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RIMINAL ARK ERS AN D AREER RIMINALS" VOLUME Alfred Blumstein, Jacqueline Cohen, Jeffrey A. Roth, and Christy A. Visher, editors P~O=~iY CF NAT - NAN Ott_ l-3q8O Panel on Research on Criminal Careers Committee on Research on Law Enforcement and the Aclministration of Justice Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1986
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7936 . ~ 8 ~ NOTICE: The project that is the subject ofthis report was approved by the Governing Board ofthe National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and win regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of bow the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by bow Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. This project was sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, under Contract No. 83-IJ-CX-0010. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the grantor agency. \7. ~ NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 CONSTITUTION AVENUE NW WASHINGTON, DC 20418 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Criminal careers and "career criminals." Bibliography: v. 1, p. Includes index. 1. Crime analysis United States. 2. Crime and criminals- United States. 3. Criminal behavior, Prediction of. I. Blumstein, AlEed. II. National Research Council (U.S.). Panel on Research on Criminal Careers. HV7936.C88C75 1986 364.3'0973 86-18282 ISBN 0-309-03684-4 (v. 1) ISBN 0-309-03683-6 (v. 2) Printed in the United States of America NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS The National Academy Press was created by the National Academy of Sciences to publish the reports issued by the Academy and by the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council, all operating under the charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences by the Congress of the United States.
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Pane! on Research on Criminal Careers ALFRED BLUMSTEIN (Chair), School of Urban and Public Affairs, Carnegie-Mellon University ALLEN H. ANDREWS, JR., Superintendent of Police, City of Peoria, Illinois DELBERT S. ELLIOTT, Department of Sociology and Behavioral Research Institute, University of Colorado DAVID P. FARRINGTON, Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University, England JOHN KAPLAN, School of Law, Stanford University ROLF LOEBER, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh CHARLES F. MANSKI, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin NORVAL MORRIS, School of Law, University of Chicago ALBERT l. REISS, JR., Department of Sociology, Yale University LEE ROBINS, Washington University Meclical School, St. Louis, Missouri HAROLD ROSE, Department of Urban Affairs, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee DANIEL S. SMITH, Department of History, University of Illinois at Chicago ANDREW L. SONNER, State's Attomey for Montgomery County, Maryland REGGIE B. WALTON, Associate fudge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia NAMES Q. WILSON, Deponent of Government, Harvard University, and Graduate School of Management, University of California at Los Angeles MARVIN E. WOLFGANG, Sellin Center for Studies in Criminology and Criminal Law, University of Pennsylvania JEFFREY A. ROTH, Study Director CEIRISTY A. VISHER, Research Associate GAYLENE I. DUMOUCHEL, Administrative Secretary JACQUELINE COHEN, Consultant, School of Urban and Public Affairs, Carnegie Mellon University . . .
