Patterns of Juvenile Delinquency and Co-Offending in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1976-1994 (ICPSR 3598)
Principal Investigator(s): McCord, Joan, Temple University
In an attempt to inform and advance the literature on co-offending, this study tracked through time the patterns of criminal behavior among a sample of offenders and their accomplices. This study consists of a random sample of 400 offenders selected from all official records of arrest (N=60,821) for offenders under age 18 in Philadelphia in 1987. Half of the offenders selected committed a crime alone and half committed a crime with an accomplice. Criminal history data from January 1976 to December 1994 were gathered for all offenders in the sample and their accomplices.
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McCord, Joan. Patterns of Juvenile Delinquency and Co-Offending in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1976-1994 . ICPSR03598-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2004. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03598.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03598.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (92-IJ-CX-K008)
Scope of Study
Subject Terms: criminal histories, juvenile crime, juvenile delinquents, offenders, violent crime
Smallest Geographic Unit: district
Geographic Coverage: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: incidents
Universe: All juvenile offenders in Philadelphia in 1987.
Data Types: administrative records data
Study Purpose: Juveniles who commit crimes typically commit them in the company of their peers. Although this basic fact has been regularly reported in the literature, research focuses almost exclusively on juvenile delinquents as individual actors. In an attempt to inform and advance the literature on co-offending, this study tracked through time the patterns of criminal behavior among a sample of offenders and their accomplices. This study sought to answer three main research questions: (1) How is co-offending related to the age of offenders? (2) How is co-offending related to recidivism? and (3) How is co-offending related to violence?
Study Design: This study consists of a random sample of 400 offenders selected from all official records of arrest (N=60,821) for offenders under age 18 in Philadelphia in 1987. Half of the offenders selected committed a crime alone and half committed a crime with an accomplice. Criminal history data were gathered for all offenders in the sample and their accomplices. Relying on the 1987 crime as a point of reference, all crimes committed by offenders between January 1976 and December 1994 were reviewed to assure complete coverage of juvenile records. In addition, accomplices were traced for the 353 randomly selected offenders who had committed at least one co-offense. The principal investigator planned to use police tapes to match offenders to offenses, but the tapes were missing too much data. Instead, data were collected from court folders, which contained witness, complainant, police, and co-offender reports. A second source of data was rap sheets, which provided information about crimes processed by the adult court system.
Sample: This study consists of a random sample of offenders selected from all official records of arrest (N=60,821) for offenders under age 18 in Philadelphia in 1987. A random number generator was used to select names of arrested juveniles until 200 offenders who committed a crime alone and 200 offenders who committed a crime with an accomplice had been identified. If an offender's court record could not be found for the listed offense or if the offender had been previously selected, another crime was drawn from the appropriate list, again using a random number generator, and that offender became part of the random sample. The first drawing of a person made that person ineligible for another selection. Thus, no person entered the pool through selection for both a crime committed alone and one committed with an accomplice.
Data were collected from court records and rap sheets.
Description of Variables: Variables include the birth date of the offender, date of crime, most severe charge, number of offenders, offender's age at each crime, whether a violent crime was committed, dispositions, number of victims, demographic characteristics of oldest and youngest victims, criminal history of accomplices, number of juvenile and adult crimes committed after first co-offending crime, types of crimes committed after first co-offending crime, and the district in which the crime occurred. Demographic variables include the gender, race, and age of the offenders.
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:
- Standardized missing values.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2004-02-24
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