Predicting who Reoffends

Research question:What is the Influence of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status on Rates of Reoffending among Ex-Prisoners?

Variables in the Question:

Independent variable: socioeconomic status of a neighborhood

Dependent variable: rates of reoffending

The independent variable is the socioeconomic status of a neighborhood within which an ex-prisoner resides; the dependent variable is the rates of reoffending which are subject to an ex-convict committing an offence as a result of the socioeconomic status of the environment within which he lives.

Operational Definition ofthe Variable

Socioeconomic status: this refers to the hierarchical ranking of an individual or family in terms of possession and influence over wealth, power and social status. It incorporates income, education levels and occupation of the family. This definition can be aggregatedback to the entire neighborhood.

Rates of reoffending refer to the frequencies with which a previously convicted person commits a crime.

Variable’s Scale of Measurement

The socioeconomic status of a neighborhood can be quantitatively measured through measuring the wealth and possessions of a particular individual. Data on the socioeconomic status of a neighborhood can be obtained through a national census and through official government records.

The rates of reoffending can be measured through official police records and judicial records which can be informative in showing whether a particular convict is a first time offender or not.

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