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Committee on Research on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice NORVAL MORRIS (Chair), School of Law, University of Chicago RICHARD LEMPERT (Vice Chair), School of Law, University of Michigan ANTHONY V. BOUZA, Chief of Police, Minneapolis, Minnesota JONATHAN D. CASPER, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University, and American Bar Foundation, Chicago, Illinois SHARI S. DIAMOND, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Sibley and Austin, Chicago, Illinois JAMES LOWELL GIBBS, JR., DuBois Institute, Harvard University JOSEPH KADANE, Department of Statistics, Camegie-Mellon University CHARLES F. MANSKI, Depa~trnent of Economics, University of Wisconsin ALBERT I. REISS, JR., Department of Sociology, Yale University NAMES F. SHORT, JR., Social Research Center, Washington State University PATRICIA MCGOWAN WALD, fudge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit STANTON WHEELER, Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles, on leave from School of Law, Yale University JAMES Q. WILSON, Department of Government, Harvard University, and Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles ALFRED BLUMSTEIN (ex officio), Chair, Panel on Research on Criminal Careers SAMUEL KRISLOV (ex officio), Cochair, Panel on Statistical Assessment as Evidence in the Courts ANN WITTE (ex officio), Chair, Panel on Taxpayer Compliance Research V
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Contents CONTENTS, VOLUME PREFACE . . . ISSUES IN THE MEASUREMENT OF CRIMINAL CAREERS Joseph G. Weis ...... vim · . V11 2 THE IMPACT OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE ON CRIMINAL CAREERS 52 Eric D. Wish and Bruce D. Johnson 3 THE RELATIONSHIP OF PROBLEM DRINKING TO INDIVIDUAL OFFENDING SEQUENCES James J. Collins 4 CO OFFENDER INFLUENCES ON CRIMINAL CAREERS Albert1. Reiss,Jr. 5 THE RAND INMATE SURVEY: A REANALYSIS Christy A. Visher 6 ACCURACY OF PREDICTION MODEES ................. Stephen D. Gottiredson and Don M. Gottirec~son · · . 7 SOME METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES IN MAKING PREDICTIONS John B. Copas and Roger Tarling 89 .. 121 ..... 161 .... 212 .. 291 PURBLIND JUSTICE: NORMATIVE ISSUES IN THE USE OF PREDICTION IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM 314 Mark H. Moore 9 DYNAMIC MODEES OF CRIMINAL CAREERS Christopher Flinn 10 RANDOM PARAMETER STOCHASTIC PROCESS MODEES OF CRIMINAL CAREERS. John P. Lehoczky · ~ ..... 356 v .... 380
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Contents, Volume ~ SUMMARY ~INTRODUCTION: STUDYING CRIMINAL CAREERS 2 PARTICIPATION IN CRIMINAL CAREERS 3 DIMENSIONS OF ACTIVE CRIMINAL CAREERS 4 METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES IN CRIMINAL CAREER RESEARCH 5 CRIME CONTROL STRATEGIES USING CRIMINAL CAREER KNOWLEDGE 6 USE OF CRIMINAL CAREER INFORMATION IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE DECISION MANNG 7 AN AGENDA FOR FUTURE RESEARCH APPENDICES A PARTICIPATION IN CRIMINAL CAREERS Christy A. Visher and Jeffrey A. Floth B RESEARCH ON CRIMINAL CAREERS: :INDIVIDUAE FREQUENCY RATES AND OFFENSE SERIOUSNESS Jacqueline Cohen C WORKSHOP ON RESEARCH ON CRIMINAL CAREERS: PROGRAM AND PARTIC1:PANTS D BIOGRAPEIICAE SKETCHES, PANEL MEMBERS AND STAFF REFERENCES INDEX
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Preface :[n 1983, when the Panel on Research on Criminal Careers was convened, the U.S. prison population had experienced a rapid growth-more than doubling from 196,000 in 1972 to 437,000 in 198~and the crime rate had just passed its 1980 peak of 13 million reported index crimes, or almost 6,000 crimes per 100,000 population. There was strong policy interest in finding alternatives to rapidly escalating imprisonment costs and what was perceived as relatively ineffective crime control. One approach that was widely considered was to direct attention at "career criminals," high-rate or long-duration offenders who contribute most to total crime rates. Research at the Rand Corporation had highlighted the extreme variability in individual rates of riminal activity: in surveys of prisoners, the worst 10 percent of offenders reporter! committing more than 50 robberies or 200 burglaries per year, but half the prisoners reported committing fewer than 5 burglaries or robberies per year. This extreme variation enhanced the appeal of being able to distinguish high-rate from low-rate offenders. To this end, a number of prediction scales have been proposed to distinguish the high-rate offenders from the more numerous ordinary offenders. Any prediction of an individual's future offending must draw on research on criminal careers, the characterization of the sequence of individual criminal activity: initiation of criminal activity, variation over the career in the frequency of offending and in the kinds of crimes committed, and, finally, termination of criminal activity. Any attempt to identify the career criminals in a population requires examination of the criminal careers of all offenders to find the characteristics that distinguish the most serious offenders: those having the longest remaining careers, the highest frequencies of offending, and commit- ting the most serious kincis of offenses. · . vet
