Continuity and Discontinuity in Criminal Careers by Paul E. Tracy

By Paul E. Tracy

It takes braveness to do examine on crime and delinquency. Such study is usually carried out in an environment of outrage in regards to the challenge it addresses and is usually justified as an try and become aware of new evidence or to guage cutting edge courses or rules. whilst, as needs to frequently be the case, no new evidence are impending or leading edge courses prove to not paintings, hopes are dashed and money and time are felt to were wasted. simply because they take extra time, longitudinal reports require even larger quantities of braveness. If the possibility of discovery is more desirable, so is the danger of wasted attempt. long term longitudinal reports are considered specifically dicy for different purposes in addition. Theories, matters, and sta­ tistical tools fashionable on the time they have been deliberate will not be trendy once they are eventually done. probably worse, in response to a few views, the constitution of causal components may perhaps shift throughout the execu­ tion of a longitudinal undertaking such that during the top its findings follow to a truth that now not exists. those fears and expectancies imagine an ever-changing international and a corresponding perception of analysis as a roughly disciplined look for information. Such rules belittle the contributions of earlier learn and depart us prone to theories, courses, regulations, and examine agendas which can have purely tenuous connections to investigate of any kind.

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Youthful offender statutes, which dictate more restrictive facilities and intensive treatment for serious older adolescents and young adults with juvenile records, typify this modification. Information on juvenile careers could be used to target those cases more effectively. The Criminal Justice Policy Arena Criminal career development, beginning with delinquency and including the progression to adult crime, engenders a need for decision makers to consider the total career when designing and implementing criminal justice policy.

Research can help to clarify the goals of intervention, such as crime prevention, deterrence, punishment, and public safety, by demonstrating the appropriateness and potential effecU 28 Chapter 2 tiveness of such measures depending on type of offender, life stage, rank order of the offense, and so on. Clearly, information about career development can improve the effectiveness of both juvenile justice and criminal justice responses, but the juvenile justice venue appears to be of greatest relevance.

The evaluations Healy and Bronner made of the effectiveness of the court and correctional process, based on the subsequent careers of people who experienced it in Chicago and Boston between 1909 and 1923, was foremost among the research on this issue. The results of their investigations provided prevalence measures for continuity in criminal careers. Among 400 males from the Boston Juvenile Court who were followed until age 25, 21 % were subsequently convicted for nonminor offenses and 6% were committed to a penal institution.

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