Age-related differences in patterns of criminal activity among a large sample of polydrug injectors in Australia

Horyniak, Danielle, Dietze, Paul, Degenhardt, Louisa, Agius, Paul, Higgs, Peter, Bruno, Raimondo, Alati, Rosa and Burns, Lucy (2016) Age-related differences in patterns of criminal activity among a large sample of polydrug injectors in Australia. Journal of Substance Use, 21 1: 48-56. doi:10.3109/14659891.2014.950700


Author Horyniak, Danielle
Dietze, Paul
Degenhardt, Louisa
Agius, Paul
Higgs, Peter
Bruno, Raimondo
Alati, Rosa
Burns, Lucy
Title Age-related differences in patterns of criminal activity among a large sample of polydrug injectors in Australia
Journal name Journal of Substance Use   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1475-9942
1465-9891
Publication date 2016-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3109/14659891.2014.950700
Volume 21
Issue 1
Start page 48
End page 56
Total pages 9
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: The relationship between age and criminal activity among drug-using populations is poorly understood.

Methods: Data from 10 years of repeat cross-sectional surveys of sentinel samples of regular people who inject drugs (PWID) across Australia (n = 5844) were used to explore the relationship between age and past-month drug dealing, property crime and violent crime, and past-year arrest. Descriptive statistics were used to explore the prevalence and frequency of each outcome. The relationship between age and each outcome was measured using multivariable Poisson regression with robust error variance.

Results: After adjusting for confounding factors, each 5-year increase in age was associated with significant reductions in drug dealing (adjusted incidence rate ratio [AIRR]: 0.90, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.87–0.94), property crime (AIRR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.82–0.89) and violent crime (AIRR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.70–0.85). Older participants were also significantly less likely to report being arrested in the past 12 months (AIRR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.88–0.93).

Conclusions: Younger PWID are more heavily involved in criminal activity compared with their older counterparts. This study highlights the need for early intervention programmes to prevent offending behaviour becoming entrenched, as well as continued efforts to redirect young PWID away from the criminal justice system and into treatment and education programmes.
Keyword Age
Australia
Crime
Injecting drug use
Violence
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research Publications
School of Public Health Publications
 
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