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vIt! PREFACE The panel was convened to evaluate the feasibility of predicting the future course of criminal careers, to assess the effects of prediction instruments in reducing crime through incapacitation (usually by incarceration), and to review the contribution of research on criminal careers to the development of funda- mental knowledge about crime and criminals. Ultimately, such knowledge is necessary for understanding the dimensions of the crime problem, for isolating factors that contribute to criminality, and for developing effective crime control strategies. In particular, many commonly held perceptions of correlates of crime that derive from aggregate or macroanalysis do not hold at the indiviclual or micro level. As knowledge about criminal careers develops, the insights into individual offending that emerge will certainly stimulate refinements to crim- inological theory. They will also leas] to improved criminal justice decisions, both by drawing attention to some variables that are not adequately appreciated ant! by directing attention away from other variables that are incorrectly perceived as important. Criminal career information is also necessary for estimating the effects of changes in incarceration policy on crime ant! on prison populations. In reviewing the scientific evidence on criminal careers, the panel members were in general agreement about the findings ant] conclusions, but there were, however, divergent views on the ethics of how such information should be used in dealing with offenders. At one end of a spectrum is the view that no actions taken by the criminal justice system should take any account of individual differences in anticipated future offending; from this perspective, any use of predictive information would be objectionable. At the other end of the spec- trum is a desire to see even weak results put to use as quickly as possible; advocates of this position point to the shortcomings of current decisions and emphasize that any contribution could improve the quality of decisions and thereby reduce crime. In the middle, most panel members view prediction of future offending as a legitimate consideration in criminal justice decisions, particularly since it is currently being done implicitly at some level in practice. This view also maintains, however, that the role of prediction must be rigor- ously constrained and, in particular, that it not result in punishments or restraints that are unjust in terms of the offense committed. Although the panel viewed the making of pronouncements on ethical issues as outside its role, we click devote considerable attention to ethical considerations to be sure that our conclusions were sensitive to them. The scientific concern that is central to the panel's role is that any use of prediction be based on correct information intelligently used. We found a number of instances in which prediction rules were naively generated, with poor methods, or violated fundamental tenets of validity testing. Thus, it became important to call attention to more appropriate methods and to identify useful information both information that contributes to identifying career criminals as well as information that is frequently used but should not be used. Many aspects of the work of the panel can be viewed as a follow-up to earlier
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PREFACE MIX work by the Panel on Research on Deterrent and Incapacitative Effects, whose report was published in 1978. That report noted that any assessment of incapacitative effects or improvement ofthem was severely handicapped by the paucity of substantive research findings on individual offending patterns that could contribute to estimates of the magnitude of incapacitative effects. That pane] thus recommended that priority be assigned to research on criminal careers and that "the most immediate empirical investigation should be di- rected at estimating the individual crime rate and the length of a criminal ,, career. Pursuit of these issues has been a major feature of the Crime Control Theory Research Program of the National Institute of Justice, directed by Richard Linster and foe} Garner. It is always disappointing to find that knowledge does not accumulate as fast as one would like and that the measurements of those criminal career parameters are still short of definitive. In the context of the earlier review, however, it is impressive how much additional research has accumulated that provides internally consistent measurement of the key climen- sions of criminal careers and of their relationships to other relevant variables. Criminal justice is a field of social science research that is heavily beset by ideological considerations. In such a setting, any inclividual study is properly met with some skepticism and concern about the author's particular icleological bent and the degree to which that perspective may have had an excessive influence in shaping the results. A pane! such as this one, which brings together indivicluals with a full array of the requisite disciplinary perspectives and technical skills, and with a diversity of ideological stances, thus represents an important vehicle for assessing