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The Development of Persistent Criminality$
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Joanne Savage

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195310313

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310313.001.0001

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Serious Juvenile Offenders and Persistent Criminality

Serious Juvenile Offenders and Persistent Criminality

(p.335) CHAPTER 16 Serious Juvenile Offenders and Persistent Criminality
The Development of Persistent Criminality

Rudy Haapanen

Lee Britton

Tim Croisdale

Branko Coebergh

Oxford University Press

By any common definition of “persistent criminality,” young offenders released from the California Youth Authority (CYA) meet the criteria. Most have demonstrated considerable persistence in criminal behavior before being committed to state facilities, and virtually all continue their criminal behavior, at some level, well into adulthood. The study of these individuals, then, can help us to understand the nature of persistent criminality and the characteristics and likely outcome trajectories of persistent criminals whose criminal behavior begins early. Using information gathered in several longitudinal follow-ups of youth released from CYA facilities, this chapter describes these persistent offenders and their transition to adulthood. In addition to being drawn to criminal behavior and associated lifestyles, these young offenders manage to avoid more conventional lifestyles. This avoidance, along with a profound unresponsiveness to criminal justice sanctions, is seen to reflect a general resistance to social control, which plays a major role in sustaining criminal behavior. This chapter discusses some of the implications of this perspective for understanding persistence, for studying crime among persistent offenders, and for treating these offenders.

Keywords:   juveniles, chronic offending, serious offenders, resistance to social control, deterrence

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