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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91321 Find in a Library
Title: United States of America (From International Handbook of Contemporary Developments in Criminology, Volume 1, P 267-296, 1983, Elmer H Johnson, ed. - See NCJ-91307)
Author(s): R F Meier
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: Greenwood Publishing Group
Westport, CT 06881-5007
Sale Source: Greenwood Publishing Group
88 Post Road West
P.O. Box 5007
Westport, CT 06881-5007
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The most noticeable characteristic of criminology in the United States is its diversity with respect to the disciplinary backgrounds of criminologists, the boundaries of the body of knowledge involved, and many of the presumed facts upon which the subject rests.
Abstract: Either despite or because of the disagreements resulting from this diversity, criminology in the United States is among the most lively in the world. It is a multidisciplinary scientific field which is concerned with generating knowledge about lawmaking, lawbreaking, and legal and social responses to lawbreaking. Criminologists originally believed that criminology would provide a practical technology for those who were practitioners in crime control. However, since World War II the awareness has grown that criminology has generally not given practitioners the knowledge and skills needed to control crime. Therefore, the view that criminology is an applied science is misleading. Interest in crime causes has declined significantly since World War II. More criminologists have focused on such issues as the conditions under which laws originate, the nature of different forms of criminality, and the individual and societal consequences of responses to lawbreaking. Criminologists are currently unsure about what theory should replace etiological theory. Criminology in the United States has an exciting and challenging future, since new theory and continued research efforts are needed on almost every aspect of the lawbreaking process. Notes and an annotated bibliography listing 48 references are provided. (Author summary modified)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Criminal justice research; United States of America
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