrounds; a turnover in top management generally decreases offending levels; the pursuit of product dominant strategies increases the number of anticompetitive acts; and offending levels are unrelated to whether new leaders are recruited from within or outside the firm, whether the CEO is also Chair of the Board of Directors, or whether management is centralized or decentralized. The effects of some variables on corporate offending interact with firm performance.
This paper examines sources for the changing commitment rates to U.S. state prisons (PCR) from 1933 to 1985 using a variety of time-series techniques. Theoretically, it resolves ambiguous interpretations of how crime, unemployment, and imprisonment are related. Hypotheses that crime and punishment are in equilibrium are rejected. Our final specification supports theories integrating institutionally endogenous and socially exogenous causes of prison use and includes feedback effects between crime and punishment. We reached several general conclusions. (1) Changes in PCR are due partly to changes in the levels of unemployment, age composition of the population, and military active-duty rates. (2) Effects of the criminal justice system, captured as autoregressive institutional drift, account for approximately half of the year-to-year fluctuations in the PCR. The contemporaneous prison discharge rate also influences the rate of prison commitments. (3) Neither the specified nor the unspecified institutional effects mediate the effects of other exogenous variables. (4) Under most simultaneous-equation specifications, the crime rate is moderately influenced by the contemporaneous unemployment rate and strongly influenced by prior levels of prison commitments. The preferred simultaneous causal model estimates a modest positive coefficient for the unemployment-crime causal path and a substantial positive coefficient for the unemployment-prison commitment causal path.
This paper explores the dynamic relationship between unemployment and prison admissions in the English criminal justice system. First, by adopting econometric procedures designed to test between alternative forms of dynamic equilibria, it finds that there has been a steady-state growth rate in prison admissions and that unemployment growth has played an important role in determining that equilibrium. Second, by developing a behavioral model of judicial expectations, it argues that judges have used their expectations as heuristic devices for simplifying sentencing decisions and that the unanticipated changes in unemployment have played a key role in determining changes in sentencing patterns. Due to individualized sentencing practices characteristic of English judges, unemployment plays a much larger role in determining prison sentences than warranted under Anglo-American legal traditions.
In the present study the relationship between chronicity and violent recidivism is analyzed using longitudinal data from the 1958 Philadelphia cohort. The data reaffirm prior research findings that a small cadre of offenders commits the majority of crimes which involve serious harm to the community, yet it was found that the violent offenders accounted for a large share of the more serious index offenses. In addition, among violent delinquents there is a greater proportion of chronic offenders than among nonviolent delinquents. Chronic offenders were more likely than nonchronic offenders to repeat a violent offense. Violent recidivists also committed a large proportion of nonviolent index offenses. One might imply from the results of this study that a policy of selective incapacitation of high-rate offenders would substantially reduce the amount of violent crime as well as nonviolent crime.
A number of studies use the Age-Period-Cohort Characteristic (APCC) model to address the impact of cohort related factors on the age distribution of homicide offending. Several of these studies treat birth cohorts as spanning several years, an operationalization that most closely matches tenets of cohort theory, yet sharply reduces the number of observations available for analysis. Other studies define birth cohorts as those born within a single year, an operationalization that is theoretically problematic, but provides many more observations for analysis. We address the sample size problem by applying a time-series-cross-section model (panel model) with age-period-specific homicide arrest data from the United States for each year from 1960 to 1999, while operationalizing cohorts as five-year birth cohorts. Our panel model produces results that are very similar to those obtained from traditional multiyear APCC models. Substantively, the results provide a replication of work showing the importance of relative cohort size and cohort variations in family structure for explaining variations in age-period-specific homicide rates. The additional observations provided by our approach allow us to examine these relationships over time, and we find substantively important changes. The year-by-year estimates of the age distribution of homicide offending help us to examine the model during the epidemic of youth homicide.
