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NCJ Number: 91047 Find in a Library
Title: Some Criminogenic Traits of Offenders (From Crime and Public Policy, P 31-49, 1983, James Q Wilson, ed. - See NCJ-91045)
Author(s): R J Herrnstein
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: ICS Press
Oakland, CA 94612
Sale Source: ICS Press
Institute for Contemporary Studies
1611 Telegraph Ave., Suite 406
Oakland, CA 94612
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The people who are most at risk for criminal behavior differ significantly from the general population with respect to their body build, personality, and intelligence.
Abstract: Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck found that delinquents were more mesomorphic (muscular and squarish) in their physiques than were nondelinquents. The delinquents were also assertive, unafraid, aggressive, unconventional, extroverted, and poorly assimilated into the social milieu. In contrast, nondelinquents were self-controlled, concerned about their relations with others, willing to be guided by social standards, and harbored such feelings as insecurity and anxiety. Later studies have shown that delinquents also have tendencies towards careless, haphazard, and impulsive reactions. Further research has corroborated these findings and has shown that the differences between offenders and nonoffenders do not result from institutionalization. Other data show that in the United States and the United Kingdom, the criminal population has an average IQ deficit of at least 10 points. However, individuals are not simply criminals or noncriminals. Everyone acts according to laws of behavior that can produce either crime or noncrime, depending upon circumstances and predispositions. Poor law enforcement, long delays in the criminal justice system, inadequate teaching of society's standards of conduct, inadequate education for the less gifted, and socioeconomic inequities that intensify feelings of alienation are among the factors that incubate crime, particularly among those with special susceptibilities.
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Criminality prediction; Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
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