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Modern Control Theory and the Limits of Criminal Justice$
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Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190069797

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190069797.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2020

Age Matters

Age Matters

(p.51) Chapter 3 Age Matters
Modern Control Theory and the Limits of Criminal Justice

Michael Gottfredson

Travis Hirschi

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a review of the research and theorizing about age and crime as depicted in control theory. It critiques psychological and sociological studies of the meaning of the age–crime relationship. It also discusses testing general theory when age is a direct cause of crime, methods of accounting for the age–crime relationship in criminology, and the value of typologies and statistical treatments of age and crime. The accumulated evidence from the best research supports the conclusion that statistical and theoretical models meant to account for the age effect in criminology lack empirical and methodological support. As a result, the best stance for criminology, in both theory and policy, is to assume a direct effect for age. Implications for juvenile justice and the role of age in separate systems for adults and juveniles are discussed.

Keywords:   age and crime, causes of crime, incapacitation, developmental criminology, longitudinal studies, public policy, career criminals, criminal careers

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