Deterrence and age thresholds in punishment in British criminal law
This paper investigates the impact of three age thresholds in British criminal law on self-reported offending: the possibility of custody at age 15, the switch from juvenile to adult law at age 18 and the switch from young offender institutions to adult prisons at age 21. Using longitudinal data from 2003 to 2006 I find strong evidence of discontinuous drops in self-reported crime at age 18 and 21. The effects are robust to various specifications of the age-crime relationship and to the inclusion of a wide range of controls, including arrests, court appearances and imprisonment.
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