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Who Gets Arrested? Models of the Frequency of Arrest of the Young, Chronic, Serious Offender

NCJ Number
Date Published
62 pages
This paper presents the methodology and findings of an analysis of the postrelease offending patterns of two cohorts of male youth paroled by the California Youth Authority in 1981-82 and 1986-87.
The focus of the analysis is the frequency of arrest during two periods: the first year following release and the second and third years following release. Negative binomial models were used to examine the relationships among a variety of factors that have been linked to offending. Results from the models show distinct differences in the characteristics of those predicted by the models to have low expected rates of arrests compared to those predicted to have high arrest rates. During model year 1, those older at release had a higher expected arrest frequency than an otherwise identical younger releasee; this difference disappeared in model years 2 and 3, when researchers were able to drop age at release from the model. Other variables traditionally associated with criminal recidivism also were observed to have the expected effects. The models suggested greater arrest frequencies (other things being equal) for those with more extensive arrest histories, for those for whom there was evidence of institutional violence, institutional gang activity, and drug abuse. Evidence of problems with alcohol was associated with lower rates of offending. Implications of the findings for policy and future research are discussed. 24 references, 6 tables and appended mathematical relations used in the study and final model forms used in analyses

Date Published: January 1, 1996