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Crime in the Breaking: Gender Differences in Desistance

Christopher Uggen and Candace Kruttschnitt
Law & Society Review
Vol. 32, No. 2 (1998), pp. 339-366
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Law and Society Association
DOI: 10.2307/827766
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/827766
Page Count: 28
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Crime in the Breaking: Gender Differences in Desistance
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Abstract

Despite increasing interest in understanding patterns of criminal behavior over the life course and, especially, desistance from crime, evidence about the predictors of these experiences has been derived only from samples of male offenders. We evaluate whether there are gender differences in the predictors of both self-reported illegal earnings and arrest among samples of recently released male and female offenders. Our analysis of gender differences illustrates how both the behavior of the offender and the behavior of law shape our understanding of the transition out of crime. We analyze event history data from a large-scale social experiment that provided employment to male and female offenders. The results indicate that (1) gender differences in the predictors of desistance largely depend on the domain of behavior under consideration; (2) indicators of normative status, as opposed to the perceived risks of crime or age-graded informal controls, are particularly important determinants of women's risks of rearrest.

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