U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Augmenting, Analyzing, and Archiving Criminal Trajectories in Four Birth Cohorts from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, 1995-2023

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $674,183)

This proposal would build upon the existing longitudinal Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) – a representative, multi-cohort sample of children first studied in 1995 with funding support from NIJ and the MacArthur Foundation. The PHDCN encompasses diverse sources of measurement – spanning individual, family, peer, school, and neighborhood contexts. The researchers interviewed both the children and their parents for repeated waves on a broad spectrum of variables relevant to risk and protective factors for delinquency and crime. At the individual child level, the researchers included data collection on such key indicators as childhood misbehavior, low self-control, aggression, antisocial behavior, depression, family and school processes, and neighborhood violence and lead exposure. Another core component of the PHDCN data is its examination of how parental and family alcohol abuse, drug use, violence, arrest, and incarceration predict the intergenerational transmission of delinquent and criminal behavior of their children. This proposed study would extend the collection of individual criminal histories from the main study sample from 2019 through 2023. This will allow the researchers to evaluate how existing criminological theories and predictive models perform over time, including before, during, and after the global COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020. The primary source of this extended data collection is the Criminal History Record Information, which is reported to the state of Illinois and housed by the Illinois State Police. The project will gather and analyze detailed data on arrests, charges, and dispositions by date and type of crime and delinquency through 2023. The researchers will analyze these data in terms of how childhood risk and protective factors influenced delinquent and criminal behavioral trajectories in terms of onset, persistence, escalation, and desistance. Emphasis will be placed on identifying: causal factors for delinquency and crime; points of intervention to reduce delinquency and crime; turning points in the life-course, which influence desistance; impact of exposure to violence in the family and community; intergenerational crime transmission influences; and predictive factors for risk assessment of reoffending potential. When complete, the integrated data will contain more than 25 years of continuous delinquent and criminal histories, an age range spanning infancy to age 43, up to four waves of interviews, including on unofficial delinquency, and multiple other assessments.

The project will conduct research and produce papers and roundtables on a series of theory, policy, and practice relevant issues including: • Changing Social Demography of Crime and Criminal Justice Contact
• Early Prediction and Pathways of Criminal Justice Contact
• Intergenerational Crime and Criminal Justice Contact
• Turning Points and Desistance
The PHDCN has in the past archived data at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, which has provided the basis for extensive secondary analysis of these data. The data collected under this proposal would be archived at NACJD as well. Archived data will foster secondary analysis predicting and explaining delinquent and criminal trajectories over the changing life course in a multiple birth-cohort design. Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law, and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 16, 2020