Emails, Alex R. Piquero, PhD, Ashbel Smith Professor of Criminology, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Oct. 1, 2015

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)

Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 10:03 AM

To: Piquero, Alex

Subject: Urgent inquiry for a fact check by PolitiFact Texas

 

Hello again. As we just discussed, we’re trying to check this statement by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: “100 percent of the crime is committed, in estimate, by about 15 percent of the population.”

In our phone visit, you said that the empirical literature, I haven’t seen that estimate. You said the estimate that consistently shows up in the criminological literature is that about half of the crime is committed by a small fraction of the population, somewhere between 5 and 6 percent.

In different data sets around the world that about 5 to 6 percent of the population is responsible for  about half of the crime.

The bottom line: A small number of people are responsible for a good proportion of the offending.

3:57 p.m.

Oct. 1, 2015

 

Piquero: “A routine finding in the criminological literature is that about half of the crime is committed by a very small fraction of the population, around 5-8 percent depending on the sample and methodology used. This finding has been replicated in many different studies around the world. The bottom line is that a small fraction of the offending population is responsible for a great majority of crime.”

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) [wgselby@statesman.com]

Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2015 4:28 PM

To: Piquero, Alex

Subject: RE: Urgent inquiry for a fact check by PolitiFact Texas

 

As you know, I have been hunting these many studies, finding a few. Most seem to focus on juveniles. Are there any you recommend focused on the entire population?

4:53 p.m.

"Most of the studies that form the basis of the 5-8 percent responsible for about half of the crime is indeed from longitudinal or birth cohort studies that track persons to either late adolescence (~age 18) or into early adulthood (mid 20s). Almost no studies track for the entire population from birth to middle/late adulthood; in fact, I am not aware of any study or data source in the United States that meets that requirement of tracking persons from birth to adulthood for the entire population. The closest study is the one I pointed out to you by Bushway and his colleagues, but that study is based on a sample of the U.S. population, the NLSY Study, and not the entire population."