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Prospective Test of a Criminal Career Model

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1989
16 pages
A Barnett, A Blumstein, D Farrington
The authors, in an earlier article published in 1987, formulated a model that described the criminal careers of multiple offenders in a cohort of London males.
They had been studied from their 10th to the 25th birthdays. Two subpopulations were used in that model, offenders were denoted as "frequents" and "occasionals". Each was characterized by a constant annual conviction rate and a constant probability of terminating the criminal career following a conviction. The original model was based on 82 men with two or more convictions for offenses. The new data was accumulated from their 25th to their 30th birthdays. This article describes the results of a prospective and predictive test of the model. The number of recidivists, the degree of recidivism risk, the total number of recidivist convictions, and the time intervals between recidivist convictions were all successfully predicted by the original model. Some distortions were caused by offenders who had terminated their criminal careers for long periods, but then reactivated them. 6 notes, 5 tables, 1 figure, 6 references. (Author abstract modified)
Date Created: December 30, 1989