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NCJ Number: 41395 Find in a Library
Title: GOVERNMENT POLICY AND THE NEW CRIMINOLOGY
Author(s): L A CURTIS
Corporate Author: Bureau of Social Science Research, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Social Science Research, Inc
Washington, DC 20036
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS PAPER IS A CRITIQUE OF AND REBUTTAL TO THE THEORIES AND EXPLANATIONS OF CRIME ESPOUSED BY, AMONG OTHERS, JAMES Q. WILSON IN HIS 1975 BOOK 'THINKING ABOUT CRIME.'
Abstract: WILSON, A CONSERVATIVE CRIMINOLOGIST, MAINTAINS THAT HUMAN BEHAVIOR (AND THEREFORE CRIMINALITY) IS ULTIMATELY A PRODUCT OF FREE WILL, NOT SOCIAL OR ECONOMIC CONDITIONS. WILSON ALSO BELIEVES THAT MOST PREDATORY STREET CRIME IS COMMITTED BY A SMALL IDENTIFIABLE GROUP OF CHRONIC RECIDIVISTS. THESE TWO BELIEFS SUPPORT WILSON'S PROPOSAL THAT INCARCERATION BE USED TO INCAPACITATE CRIMINALS AND TO DETER OTHER POTENTIAL OFFENDERS FROM COMMITTING CRIMES. THE AUTHOR ARGUES THAT CRIME IS THE IMPULSIVE RESULT OF POVERTY, LACK OF EDUCATION, AND UNEQUAL OPPORTUNITY. PUNISHMENT DOES NOT DETER CRIME AND RESULTS IN A DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACT ON YOUNG, MINORITY OFFENDERS. CURTIS SUGGESTS THAT WILSON'S CONCLUSIONS ARE BASED ON QUESTIONABLE ASSUMPTIONS AND MISINTERPRETATIONS OF DATA....MSP
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Criminal justice ideologies; Criminology; Critiques; Deterrence; Offenders; Theory
Note: PREPARED FOR THE CONFERENCE ON CREATING AND CONTROLLING DEVIANCE - CROSSCULTURAL PERSPECTIVES, RESEARCH COMMITTEE FOR THE SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANCE AND SOCIAL CONTROL, INTERNATIONAL SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, HIROSHIMA, JAPAN, SEPTEMBER 1976
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=41395

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