Data emerging from a seven-year study of young offenders suggests that neither the type of crime committed nor the length of time served for the offense is a good predictor of whether a youth will re-offend, says the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. “Burglars are not all the same, neither are car thieves or assaulters,” said Edward Mulvey, a leader of the study team. “Just because they've done a certain type of offense doesn't mean they're on a particular path to continued high offending or more serious offending.”
Mulvey, of the University of Pittsburgh, is principal investigator on the Pathways to Desistance study, which followed some 1,300 youths convicted of mostly felony offenses in Phoenix and Philadelphia for seven years after adjudication. Analyses are now being published. The finding supports some prior academic literature.