It is now almost a quarter of a century since Adler (1975) and Simon (1975)stimulated a debate about the convergence of crime rates for men andwomen. The ensuing debate generated literally dozens of papers. Given theexistence of a series that now extends from 1960 to 1995, this papersuggests an appropriate way to examine the convergence hypothesis usingtime series techniques. These techniques take into consideration the effectsof the following factors: (a) random shocks orinnovations, (b) the potentially lasting effects of suchinnovations, and (c) the autocorrelation that time series oftenexhibit. Using time series techniques on annual data, we examine trends inthe arrest rates for males and females for six Part I crimes (homicide,robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft)for the years 1960 through 1995. We test for convergence, divergence, notrend, and a special condition of equilibrium between series calledcointegration.
Trends in female criminality from 1960 to 1990 are examined. The main focus is UCR arrest statistics but other sources of evidence are also used. Major findings include the following: (1) relative to males, the profile of the female offender has not changed; and (2) the principal change in the female percentage of arrests involves the overall rise in property crime, especially minor thefts and frauds. The effects of broad-based legal and societal trends on female criminality are discussed and an agenda for research on the issue of female crime trends is proposed.
Rational choice perspectives maintain that seemingly irrational behavior on the part of terrorist organizations may nevertheless
reflect strategic planning. In this paper we examine spatial and temporal patterns of terrorist attacks by the Spanish group
ETA between 1970 and 2007. Our analysis is guided by a public announcement by ETA in 1978 that the group would shift from
emphasizing attacks in the Basque territory to instead launch attacks more widely in the hopes of exhausting the Spanish government
and forcing it to abandon the Basque territory. This announcement suggests that prior to the end of 1978 ETA attacks were
based mostly on controlling territory in the Basque region that they hoped to rule; and after 1978 the organization decided
to instead undertake a prolonged war of attrition. Accordingly, we argue that before the end of 1978 ETA was mostly perpetrating
control attacks (attacking only within the Basque territories) and that the diffusion of attacks between provinces was mostly
contagious (spreading contiguously). After the 1978 proclamation, we argue that the attack strategy shifted toward attrition
(attacking in areas outside of the Basque territories) and that the attacks were more likely to diffuse hierarchically (spreading
to more distant locations). As predicted, we find that after ETA moved toward a more attrition based attack strategy, subsequent
attacks were significantly more likely to occur outside the Basque region and to target non-adjacent regions (consistent with
hierarchical diffusion). We also find that hierarchical diffusion was more common when a longer time elapsed between attacks
(a likely consequence of the fact that more distant attacks require more resources and planning) and that attacks against
Madrid were unlikely to be followed immediately by more attacks on Madrid or surrounding provinces. After ETA announced a
shift in policy, they maintained a highly dispersed attack strategy even during their period of decline. Using information
about where and when prior attacks occurred could provide useful information for policy makers countering groups like ETA.
KeywordsTerrorism–Spatial data analysis–Rational choice–Spain–Control and attrition attacks–Contagious and hierarchical diffusion
The purpose of this paper is to assess the effects of data aggregation on a specification of the relationship between sex and arrest rate trends. The analysis focuses on the empirical implications when arrest data are aggregated across dimensions that are likely to affect the sex-crime relationship. The data for the analysis consist of 4,119,358 male and female adult arrests in New York State for the 13-year period ending in 1984. Results indicate that race, regional differences, and the legal seriousness of the arrest charge produce significantly different patterns of sex convergence across time. On the basis of these results, we suggest serious limitations in past analyses of female crime rates and in the value of Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data for addressing theoretically relevant questions concerning the social correlates of official crime.
In this paper, data from the NCS and NCVS are developed for the purpose of describing long-term trends in male and female
violent victimization for the period 1973–2004. More specifically, gender-specific trends in violence are compared according
to crime type and victim–offender relationship. Despite their potential usefulness, these data have not been published previously.
The data reveal that the gender gap in robbery victimization has remained relatively stable while the gender gaps in aggravated
and simple assault victimization have narrowed over time. Results varied when the data were disaggregated by victim–offender
relationship. Male and female rates of nonstranger simple assault and nonstranger robbery were roughly equivalent throughout
the period, and the greater risk for male nonstranger aggravated assault that was evident three decades ago has largely disappeared.
The gender gap persists in stranger assault, but has narrowed somewhat because male rates of victimization have declined more
than female rates. In addition, male and female trends and the gender gap in nonlethal intimate partner violence differ from
the patterns established in intimate partner homicide studies. The paper concludes with a discussion of research that is needed
to understand why the gender gap in violent victimization has changed for some types of violence but not others, and how greater
attention to gender will improve efforts to understand crime trends.
