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Change in Offence Seriousness Across Early Criminal Careers

NCJ Number
Rohan Lulham; Clare Ringland
Date Published
August 2010
12 pages
This study investigated whether offense seriousness changes across conviction episodes in early criminal careers in a cohort of offenders.
Group based trajectory modeling (GTBM) provided evidence that the relationship between offense seriousness and conviction episodes varies for sub-groups of offenders. Results suggest that there is a group of offenders who commit primarily low seriousness offenses (33 percent), a group who escalate from low to high seriousness offenses (16 percent), a group that primarily commit high seriousness offenses (26 percent) and a group that de-escalate from high to low seriousness offenses (25 percent). Also found was that those who were older at their first conviction were more likely to be in the low offense seriousness group while those who were male and indigenous were more likely to be in the high seriousness group. While this is the first application of GTBM to the issue of offense seriousness, the results suggest the method may provide important information for understanding variations in offending seriousness in the criminal careers of offenders. 5 tables, 2 figures, 3 notes, 18 references, and appendix


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