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NCJ Number: 48629 Find in a Library
Title: CRIMINAL MIND - A NEW LOOK AT AN ANCIENT PUZZLE
Journal: SCIENCE  Volume:199  Dated:(FEBRUARY 3, 1978)  Pages:511-514
Author(s): C HOLDEN
Corporate Author: American Assoc for the Advancement of Science
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: American Assoc for the Advancement of Science
Washington, DC 20005
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A 14-YEAR CASE STUDY OF HABITUAL CRIMINALS IS SUMMARIZED. THIS STUDY CONTRADICTS CURRENT ASSUMPTIONS BY ASSERTING THAT HARDCORE CRIMINALS CHOOSE THEIR LIFESTYLE.
Abstract: THE STUDY, STARTED BY SAMUEL YOCHELSON AND COMPLETED BY STANLEY SAMENOW, IS BASED ON TREATMENT OF THE 'CRIMINALLY INSANE' AT ST. ELIZABETH'S HOSPITAL, WASHINGTON, D.C. THE THREE-VOLUME WORK IS AN OUTGROWTH OF YOCHELSON'S FRUSTRATION WITH THE CRIMINOLOGICAL THEORIES OF DEPRIVATION, SOCIAL CAUSES, AND EGO-BUILDING PSYCHOTHERAPY. BY EXAMINING CASE HISTORIES, HE FOUND THAT THE HABITUAL CRIMINAL CHOOSES A CRIMINAL LIFESTYLE EARLY IN LIFE, OFTEN REJECTING THE FAMILY WHILE VERY YOUNG. THE STUDY, WHICH SAMENOW JOINED 7 YEARS LATER, FINDS THAT CRIMINALS ARE FILLED WITH ANGER; ARE RULED BY FEARS OF BEING PUT DOWN BY OTHERS, OF BODILY INJURY, AND OF GETTING CAUGHT; ARE UNABLE TO TOLERATE CRITICISM; AND CAN LIE WITH LITTLE TROUBLE. THEIR RELATIONSHIPS ARE MANIPULATIVE. THE STUDY FOUND THAT THE ONLY WAY TO UNDERSTAND CRIMINALS IS TO ABANDON CONVENTIONAL ASSUMPTIONS OF MORALITY AND REALIZE THAT THESE ARE COMPLETELY AMORAL PERSONS. THE VOLUME ON TREATMENT OUTLINES A SHOCK AND CONFRONTATION TACTIC WHICH TELLS THE CRIMINAL BLUNTLY THAT THE BEHAVIOR EXHIBITED IS 'ROTTEN,' AS ARE THE THOUGHT PROCESSES BEHIND IT. A TOTAL AVOIDANCE OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY IS THE GOAL OF THE TREATMENT BECAUSE, 'CRIMINALS ARE LIKE ALCOHOLICS -- THEY CANNOT TOUCH A DROP OR THEY ARE ON THEIR WAY BACK TO THE GUTTER.' THE STUDY HAS BEEN WARMLY RECEIVED BY CORRECTIONS OFFICIALS AND STRONGLY CRITICIZED BY THE ACADEMIC WORLD. IT HAS BEEN POSITIVELY RECEIVED BY THE MINORITY COMMUNITY BECAUSE IT STATES THAT COMING FROM A BAD BACKGROUND DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN ONE WILL BE A CRIMINAL. THE RESEARCHERS FEEL THAT WEEKLY THERAPY SESSIONS ARE INSUFFICIENT FOR THE HABITUAL CRIMINAL AND THAT DAILY SESSIONS FOR AT LEAST A YEAR ARE NEEDED. ACCORDING TO THIS STUDY, THE REASON WHY CONVENTIONAL REHABILITATION DOES NOT WORK IS THAT NEITHER A SMATTERING OF PSYCHOLOGICAL HELP NOR A BIT OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING WILL PROVIDE AN ATTRACTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO THE DELIBERATELY CHOSEN CRIMINAL LIFESTYLE. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Criminology; Habitual offenders; Mental disorders; Psychiatric services; Psychology; Recidivism causes; Treatment
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48629

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