Career Offenders: Article Analysis

Career criminals are those who either spend their life in and out of the prison system or those who use crime as a means of earning income. Many articles have been written on these type of felons. From researching who they are, what crimes they are likely to commit, and re-commit, and how to punish those who are constantly in and out of prison. The two articles focused on in this paper are Matt Delisi’s “Extreme Career Criminals” and Thomas J. Miceli and Catherine Bucci’s “A Simple Theory of Increasing Penalties for Repeat Offenders. Both articles speak on the issue of career criminals, however they diffidentate in that Mr. Delisi’s article talks more about what crimes are often committed by habitual offenders whereas Miceli and Catherine’s …show more content…
The article states that research based on “a sound criminal career-based understanding of murder, rape, or kidnapping is far from complete” and “As a result, the cur- rent study attempts to remedy this situation by providing an empirical investigation into the criminal careers of these extreme offenders.” (Delisi, 2001) Mr. Delisi’s article argues that involvement in such heinous crimes is due, in part, to an individuals misbehavior which, if gone untreated, will lead people to committing such crimes.
Similar to Chu’s, Miceli and Bucci’s article look at the different levels of punishment for career criminals compared to first time offenders. However, this article differs from the first in that it takes an economic view point on this belief. Miceli argues that wage penalties “deters some first-timers from committing crimes, it actually hampers deterrence of repeat offenders because of their diminished employment opportunities” and suggests “an escalating penalty scheme is optimal and time consistent.” (Miceli and Bucci,
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The belief set forth in this article is that “to maintain a given level of deterrence for offenders with a record, the criminal sanction has to be raised.” (Miceli and Bucci, 2004) This belief comes from the notion that, after an individual obtains a criminal record, legal employment becomes less desirable compared to crime due to difficulties in obtaining, or maintaining, a job and lower employment wages. To further their argument, Miceli and Bucci devise a model show “that such an escalating penalty scheme emerges as the optimal, time-consistent policy in a simple setting where punishment is costly to impose, and all crimes should be deterred.” (Miceli and Bucci, 2004) The model, in essence, compares sanctions for first offenders and second offenders. Their model, based on the research and integration of the economic model, show that sanctions and convictions should have a positive correlation. Meaning, “although the threat of a wage penalty may help to deter some first time offenders from embarking on a life of crime… it actually hinders deterrence of those with a criminal record by making legal employment appear relatively less desirable” thus

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