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Differential Criminal Patterns of Narcotic Addicts Over an Addiction Career

NCJ Number
Criminology Volume: 26 Issue: 3 Dated: (August 1988) Pages: 407-423
Date Published
17 pages
In a further study of the drug addiction-crime relationship, 214 narcotic addicts were classified according to their criminal involvement during a 2-year preaddiction period.
The sample was divided into two groups -- those who reported involvement in any of 20 categories of criminal activity (108) and those who reported no such activity (106). The criminal behavior and drug-use patterns of the two groups were then compared during subsequent addiction and nonaddiction periods. As expected, the impact of addiction was much more prominent in the low-crime group. Criminal activity of the high-crime group prior to addiction was not only present but was frequent and varied. Members of the high-crime group participated in every category of crime prior to addiction, including violent crime. Since criminal behavior patterns are likely to be deeply ingrained by the time addiction occurs, any attempt to reduce crime by eliminating narcotic addiction would have limited success with such persons. A better strategy would be to intervene at the earliest signs of deviance. 5 tables, 32 references. (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1988