15 September 2016
Previous research has identified that groups of young offenders follow diverse offending trajectories over their early offending careers. This paper uses a statistical technique, the semi-parametric group-based method, to identify the latent offending trajectories of a cohort of Victorian offenders born over a two year period between April 1996 and March 1998, across the first eight years of their offending as recorded by Victoria Police. The analysis identified four trajectory groups: ‘low’, ‘adolescent limited’, ‘late developing’ and ‘high’, with the vast majority of offenders falling into the low group. Risk factors for inclusion in one of the three higher rate trajectory groups included being male, identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and living in one of the most socio-economically disadvantaged areas at the commencement of their offending record. Additional research is required to identify whether there are particular life events or characteristics that trigger escalation or desistance from offending across the groups identified.
The full publication is available for download below.
Figure: Offending trajectories for those born between April 1996 and March 1998