Theorizing the role of health and health disparities in the life-course criminological paradigm

Dylan B. Jackson, Michael G. Vaughn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Criminology as a discipline has a rich theoretical history. The causes of crime and criminal justice system involvement, as well as the theoretical underpinnings of developing and enforcing the law, have been topics of debate in the field for centuries, and in many ways, the debate rages on. A potentially useful strategy to enhance our understanding of the causes of crime lies in cross-disciplinary theorizing that makes use of the wealth of knowledge that has emerged from the public health and health disparities literatures. We propose that advancements in this area are best accomplished within a life-course criminological framework, as doing so enables a health-informed approach to both developmental crime prevention strategies as well as the care and treatment of currently and formerly justice-involved populations. In the present chapter, we review the origins and findings of the life-course criminological paradigm as well as relevant literature linking crime and criminal justice involvement to health and health disparities, and discuss a novel conceptual framework that can galvanize future research and theorizing concerning the links between health and crime across the life course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge International Handbook of Delinquency and Health
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781000020854
ISBN (Print)9780367256920
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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