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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78722 Find in a Library
Title: Roots of Crime - What You Need To Know About Crime and What You Can Do About It
Author(s): E LeShan
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 174
Sponsoring Agency: Four Winds Press
Commack, NY 11725
Sale Source: Four Winds Press
Marketing Manager
P.O. Box 695
Commack, NY 11725
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based upon interviews with eight ex-offenders in the Fortune Society, a group devoted to helping ex-offenders lead a 'straight' life, the roots of crime, ways in which it can be prevented, and approaches for helping ex-offenders depart from a life of crime are discussed.
Abstract: The single most important root of crime is self-hatred, nurtured in early years by parents so plagued by self-hatred themselves that they express hostility rather than love toward their children. Those who have not been cherished themselves know nothing of what is means to cherish another. Life becomes a desperate struggle for emotional and physical survival that precludes behavior being determined by sensitivity to the feelings and rights of others. Self-hatred nurtured in the family is often reinforced in the larger community, where living conditions, racial bigotry, school failure, and harsh treatment by the criminal justice system further fuel self-hatred and diminish the emotional and intellectual resources required to hold a job and interact positively with others. The criminal justice system's efforts to intimidate, frighten, and punish offenders into behavioral change only reinforces previous dehumanizing experiences that have fostered criminal tendencies. The first step in crime prevention should be to have crisis intervention centers with residential and outpatient facilities for the treatment of family problems. In the absence of healthy family ties, there should be a back-up network of loving connections in the community, composed of child and family-life specialists. If a child must be placed in an institution, it should be small and staffed with professionals who understand and know how to change behavior spawned by negative experiences. Issues also examined include gun control, plea bargaining, and capital punishment. The bibliography contains 54 listings, and the names and addresses of resources and agencies are provided, along with an index.
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Crime Causes; Crime prevention measures; Criminology; Cultural influences; Gun Control; Plea negotiations; Social conditions; Youth development
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