National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Continuity and Change in Criminal Offending by California Youth Authority Parolees Released 1965-1984 (ICPSR 3136) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This research project used longitudinal data on 524 serious male juvenile offenders released from California Youth Authority (CYA) institutions from 1965-1984 to examine the relationship between changes in local life circumstances (marriage, employment, drug use, alcohol use, street time) and criminal offending. In particular, the project extended previous research on criminal careers by developing and applying an empirical model that accounted for the joint distribution of violent and nonviolent criminal offending by parolees in their late teens to mid-20s, during a newly recognized developmental period of the life course termed "emerging adulthood." The individuals were released from the CYA at various ages from the late teens to early 20s, but were all followed for a seven-year post-parole period. For each individual, the researchers obtained information on counts of criminal arrests as well as information on exposure time. Violent arrests included murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, and other person offenses such as extortion and kidnapping. Nonviolent arrests included burglary, receiving stolen property, grand theft, forgery, and grand theft auto. Within each year, individuals were coded as "free" for the number of months that they were not serving time in jail, prison, or CYA detention. Involvement of the following life circumstances was recorded: (1) alcohol use, (2) heroin use, (3) full-time employment, and (4) marriage. A "month-score" indicating how many months the parolee was employed full-time during the course of each of the seven years of observation was also recorded. Offenders were assumed to have maintained the same status unless a change was noted in the California Department of Corrections files. In addition, the researchers developed an index to gauge an offender's stake in conformity by combining the life circumstances of marriage and full-time employment. Variables in the data include year of follow-up, race, age during that year of follow-up, number of months not serving time, stake in conformity index score, and number of arrests for violent offenses, nonviolent offenses, and total offenses. Dummy variables are provided on alcohol use, heroin use, use of mind-altering drugs, use of uppers/downers, dependence on alcohol or heroin, marital status, common-law marriage, and employment.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (1.1 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Piquero, Alex R., Robert Brame, Paul Mazerolle, and Rudy Haapanen. CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN CRIMINAL OFFENDING BY CALIFORNIA YOUTH AUTHORITY PAROLEES, 1965-1984. ICPSR version. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida [producer], 2001. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03136.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (1999-IJ-CX-0058)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   arrest records, criminal histories, juvenile crime, juvenile offenders, male offenders, offenses, parolees, recidivism

Geographic Coverage:   California, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1965--1991

Date of Collection:  

  • 1999

Unit of Observation:   Individuals by year.

Universe:   All California Youth Authority parolees released from 1965-1984.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

The user guide and codebook are provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   Theoretical debate over fundamental processes leading to continuity and change in offending behavior continues to generate significant amounts of empirical research on criminal careers. Despite the number of theories offering credible explanations for offending continuity, a fundamental disagreement exists over whether the processes generating offending stability reflect social mechanisms or stable propensities to offend. This research project examined whether levels of criminal activity shift in response to changes in local life circumstances (e.g., marriage, employment, drug use, alcohol use, street time). This project advanced prior research on continuity and change in criminal careers in three ways. First, the project used a prospective longitudinal dataset of serious offenders released from the California Youth Authority (CYA) and followed the offenders over a seven-year post-parole period. This dataset allowed for a systematic assessment of the relationships between changes in local life circumstances and changes in offending behavior. An additional feature of the data was its ability to control for street time and remove the biases associated with incapacitation. Second, the project extended previously developed nonparametric statistical models by developing a method that allowed the examination of how life circumstances relate to the joint distribution of violent and nonviolent offending, which previous research had not yet examined. Third, the project explored the extent to which the relationship between life circumstances and criminal offending varies during the late teens through the mid-20s, a newly recognized developmental period of the life course termed "emerging adulthood" characterized by change and a process of exploration of possible life directions.

Study Design:   The dataset for this project provides information on 524 male juvenile offenders released from CYA institutions from 1965-1984. These individuals were released from the CYA at various ages around the late teens to early 20s, but were all followed for a seven-year post-parole period. For each individual, the researchers obtained information on counts of criminal arrests as well as information on exposure time. Violent arrests included murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, and other person offenses such as extortion and kidnapping. Nonviolent arrests included burglary, receiving stolen property, grand theft, forgery, and grand theft auto. Within each year, individuals were coded as "free" for the number of months that they were not serving time in jail, prison, or CYA detention. Otherwise they were coded as being under some form of correctional supervision. Involvement of the following life circumstances was recorded: (1) alcohol use, (2) heroin use, (3) full-time employment, and (4) marriage. A "month-score" indicating how many months the parolee was employed full-time during the course of each of the seven years of observation was recorded. Local life circumstances were coded in terms of change in status. Offenders were assumed to have maintained the same status unless a change was noted in the California Department of Corrections files. The above four local life circumstances were examined because each has been found to be related to persistence/desistance in criminal offending. In addition, the researchers followed previous research and developed an index to gauge an offender's stake in conformity by combining the life circumstances of marriage and full-time employment. This index allowed for a more direct examination of the impact of collective or cumulative amounts of informal social control on offending behavior.

Data Source:

California Youth Authority Criminal Identification and Investigation (CII) rap sheets and CYA case files

Description of Variables:   Variables include year of follow-up (Year 1 to Year 7), race (nonwhite/white), age during that year of follow-up, number of months not serving time, stake in conformity index score, and number of arrests for violent offenses, nonviolent offenses, and total offenses. A "month-score" is provided for employment. Dummy variables are provided on alcohol use, heroin use, use of mind-altering drugs, use of uppers/downers, dependence on alcohol or heroin, marital status, common-law marriage, and employment.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   None

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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