Probation and recidivism in Italian juvenile crime: estimating the effect of intergenerational transmission of crime through a cohort of young criminals

Luca Pieroni, Università di Perugia
Odoardo Bussini, Università di Perugia
Donatella Lanari, Università di Perugia

The purpose of this study is estimating the role of the parental criminality in determining juvenile crime in Italy. We focus on the effect of probation, a policy applied in Italy to juvenile offenders that is alternative to other specific measures and punishments related to juvenile law. We follow criminal activities of a cohort of individuals (1987) before age 18 and merge a representative survey with data from Prison Administration Department to follow the same young criminal for the minimum of 6 years. To estimate this impact, we calculate recidivism rates at 5 and 6 years of individuals treated with probation. The presence of parents that determine an intergenerational transmission of crime increases the measures of the effect of the recidivism rate in a range from 10 and 25 percentage points, based on the estimator used but irrespective of length in which recidivism rate is measured. The clear role of the parents in determining juvenile crime suggests likely social and economic benefits to extend probation to young adult.

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Presented in Poster Session 3