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All Offenders Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others: Variation in Journeys to Crime Between Offenders

NCJ Number
Criminology Volume: 48 Issue: 3 Dated: August 2010 Pages: 897-917
Date Published
August 2010
21 pages

This study examined whether distance decay patterns in the journey to crime are observed at both offender and crime trip levels of measurement.


The results of this study reveal a major methodological problem with an established body of criminological literature, the journey to crime. The dominant finding of such research is that most crimes occur close to an offender's home. Consequently, journeys to crime typically display a distance-decay function that is assumed to exist between and within offenders. However, most journey-to-crime studies use nested data, individual offenders, contributing multiple crime trips, yet amply analytic methods that fail to account for this property, leading to inference and aggregation concerns. In the study outlined in this article, the authors demonstrated the implications of using nested data for analyzing the journey to crime. They showed that once controlling for nesting, only a few (prolific) offenders display a distance decay pattern. Implications of the findings for theory and future research are discussed. Figures and references (Published Abstract)

Date Published: August 1, 2010