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Pub. Type:
Report
Title:
Selective Incapacitation and the Serious Offender: A Longitudinal Study of Criminal Career Patterns
Author(s):
Subtitle/Series Name:
Abstract:
A policy of selective incapacitation holds that crime can be significantly reduced through sentencing policies that incarcerate habitual offenders for longer periods. This policy assumes the predictability of stable, prolific criminal careers over time, which, if interrupted by lengthy incarceration, can significantly reduce crime. To determine the stability of criminal careers among the study sample, information on officially recorded crimes was coded for all sample members over the followup period. Data indicate that high-rate offenders did not remain high-rate offenders, either in absolute terms or with respect to other offenders. Differences in arrest patterns by race and age suggest the importance of sociocultural and situational factors in determining patterns of criminal behavior across groups and over time. Such instability in criminal careers does not support the feasibility of a policy of selective incapacitation. Implications for future research are discussed. 44 tables, 11 figures, 49 references. source
Issue/No.:
NCJ 114268
Producer:
United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice
Place of Production:
Washington, DC

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