Research on criminal careers has examined distinct longitudinal patterns of offending across unique trajectories of offenders and a recent study has linked the costs of criminal offending imposed by these unique trajectories, with a specific focus on chronic offenders. In this study, we use longitudinal data from the Second Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study to examine the extent to which the monetary costs of crime across distinct trajectories of crime vary across both gender and ethnicity. Results indicate that male adolescent-peaked and low and high-rate chronic offending impose substantial costs, and the average costs imposed on society by one male high-rate chronic offender is greater than $1.5 million. Although female chronic offending is rarer, these female offenders still impose greater than $750,000 in costs on average. African-American chronic-offending costs the most of any racial/ethnic trajectory group at greater than $1. 6 million on average for each chronic offender. Hispanic chronic offending on average costs slightly more than $200,000, and low-rate White offending costs greater than $100,000 on average. Costs also appear to peak at different ages for males and females and for African-Americans, Hispanics, and Whites. Policy implications and study limitations are also discussed.
- Costs of crime
- Group-based offending