1st Edition

The Life-Course of Serious and Violent Youth Grown Up A Twenty-Year Longitudinal Study

    348 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    348 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Life-Course of Serious and Violent Youth Grown Up addresses significant gaps in the literature on youth involved in chronic, serious, and violent offending. Through longitudinal research and a long follow-up into adulthood, it challenges common perceptions about offending outcomes.

    Using theoretically grounded, methodologically sophisticated and empirically driven research, this book culminates 20 years of data emerging from the Incarcerated Serious and Violent Young Offender Study (ISVYOS). Initiated in 1998 to understand the origins of serious and violent youth offending, it follows 1,719 formerly incarcerated youth through adulthood and offers a contemporary perspective to questions about chronic offending in adolescence and social and offending outcomes in adulthood. The authors provide a theoretically framed examination of new findings from the ISVYOS regarding participants’ justice system involvement, from onset to persistence to desistance. Most participants experienced continued involvement in the justice system in adulthood. However, contrary to past literature, ISVYOS findings challenge static descriptions of chronic offending and notions of the youth "super predator". ISVYOS findings also challenge assertions that experiences and risk factors in childhood and adolescence are not informative of adult justice system involvement. Together, the findings call for a more humanistic approach that recognizes that the complex lives of individuals formerly incarcerated in adolescence implies that desistance does not happen by default.

    This book will be of great interest to scholars, researchers, and students of forensic psychology, developmental and life course criminology, youth justice, and violent crime.

    Part I: Context

    1. Historical Contexts and Perspectives on Offending over the Life-Course

    2. The Search for Chronic Offending

    3. The Incarcerated Serious and Violent Young Offender Study

    Part II: Empirical Answers to Core DLC Questions

    4. The Justice System Involvement of Incarcerated Youth: Old Questions, New Data

    5. Capturing Trajectories Through the Justice System

    6. The Development of Antisocial Behavior among Serious and Violent Youth

    7. Psychopathy and the Propensity for Chronic and Persistent Offending

    8. Desistance among Youth Involved in Serious and Violent Offenses

    Part III: Reflections on the ISVYOS

    9. The Differential Impact of Youth Justice Policy

    10. Lessons Learned from Interviewing Incarcerated Youth

    11. Conclusion





    Evan C. McCuish is an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University and is the Principal Investigator of the Incarcerated Serious and Violent Young Offender Study. He is the recipient of the Simon Fraser University Dean’s Convocation Medal for Academic Excellence, the American Psychology-Law Society Outstanding Dissertation Award, and the American Society of Criminology Division of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology Early Career Award. His research interests include criminal careers, desistance, developmental criminology, foster care, gang involvement, psychopathy, sexual offending, and violence.

    Patrick Lussier is a professor of criminology at the School of Social Work and Criminology at Université Laval, Canada. In 2005, Professor Lussier received the Academic Gold Medal from the Governor General of Canada for the excellence of his PhD dissertation. Since 2019, he is the Editor of the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. His field of expertise is at the intersection of criminology and criminal justice and includes, among other things, the etiology of criminal conduct, sexual offending, risk assessment and management, and quantitative research methods.

    Raymond Corrado is a professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. He has published over 100 articles and book chapters on a variety of policy issues, including juvenile justice, violent young offenders, mental health, adolescent psychopathy, victimization, child/adolescent case management strategies, and terrorism.

    "This book describes an outstandingly important longitudinal study of a large sample of incarcerated Canadian boys and girls. It is a brilliant contribution to developmental and life-course criminology, advancing knowledge especially about criminal career features, offending trajectories, the importance of psychopathy, and theories of desistance. It includes interesting case histories and draws policy implications. It should be read by all criminologists, psychologists, and social scientists who are interested in the development of criminal careers."

    David P. Farrington, Emeritus Professor of Psychological Criminology Cambridge University


    "This remarkable book tells the story of the spell-binding story of 1700 offenders followed from adolescence to mature adulthood in Canada’s Incarcerated Serious and Violent Young Offender Study. The science is terrific, and it’s careful. There are rich quantitative data and qualitative data. But unlike most criminology writing, the book doesn’t hide behind a fastidious over-focus on measurement, methodology, and theory. Instead, the book grapples up close and personal with the reality of chronic, serious, and violent offenders. It deals with factors typically omitted, such as foster care, drug addiction, gang membership, and custodial sentences. This book gets in there and gets it hands dirty. The result is eye-popping new information about where offenders come from and where they go when they grow older, and why. The book ends with a plea for criminology to look more at crime from  the perspective of justice system professionals tasked with controlling it. I can’t recommend it too strongly, for students, researchers, and justice system professionals."

    Terrie E Moffitt, Nannerl O. Keohane University Professor, Duke University, Professor of Social Behaviour and Development, Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, and Associate Director, Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study