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American Juvenile Justice$
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Franklin E. Zimring

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181166

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181166.001.0001

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Two Patterns of Age Progression in Adolescent Crime

Two Patterns of Age Progression in Adolescent Crime

(p.91) Seven Two Patterns of Age Progression in Adolescent Crime
American Juvenile Justice

Franklin E. Zimring

Jeffrey Fagan

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that the widely acknowledged fact that rates of crime peak in the late teen years should not be regarded as a single pattern of increase in the middle teen years followed by a peak rate and a sharp drop during the early twenties. Instead, it identifies two patterns. For one set of crimes—including arson and most property crimes—rates of arrest increase sharply to a rate much higher than that observed among adults and drop sharply after age the ages of eighteen or nineteen. A second group of crimes—including most offenses of violence—have relatively low peak rates in the late teen years. Instead of arrest rates that are two and three times those found in young adults, these “low-peak” patterns show teen rates only 30–50% higher than for young adulthood.

Keywords:   adolescents, crime rates, arson, property crimes, violence

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