Substance Abuse and Criminal Specialization in an Arrestee Sample

Angela Hegamin, University of California - Los Angeles
David Farabee, University of California, Los Angeles
Ake Tzu-Hui Lu, University of California - Los Angeles
Douglas Longshore, University of California, Los Angeles

ABSTRACT
This study sought to characterize the relationship between drug use and criminal careers in an arrestee sample; to explore the relationships between drug use career and participation in predatory, victimless, and nonspecialized criminal behaviors; and to model diversity in the types of crimes committed by adult arrestees. Arrestees who had begun their drug use careers before their criminal careers were more likely to engage exclusively in victimless crimes. Moreover, the onset of drug use before criminal behavior was associated with greater criminal diversity. The significance of these findings for efforts to rehabilitate drug offenders is discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006