The Criminal Career
The effectiveness of selective strategies depends to large extent on the length of time the average criminal remains active. It is easy to see why: If the average “career” were long—say, 20 years or so—then a judge could pass sentences of 5 or 7 years with relative impunity, confident that most offenders would very likely have committed crimes throughout their incarceration period had they been free. On the other hand, if most adult offenders went straight 5 years after they began to commit crimes, much of a 5-year sentence would very likely be wasted unless the offenders were convicted immediately after they started. So the average length of a criminal career might matter a great deal.
KeywordsDropout Rate Offense Rate Young Offender Criminal Career Career Length
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