skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 76503 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Behavior - Readings in Criminology
Editor(s): D H Kelly
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 590
Sponsoring Agency: St Martin's Press
New York, NY 10010
Sale Source: St Martin's Press
Scholarly & Reference Division
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States of America
Type: Overview Text
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The text combines classic and current approaches to definitions, measurements, explanations, and controls of criminal behavior.
Abstract: The first section describes the evolution of laws and how various historical forces (legislative and political) influence their creation. The selections show how those with power and resources affect the prevailing definitions of crime and decide both who the supposed criminals are and how they should be treated. Another section examines the measurement and costs of crime. It describes the strategies used to assess the nature and extent of criminal activity and emphasizes the role statistics play in the definition, control, and prevention of crime. Explanations of why crime exists and why people violate the laws are also examined. The selections present the major sociological and social-psychological theories advanced to explain criminal behavior (including the labeling and control theories). The text then explores how people become exposed to crime and learn criminal values and traditions. The selections focus on female murders, sexual offenders, street crime, white-collar criminals, and government and corporate criminality. The effect of criminal involvement on the individual's personal and public identity is also discussed, and how those individuals who act in the name of institutions attempt to control lawbreakers is examined. The readings show how institutional representatives go about identifying, processing, and sentencing criminals. The text looks at possible methods of reducing crime and reforming the criminal, and it focuses on obstacles to the reform of career criminals and rehabilitative programs; suggestions for improvements are made. The selections include tabular data, bibliographical footnotes, and references. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Correctional reform; Crime Causes; Crime control theory; Criminal justice statistics; Cultural influences; Deviance; Female offenders; Habitual offenders; Inmate Programs; Labeling theory; Law reform; Legislation; Organized crime; Psychological theories; Racial discrimination; Sentencing disparity; Victims of Crime; White collar crime
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.