the current evidence in the field and for identifying promising research directions. Given its charge to assess the evidence on criminal careers and to point to fixture research directions, the pane! pursued two intensive efforts. First, the panel's staffreviewed the relevant literature, and these reviews are included as appendices in Volume I: Appendix A by Christy Visher and Jeffrey Roth reviews the literature on participation in criminal careers; Appendix B by Jacqueline Cohen reviews the literature on the indiviclual frequency of of- fending and on the mix of offense types by active offenders. Second, the panel commissioned a number of papers that were presented and discussed at a workshop in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, on July 2~2S, 1984 (see Appendix C in Volume ~ for the program and list of participants). Several of the papers review major bodies of literature: on prediction and its uses (by Stephen and Don GottEredson); on the influence on criminal careers of alcohol (by lames Collins) and of drugs (by Eric Wish and Bruce Johnson); and on group patterns in offending (by Albert I. Reiss). Because of the considerable interest generated by the Rand Second Inmate Survey, the panel also asked Christy Visher to undertake a reanalysis of the ciata from that survey. Two commissioned papers, one by Joseph Weis and another by John Copas and Roger Tarling, address methodological and measurement issues; a paper by
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x PREFACE Mark Moore addresses relevant normative issues; and two papers introduce new models of criminal careers that derive from recent advances in economics (by Christopher Flinn) and in stochastic processes (by John Lehoczky). These papers constitute this volume. They are the responsibility of their authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the panel, but they were valuable resources for the pane] in its discussions and represent important contriLlltion.c to the literature on criminal careers. The pane! members represent a diverse group (see biographical sketches in Appendix D in Volume I). The panel benefited particularly from the sensitivity, sophistication ant! challenges offers hv the. nrnotitionPrc Who r~n`7P`~P~ O . ~ . ~ . . ~ ~ , Insights about the current state ot their professions needs, strengths, short- comings and the operational constraints that limit the application of research findings. The academic members of the panel are all distinguishes] researchers. Some are working in areas related to criminal careers, while others brought specialized expertise in particular disciplines, methodologies, jurisprudence, or policy analysis. Discussions at pane! meetings were always lively, full of interesting icleas; disagreements were consistently isolated and dealt with directly. It was indeed a pleasure working with so able en c! committed a group. The dedicated efforts of the staff have been central to the work of the panel. Jeffrey Roth was the study director from the inception of the pane] and contributed consiclerably in terms of managing the affairs of the panel, in drafting significant segments of the report, and in his careful review of all materials. Christy Visher began her association with the panel as a National Research Council Fellow, undertook the review of the Rand Second Inmate Survey, and brought significant criminological background] and experience to the work of the pane! in its review of the literature and in drafting and editing major sections of the report. Jacqueline Cohen of Carnegie-Mellon University built on her experience as a consultant to the prior Panel on Research on Deterrent and Incapacitative Effects, her extensive research on criminal careers and incapacitation, and her extensive knowledge of the related literature; her diligent contributions to all aspects of the work of the panel, especially in reviewing the literature and in drafting major portions of the report, are very much appreciated. The task of editing the large volume of material assembled by the pane! has been considerable. Eugenia Grohman, the associate director for reports of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Educa- tion, not only sharpened our language but also challenged our assertions when they were insufficiently developed or documentecI, and so she made an excellent and important contribution to the report of the panel. lean Shirhall was also very effective in editing the appendices to Volume ~ and the papers in this volume. The pane! has benefited considerably from the administrative and secretarial work of GayTene Dumouchel at the National Research Council and Elizabeth Kiselev at Carnegie-Mellon University. An important feature of the panel's work has been the support and encour
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PREFACE agement of the sponsor, the National Institute of Justice. Richard Linster kept in close touch with the panel throughout its work, and lames Stewart, the director ofthe National Institute of Justice, provided the kind of encouragement and support that has characterized his stewardship of the institute's research program. ALFRED BLUMSTEIN, Chair Panel on Research on Criminal Careers
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