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A Longitudinal Study of Escalation in Crime Seriousness

Liu, Jiayi and Francis, Brian and Soothill, Keith (2011) A Longitudinal Study of Escalation in Crime Seriousness. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 27 (2). pp. 175-196. ISSN 0748-4518

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Abstract

Escalation in crime seriousness over the criminal lifecourse continues to be an important issue to study in criminal careers. Quantitative research in this area has not yet been well developed owing to the difficulty of measuring crime seriousness and the complexity of escalation trajectories. In this paper we suggest that there are two types of escalation process-escalation associated with experience of the criminal justice process, and escalation associated with age and maturation. Using the 1953 birth cohort from the England and Wales Offenders Index followed up to 1999, and a recently developed seriousness scale of offenses, we constructed the individual sequences of seriousness scores from conviction to conviction. These individual sequences were then analyzed using a variety of longitudinal mixed models, with age, number of conviction occasions, sex and number of offenses used as covariates. The results suggest that ageing is associated with de-escalation whereas the number of conviction occasions are associated with escalation, with the two processes pulling in different directions. This conceptual framework helps to disentangle previously contradictory results in the escalation literature.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Quantitative Criminology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Escalation ; Aggravation ; Longitudinal data analysis ; Mixed effects models ; STATUS OFFENDERS ; CRIMINAL CAREER ; SPECIALIZATION ; DIVERSION ; VIOLENCE ; MODEL
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Mathematics and Statistics
ID Code: 49954
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2011 13:56
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2013 15:15
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/49954

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