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NCJ Number: NCJ 241165     Find in a Library
Title: Curious Case of George: A Case Study of a Career Criminal
  Document URL: HTML 
Author(s): Paul Cromwell ; Michael L. Birzer
  Journal: Criminal Justice Review  Volume:37  Issue:4  Dated:December 2012  Pages:512 to 526
Date Published: 12/2012
Page Count: 15
  Annotation: This research is a case study of a “semiretired” career criminal.
Abstract: This research is a case study of a “semiretired” career criminal. The subject, George, an 82-year-old career offender admits to over 200 arrests and numerous convictions between age 16 and the present. He has served over 20 years in State and Federal prisons for racketeering, arson, burglary, and other serious offenses. The authors conducted in-depth interviews with George regularly over a 6-month period. Despite his openness regarding his criminal career and attachment to the criminal subculture in which he flourished, he readily made use of techniques of neutralization and despite his reputation as a local criminal godfather, considers himself a good person. George was unusual in that he was proud of his criminal reputation but also thought of himself and wished to be perceived by others as a good person. The use of neutralizations allowed him to maintain these two diametrically opposed perceptions of self. The authors conclude that due to over 60 years of cognitive distortions through the use of techniques of neutralizations, the subject has compartmentalized his diametrically opposed perceptions of self to the point where he believes them both. The authors borrow the term doublethink from George Orwell’s book, 1984, to describe this phenomenon. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Habitual offenders ; Self concept ; Self evaluation ; Criminal career patterns ; Crime causes theory
Type: Case Study
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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