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NCJ Number: 44281 Find in a Library
Title: REFLECTIONS ON THE PROPORTION OF ALCOHOLICS IN A PENITENTIARY POPULATION - SWITZERLAND
Journal: INSTANTANES CRIMINOLOGIQUES  Issue:29  Dated:(1976)  Pages:27-34
Author(s): P CURTY
Corporate Author: Association Francaise de Criminologie
France
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Association Francaise de Criminologie
75001 Paris, France
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: A SURVEY OF SWISS PENITENTIARIES, DETENTION CENTER FOR ALCOHOLICS, AND ARRESTEES WAS CONDUCTED TO DETERMINE WHETHER ALCOHOLISM IS ACTUALLY AN IMPORTANT CRIMINOGENIC FACTOR.
Abstract: ALCOHOLISM IS BELIEVED TO BE A FACTOR OF CRIMINALITY AND DELINQUENCY TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT THE SWISS PENAL CODE PROVIDES FOR A JUDGE'S DECISION TO CONFINE A DELINQUENT IN AN ESTABLISHMENT FOR ALCOHOLICS OR IN A HOSPITAL IF ALCOHOLISM WAS A FACTOR IN OFFENSE. BETWEEN 1964 AND 1972, HOWEVER, THIS JUDICIAL MEASURE WAS APPLIED ON AN AVERAGE OF ONLY 36 TIMES PER YEAR; AS THE AVERAGE YEARLY PENAL CONVICTIONS AMOUNT TO 60,000, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ALCOHOLISM AND DELINQUENCY IS OVERESTIMATED. THE AUTHOR POINTS OUT THAT THIS IS NOT THE CASE, BUT THAT THE MEASURE FOR JUDICIAL DISPOSITION OF ALCOHOLIC OFFENDERS IS UNDERUTILIZED AND THAT SOCIETY IS GENERALLY INCAPABLE OF DETERMINING A JUST PENAL SANCTION FOR ALCOHOLIC DELINQUENTS. THE SURVEY, CONDUCTED IN THE FRENCH-SPEAKING SWISS PENAL SYSTEM, INVOLVED INTERVIEWING A TOTAL OF 192 INDIVIDUALS, MOST OF WHOM WERE MALE, AND SUBMITTING INFORMATION GATHERED IN THE INTERVIEWS AND FROM QUESTIONNAIRES TO COMPUTER ANALYSIS. THE SAMPLE WAS DETERMINED TO CONTAIN 71 PERCENT ALCOHOLICS WHO WERE CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO TYPE OF ALCOHOLISM (39.4 PERCENT 'CRITICAL ALCOHOLISM,' 8.5 PERCENT 'PERMANENT ALCOHOLISM,' AND 52.1 PERCENT 'PERMANENT ALCOHOLISM WITH CRISES'). VARIABLES EXAMINED INCLUDED AGE, EDUCATION, PROFESSION, RESIDENCE, MARITAL STATUS, AND RECIDIVISM. FINDINGS SHOW THAT 77.8 PERCENT OF THOSE INTERVIEWED BETWEEN 26 AND 35 YEARS-OF-AGE, 88.9 PERCENT OF THOSE WHO HAD NOT COMPLETED SECONDARY EDUCATION, 93.8 PERCENT OF THOSE OF LOWER SOCIOECONOMIC CLASSES, 83.3 PERCENT OF THE HOMELESS, 80.4 PERCENT OF THE BACHELORS WERE ALCOHOLICS. THE AUTHOR CONCLUDES THAT ALCOHOLISM IS A PHENOMENON OF SOCIAL REJECTION BEGINNING BETWEEN 12 AND 15 YEARS-OF-AGE, THE REPERCUSSIONS OF WHICH ARE FELT ON ALL LEVELS OF SOCIALIZATION AND ON THE EMOTIONAL LEVEL. THE OFFENSE COMMITTED BY AN ALCOHOLIC IS SEEN AS AN INFRACTION/PRETEXT CORRESPONDING TO THE THREE FUNDAMENTAL NEEDS WHICH EMERGE DURING CRITICAL PERIODS IN THE ALCOHOLICS' LIFE, I.E., A NEED FOR SECURITY, SELF-PUNISHMENT, OR SELF-WORTH. THE AUTHOR CALLS FOR RESEARCH TO DETERMINE WHICH SOCIAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES AT PUBERTY ARE ASSOCIATED WITH ALCOHOLISM IN LATER LIFE. GRAPHS ARE INCLUDED. -- IN FRENCH.
Index Term(s): Alcohol-Related Offenses; Alcoholics; Alcoholism; Crime Causes; Offenders; Surveys; Switzerland
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=44281

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