A successful criminal career is largely determined by the ability to earn money from crime and the ability to avoid arrest. The extant literature on criminal achievement suggests that offenders with extensive criminal networks earn more money from crime. However, the impact of offenders’ networks on arrest avoidance is not as clear, especially for young offenders. Using guidance from social capital theory, this study examines the impact of criminal networks on both criminal earnings and odds of arrest in a sample of youth involved in cannabis cultivation. Controlling for various background and cultivation related factors, multivariate results indicate that different network characteristics are beneficial to earnings compared to arrest avoidance. It was also found that gang members managed to achieve the greatest earnings while avoiding arrest. Results underline the importance of networks on criminal achievement in youth and implications are discussed in terms of criminal career and desistance research.
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