Criminology Volume: 29 Issue: 4 Dated: (November 1991) Pages: 589-622
This study examined the relationship between drug involvement among inner-city male juveniles in Washington, D.C., and the commission of other kinds of crime, the role of drug use in crime commission, the connection between crime and drug procurement, and the factors that distinguish between individuals as a function of levels of involvement in drug trafficking and drug use and criminal activity.
In-person interviews were conducted with 387 ninth and tenth grade-aged minority, inner-city males in the District of Columbia in March through September 1988. In addition to survey data, information on police contacts and court appearances was collected for all individuals selected into the study sample. Data were extracted as well from a D.C. Public Schools database concerning students' grades and school attendance (September 1987-June 1988) for students in the public school sample. Drug use and trafficking were both related to other criminal activities; the type of drug involvement was related to the type of crimes reported. The heaviest users were significantly more likely than nonusers to commit property crimes, and drug traffickers were significantly more likely to commit crimes against persons than were respondents who did not sell drugs. Adolescents who used and sold drugs were the most likely to commit crimes against persons and property and at the greatest rate. Still, for every type of crime reported in the past year, only a minority of offenders reported ever using drugs while committing the crime or said that they committed any type of crime to obtain drugs or money to obtain drugs. Most youths apparently committed crime for reasons independent of drugs. 9 tables and 58 references
Date Published: January 1, 1991