Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Criminal Career Paradigm
Alex R. Piquero & Wesley G. Jennings & Jennifer Reingle
The criminal career can be construed as the “characterization of the longitudinal sequence of crimes committed by an individual offender” (Blumstein et al., 1986, p. 12). An important assumption underlying the criminal career paradigm is that individuals start their criminal activity at some age (onset), engage in crime at some individual crime rate, commit a mixture of crimes, and eventually stop (desistance) (Piquero et al., 2003, 2007). To be sure, the paradigm does not imply that offenders necessarily derive their livelihood exclusively or even predominantly from crime; instead, the career concept is intended only as a means of structuring the longitudinal sequence of criminal events associated with an individual in a systematic way (Blumstein et al., 1982, p. 5). This entry provides readers with a brief overview of the criminal career paradigm in criminology. Since the longitudinal patterning of criminal activity is one that is heavily associated with age, this ...