Where Have All the Young Offenders Gone? Examining Changes in Offending Between Two NSW Birth Cohorts

Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 553, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra, pp1-16, June, 2018

16 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2018

See all articles by Jason Payne

Jason Payne

Australian National University (ANU)

Rick Brown

Australian Institute of Criminology

Roderic Broadhurst

Australian National University (ANU); ANU Cybercrime Observatory; School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Date Written: June 8, 2018

Abstract

New South Wales (NSW), like Australia overall, has experienced a large decline in crime since 2000, yet little is known about its causes. This study explored this decline through a developmental criminology lens by examining two birth cohorts involving all those born in New South Wales in 1984 and 1994. Comparisons between cohorts showed that, by age 21, the proportion of the population that had come into contact with the criminal justice system had halved (–49%), with the largest declines in vehicle theft (–59%), other property theft (–59%) and drink-driving (–49%). However, there remained a group of ‘chronic’ offenders (those committing 5 offences) who committed crime at a higher rate and accounted for a larger proportion of offences (77%) than the 1984 cohort of ‘chronic’ offenders (68%). The crime decline in New South Wales would therefore appear to have resulted from a large reduction in the number of young people committing crime for the first time, although there remains a diminishing ‘hard core’ of prolific offenders.

Keywords: juvenile crime, chronic offenders, birth cohort, crime decline

Suggested Citation

Payne, Jason and Brown, Rick and Broadhurst, Roderic, Where Have All the Young Offenders Gone? Examining Changes in Offending Between Two NSW Birth Cohorts (June 8, 2018). Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 553, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra, pp1-16, June, 2018 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3194351

Jason Payne (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Rick Brown

Australian Institute of Criminology ( email )

74 Leichhardt Street
Griffith, ACT 2603
Australia

Roderic Broadhurst

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

ANU Cybercrime Observatory ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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