Trends in the rate of victimizations of juveniles in three settings-schools, homes, and streets/parks-are examined monthly during the period 1974–1981. The relationship between in-school victimization rates and those occurring outside of school are analyzed with multivariate ARMA models informed by previous research on school victimization (Gottfredson and Gottfredson, 1985) and an importation perspective on the source of crime and victimization in institutions such as schools. Results indicate that the overall in-school victimization rate remained relatively stable during this period but that victimization rates of juveniles in other settings had significant effects on in-school victimizations. This suggests that underlying causes of victimization in general are important determinants of victimization in schools. These results are limited, however, as we examine these sources of victimization only indirectly via relationships among the different victimization rates in dynamic models and by the aggregate nature of the monthly data from the National Crime Survey.
During the 1970s, 94 federal district courts implemented two major policy initiatives, Rule 50(b) of theFederal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Federal Speedy Trial Act, that were designed in Washington to combat delay in the processing of federal criminal cases. Both of these initiatives established a national priority of delay reduction in criminal cases, encouraged local district court planning for delay reduction; established reporting procedures for monitoring local compliance, and provided for the determination of quantitative goals for the time to disposition of criminal cases. Neither initiative mandated specific activities for delay reduction; this determination was left to the discretion of local federal district courts. This research examines the effectiveness of Rule 50(b) and the Speedy Trial Act by constructing a 150-month time series of three measures of case processing time. A multiple-intervention time-series model found that both of these initiatives contributed to the dramatic reduction in the time to disposition in federal criminal cases. These effects persisted after controls for changes in case characteristics and judicial resources were introduced.
The Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR), assembled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), have for many years represented
the most valuable source of information on the patterns and trends in murder and non-negligent manslaughter. Despite their
widespread use by researchers and policy makers alike, these data are not completely without their limitations, the most important
of which involves missing or incomplete incident reports. In this analysis, we develop methods for addressing missing data
in the 1976–2005 SHR cumulative file, related to both non-reports (unit missingness) and incomplete reports (item missingness).
For incomplete case data (that is, missing characteristics on victims, offenders or incidents), we implement a multiple imputation
(MI) approach based on a log-linear model for incomplete multivariate categorical data. Then, to adjust for unit missingness,
we adopt a weighting scheme linked to FBI annual estimates of homicide counts by state and National Center for Health Statistics
mortality data on decedent characteristics in coroners’ reports for deaths classified as homicide. The result is a fully-imputed
SHR database for 1976–2005. This paper examines the effects of MI and case weighting on victim/offender/incident characteristics,
including standard errors of parameter estimates resulting from imputation uncertainty.
Bystanders killed by bullets not specifically intended for them have long been a very small part of the homicide problem. But the frequency of press accounts of such killings and woundings has apparently increased nationally in recent years. To test this impression, we compiled all shootings of bystanders hit at random and reported in the published indexes of theNew York Times, theLos Angeles Times, and theWashington Post for 1977–1988, as well as a key word computer search of stories in theBoston Globe. We found a rapid increase in both bystander woundings and killings since 1985 in all four cities. The base rate was quite low, and total bystander deaths appear to comprise less than 1% of all homicides in these cities. Nonetheless, the numbers were large enough to show that most bystanders reported shot in New York and Los Angeles are victims of random shootings into crowds, rather than single stray bullets striking a lone individual mushroom. The reverse was true in Boston and Washington, with the effect of much lower rates of bystanders reported shot in those cities.
Cross-sectional studies of crime have typically relied on crude crime rates when making comparisons between countries. Crude rates control for population size but implicitly assume that all members of the population are equally at risk. Empirical studies have shown that, cross-nationally, risk varies by age and sex. Standardization of crime rates removes the confounding effects of variable age and sex population distributions. Since age/sex-specific crime rates are generally unavailable for many countries, the method of indirect standardization is the most desirable technique. Age/sex-adjusted homicide rates for 76 countries are presented, and two comparative measures are suggested. It is shown that while the United States has a higher homicide rate than all but 15 countries; in most cases, the magnitude of the difference, not controlling for age/sex differences, is overestimated. Crude rates underestimate differences between the United States and countries with higher rates of homicide.
