Is it who you know, or how many that counts? criminal networks and cost avoidance in a sample of young offenders

Martin Bouchard, Holly Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of the current study is to assess whether criminal networks can help young offenders avoid contacts with the criminal justice system. We examine the association between criminal network and cost avoidance specifically for the crime of cannabis cultivation in a rural region in Quebec, Canada. A self-report delinquency survey, administered to the region's quasi-population of high-school students (N = 1,166), revealed that a total of 175 adolescents had participated in the cannabis cultivation industry (a 15% lifetime prevalence rate). Forty-seven respondents (27%), including 29 who were arrested, reported having participated in a cultivation site that was detected by the police. Results indicate that "who you know" matters in the cultivation industry, and is an important independent predictor of arrest: very few young growers who were embedded in adult networks were apprehended. Conversely, embeddedness in a youth network emerged as an independent risk factor, especially embeddedness in larger networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-158
Number of pages29
JournalJustice Quarterly
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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