The Relationship between First Imprisonment
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The Relationship between First Imprisonment and Criminal Career Development: A Matched Samples Comparison Paul Nieuwbeerta & Arjan Blokland NSCR Daniel Nagin Carnegie-Mellon University. Main Question.

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Slide1 l.jpg

The Relationship between First Imprisonment

and Criminal Career Development:

A Matched Samples Comparison

Paul Nieuwbeerta & Arjan Blokland

NSCR

Daniel Nagin

Carnegie-Mellon University


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Main Question

  • What is the effect of imprisonment on the subsequent criminal career development of those actually imprisoned?

  • Methodology builds upon work with Amelia Haviland (Rand) and Paul Rosenbaum (Penn) that combines propensity score matching and group-based trajectory modeling


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Possible Effect of Imprisonment on Crime

  • On the wider society—general deterrence

  • On the criminality of the imprisoned individual

    • Incapacitation (-)

    • Specific Deterrence (-)

    • Rehabilitation (-)

    • Labeling/stigma (+)

    • School of crime (+)


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Criminal Career and Life Course Study CCLS Data

Sample:

  • 5.164 persons convicted in 1977 in the Netherlands

    • 4% random sample of all persons convicted in 1977

    • 500 women (10%)

    • 20% non-Dutch (Surinam, Indonesia)

    • Mean age in 1977: 27 years; youngest: 12; oldest 79

    • Data from year of birth until 2003: for most over 50 years.


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CCLS Data

  • Full criminal conviction histories (Rap sheets)

    • Timing, type of offense, type of sentence, imprisonment.

  • Life course events (N=4,615):

    • Various types: marriage, divorce, children, moving, death (GBA & Central Bureau Heraldry) – incl. Exact timing.

    • Cause of death (CBS)


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Outcome variable

  • Number of convictions in three year period after year of first-time imprisonment


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Outcome variable

  • Number of convictions in three year period after year of first-time imprisonment

  • First-time imprisonment effects measured by age from 18 to 39


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Outcome variable

  • Number of convictions in three year period after year of first-time imprisonment

  • First-time imprisonment effects measured for ages 18 to 39

  • Limit analysis to persons with sentences of less than 1 year

    • 80% less than 6 months

    • 99% less than 1 year


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Outcome variable

  • Number of convictions in three year period after year of first-time imprisonment

  • First-time imprisonment effects measured for ages 18 to 39

  • Limit analysis to persons with sentences of less than 1 year

  • Correction for exposure-time / incarceration


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Estimating the effect of imprisonment on the imprisoned: Some important contingencies and challenges

  • Prior experience with imprisonment

    • Limit analysis to first-time imprisonment effects


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Estimating the effect of imprisonment on the imprisoned: Some important contingencies and challenges

  • Prior experience with imprisonment

  • Age


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Estimating the effect of imprisonment on the imprisoned: Some important contingencies and challenges

  • Prior experience with imprisonment

  • Age—exact matching on age


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Estimating the effect of imprisonment on the imprisoned: Some important contingencies and challenges

  • Prior experience with imprisonment

  • Age

  • Sex—Males only


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Estimating the effect of imprisonment on the imprisoned: Some important contingencies and challenges

  • Prior experience with imprisonment

  • Age

  • Sex

  • Prior trajectory of offending

    • Estimate effects contingent on prior trajectory of offending


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Estimating the effect of imprisonment on the imprisoned: Some important contingencies and challenges

  • Prior experience with imprisonment

  • Age

  • Sex

  • Prior trajectory of offending

  • Selection—Imprisonment more likely for higher propensity offenders


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Differences in prior records of those imprisoned at age 26-28 and those convicted but not imprisoned


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Other differences between 26-28 and those convicted but not imprisonedimprisoned and non-imprisoned


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Overview of Approach 26-28 and those convicted but not imprisoned

  • Focus on the effect of first-time imprisonment

  • Match individuals who are the same age

    • Estimate effects of first-time imprisonment by age from 18-38

  • Males only

  • Estimate effects contingent on trajectory of prior offending

  • Use risk set matching to balance measured differences between the imprisoned and the non-imprisoned


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Use Group-based Trajectory Modeling to Test for Prior Offending Contingencies

  • Based on finite mixture modeling

    • Poisson distribution this application

    • Cubic link function for rate

  • Designed to identify clusters of individuals with similar trajectories of prior offending

  • Trajectory groups can be thought of as latent strata of the pre-treatment time path of the outcome variable




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What is a propensity score? 25 and age 12-30

  • Propensity score is the probability of imprisonment as a function of variables such as prior record and conviction offense characteristics

  • Propensity score matching balances imprisoned and non-imprisoned on these variables

  • Rules them out as potential confounders

  • Important caution: Still may be unmeasured confounders


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Risk Set Matching to Balance Measured Covariate Differences 25 and age 12-30

  • Imprisoned at age t matched with up to 3 non-imprisoned but convicted at t with same probability of imprisonment at t

  • Time dependent propensity for imprisonment at t based on covariates measured up to t

  • Propensity for imprisonment at t measured by logit model of imprisonment at t


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Constructing the Propensity Score 25 and age 12-30

  • Logistic regression

  • Independent variables

    • Characteristics of Conviction Offense

      • Violence, property..

      • Severity

    • Criminal history characteristics:

      • Num. of convictions age 12-25, 20-25 and at 25,

      • Age of first registration, age of first conviction,

      • Trajectory group membership probabilities.

    • Personal Characteristics:

      • Age in 1977, non-Dutch, Unemployed around age 25,

      • Number of years married at age 25, Married at age 25,

      • Number of years children at age 25, children at age 25,

      • Alcohol and/or drugs dependent around age 25


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Box plots of propensity scores:  25 and age 12-30Full sample


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Significant differences before and after matching 25 and age 12-30

  • Before Matching (partial listing)

    • Convictions 12-25 (also by type)

    • Convictions 20-25 (also by type)

    • Convictions 25 (also by type)

    • Numerous Conviction offence characteristics

    • Age in ’77

    • Non-Dutch

    • # of children at 25


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Box plots of propensity scores:  25 and age 12-30Matched sample


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Significant differences before and after matching 25 and age 12-30

  • Before Matching (partial listing)

    • Convictions 12-25 (also by type)

    • Convictions 20-25 (also by type)

    • Convictions 25 (also by type)

    • Numerous Conviction offence characteristics

    • Age in ’77

    • Non-Dutch

    • # of children at 25

  • After matching

    • Cohort (marginal)

    • # violent convictions past 5 years (marginal)


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Further Analyses 25 and age 12-30

  • Analysis of more recent data—1997 conviction cohort

  • Analysis of groups on the “margin” of imprisonment

  • Analysis of mediating processes—What is the source of the criminogenic effect

  • Bounding ala Manski and Nagin (1998) to account for the possible effects of “hidden bias”


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Conclusions 25 and age 12-30

  • Conclusion:

    • First-time imprisonment appears to increase conviction rate by .4 convictions per year in first 3 years after imprisonment

    • No 1st imprisonment effects apparent after age 25

  • Theoretical implications—Criminogenic effects of first-time imprisonment outweigh any preventive effects for the individual who is sanctioned

  • Policy implications:

    • Incapacitation and general deterrent effect of imprisonment may partly be nullified by imprisoned offenders subsequently offending at higher rates