Inequities in Social Determinants of Health Factors and Criminal Behavior: A Case Study of Immigrant Ex-Offenders

S. Jack Olszewski, C. Jerome Fore


When immigrants arrive in a new country, they often discover that being an immigrant does not allow them to integrate easily into the new society. Immigrant offenders are more likely to engage in criminal behaviors due to inequities in social determinants of health factors as a source of strain.  This study was focused on utilizing the personal experiences of immigrant offenders to discover the various circumstances that contributed to their criminal behavior. General Strain Theory has been shown to be a useable theoretical model in explaining the relationship between race/ethnicity and criminal behavior. The participants in this study were adult immigrant ex-offenders in the province of Alberta, Canada.  The results of the study indicated a consensus among ex-offenders that there are social determinants of health factors such as stress, income problem, education issues, employment issue, and health risk behaviors that have led them to commit crime.  The recommendations presented below are divided into three groups. Recommendations include:  (a) future research in federal, provincial and territorial correctional systems, (b) identification of multiple risk factors that lead an individual to commit crime, (c) crime prevention strategies that help prevent criminal behavior for immigrants. 

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International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory | ISSN : 1916-2782