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From Juvenile Delinquency to Adult CrimeCriminal Careers, Justice Policy and Prevention$
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Rolf Loeber and David P. Farrington

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199828166

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199828166.001.0001

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Special Categories of Serious and Violent Offenders

Special Categories of Serious and Violent Offenders

Drug Dealers, Gang Members, Homicide Offenders, and Sex Offenders

Chapter:
(p.118) 5 Special Categories of Serious and Violent Offenders
Source:
From Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Crime
Author(s):

Richard Rosenfeld

Helene R. White

Finn-Aage Esbensen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199828166.003.0005

This chapter examines drug dealing and gang membership, and to a lesser extent sex offending and homicide, with respect to age of onset and desistance, correlates and causes, and offense specialization and persistence during the transition from adolescence into young adulthood. Prior studies and research indicate that initiation of criminal activity is not rigidly fixed in enduring biological or developmental processes, but is contingent on crime type, time period, and perhaps other features of social context. Although most criminal offending begins in adolescence, the chapter finds some evidence of initiation of serious violence and drug dealing in early adulthood, whereas gang membership almost always begins during adolescence. The chapter's analyses also indicate comparatively strong persistence from adolescence into young adulthood of drug dealing and gun carrying, less persistence in serious violence and theft, and little persistence in gang involvement. In general, the evidence suggests that special types of offenders do not tend to specialize in a single offense type to the exclusion of others, although prior research does indicate somewhat greater specialization among sex offenders who victimize children than those who victimize peers or adults. Additional research is needed to formulate effective interventions for these special offenders.

Keywords:   drug dealers, gang members, homicide offenders, sex offenders, gun carrying

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