Desisting from Crime: Continuity and Change in Long-term Crime Patterns of Serious Chronic Offenders by Michael E. Ezell

Desisting from Crime: Continuity and Change in Long-term Crime Patterns of Serious Chronic Offenders

byMichael E. Ezell, Lawrence E. Cohen

Hardcover | January 27, 2005

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This groundbreaking study examines patterns of offending among persistent juvenile offenders. The authors address questions that have been the focus of criminological debate over the last two decades. Are there are multiple groups of offenders in the population with distinct age-crimepatterns? Are between-person differences in criminal offending patterns stable throughout the offender's life? Is there a relationship between offending at one time and at a subsequent time of life, after time-stable differences in criminal propensity are controlled? Ezell and Cohen address these issues by examining three large, separately drawn samples of serious youthful offenders from California. Each sample was tracked over a long time-period, and sophisticated statistical models were used to test eight empirical hypotheses drawn from three major theories ofcrime: population heterogeneity, state dependence, and dual taxonomy. Each of these three perspectives offers different predictions about the relationship between age and crime, and the possibility of crime desistance over the life of serious chronic offenders. Despite the serious chronic criminality among the sample offenders, by the time they reached their mid- to late twenties and continuing into their thirties, each of the six latent classes of offender identified by the study had begun to demonstrate a declining number of arrests. This finding hasprofound implications for penal policies that impose life sentences on multiple offenders, such as the Californian 'three strikes and you're out' which incarcerates inmates for 25 years to life with their 'third strike' conviction, at precisely the point when they have begun to grow out of seriouscrime.

About The Author

Michael E. Ezell is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University, Nashville. Professor Lawrence E. Cohen is at the Department of Sociology, University of California at Davis.

Details & Specs

Title:Desisting from Crime: Continuity and Change in Long-term Crime Patterns of Serious Chronic OffendersFormat:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.97 inPublished:January 27, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199273812

ISBN - 13:9780199273812

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Looking Forward2. Crime Over the Life-Course: the Empirical Implications of Three Theories3. Review and Hypotheses4. The California Youth Authority5. Data and Methods6. Descriptive Summary of the Data7. Age and Crime among Latent Classes of Serious Youthful Offenders8. On the Relationship of Past to Subsequent Criminal Activity9. Looking Backward and ForwardAppendices

Editorial Reviews

`'Criminology is full of great debates, especially those surrounding theidentification of brute facts of crime. Two of these...concern the relationship between age and crime and the relationship between past and future criminal activity...serious students of crimemake it a point to carefully consider these issues....[this book] serves as anexemplar to all criminologists as to not only how to conduct sound research onkey criminological questions, but also to do so in a way that is careful not to gobeyond the reach of data.''Alex R. Piquero, University of Florida