Arson is a serious crime occurring with increasing frequency in urban America today. To date, this crime remains poorly documented and seldom discussed in the literature, particularly from a geographical viewpoint. This study examined the spatial distribution and underlying factors associated with 440 arson and 732 accidental fires recorded in Springfield, Massachusetts, between 1980 and 1984. Based upon a series of dot and choropleth maps, there was evidence that both incendiary and accidental fires were clustered not only in specific Springfield neighborhoods but also along individual city streets. In an attempt to understand better the varying frequency of arson fires among the 36 census tracts in the Springfield study area, a multiple regression analysis was performed using census data reflecting a variety of social, economic, and housing characteristics. Two variables, representing housing vacancy and tenement-type housing, entered into the final regression equation. Together, these two variables accounted for 70.4% of the reported arson cases. A subsequent inspection of the regression residuals revealed a random geographical pattern, thereby precluding any simple explanation for the remaining unexplained arson. Other factors such as insurance, building ownership, and length of occupancy were thought to warrant examination in future research.
Boston, like many other major U.S. cities, experienced an epidemic of gun violence during the late 1980s and early 1990s that
was followed by a sudden large downturn in gun violence in the mid 1990s. The gun violence drop continued until the early
part of the new millennium. Recent advances in criminological research suggest that there is significant clustering of crime
in micro places, or “hot spots,” that generate a disproportionate amount of criminal events in a city. In this paper, we use
growth curve regression models to uncover distinctive developmental trends in gun assault incidents at street segments and
intersections in Boston over a 29-year period. We find that Boston gun violence is intensely concentrated at a small number
of street segments and intersections rather than spread evenly across the urban landscape between 1980 and 2008. Gun violence
trends at these high-activity micro places follow two general trajectories: stable concentrations of gun assaults incidents
over time and volatile concentrations of gun assault incidents over time. Micro places with volatile trajectories represent
less than 3% of street segments and intersections, generate more than half of all gun violence incidents, and seem to be the
primary drivers of overall gun violence trends in Boston. Our findings suggest that the urban gun violence epidemic, and sudden
downturn in urban gun violence in the late 1990s, may be best understood by examining highly volatile micro-level trends at
a relatively small number of places in urban environments.
KeywordsGuns-Gun violence-Hot spots-Epidemic
This paper reviews quantitative criminological research, especially of a sophisticated mathematical nature, published by researchers
in Australia and New Zealand since 1981. A statistical analysis of quantitative articles published between 1981 and 1995 in
the leading academic journal.The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, showed that using the five topical categories developed by Farrington (this issue), there has been little change in the
types of research carried out, with studies of court processes and correctional issues accounting for two-thirds of papers.
The numbers of “simple” and ”sophisticated” quantitative articles as proportions of the total published also did not vary
over the 15 years. Areas of strength in quantitative research include drugs, alcohol, and crime; indigenous peoples and the
criminal justice system; regulatory law enforcement; the modeling of recidivism; and sentencing. Most sophisticated quantitative
research is carried out by noncriminologists, and it appears unlikely that the amount of mathematically sophisticated research
will increase significantly in the next few years. Experimental studies and longitudinal designs will probably slowly grow
in popularity, and crime prevention will emerge as an area of quantitative strength.
The relation between recession and homicide is classic in the United States. This has been affirmed in the 1976 and 1984 Reports to the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of the United States Congress. Recent analysis confirms the findings reported in both 1976 and 1984 and demonstrates that the influence of recession on homicide is greater than previously estimated. Differences in the 1976 and 1984 findings on homicide are related to differences in the hypotheses tested, as discussed in detail and highlighted in the 1984 report. JEC staff correctly interpreted and reported the 1984 findings. Reproduction of the 1984 homicide equation is straightforward, provided the same data and any of several standard estimation techniques are used. Evidence does not support any of Cook and Zarkin's claims in their critique of the 1984 homicide equation. The JEC report of 1984 used appropriate techniques in the attempt (a) to ensure that influences attributed to economic changes are not actually due to other social factors and (b) to minimize underspecification of models.