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The Relationship Between First Imprisonment and Criminal Career Development: A Matched Samples Comparison

Using data from the Netherlands-Based Criminal Career and Life-course Study we examine the effect of first-time imprisonment between age18-38 on the conviction rates in the three years immediately following the year of the imprisonment. The analysis combines group- based trajectory modeling with risk set matching to balance a variety of measurable indicators of criminal propensity. We find that first- time imprisonment is associated with an increase in criminal activity in the three years following release. The effect of imprisonment is similar across offence types.