Foundations of Criminal Science - Vol. 2

Foundations of Criminal Science - Vol. 2

Foundations of Criminal Science - Vol. 2

Foundations of Criminal Science - Vol. 2

Synopsis

Criminal scientists center their investigative energies on the individual offender, cognizant that this individual is part of a wider system of interacting physical, social, and psychological influences. Presented in two volumes, this tome explores the complex interplay of variables that give rise to criminal outcomes. Volume 1 considers knowledge development as represented by research examining the contextual, empirical, and theoretical foundations of crime. Building on knowledge reviewed in the first volume, Volume 2 addresses the issue of knowledge utilization. Assessment, prediction, classification, intervention, prevention, and several other categories of application science are featured.

Excerpt

In this second volume of a text on the interdisciplinary study of crime and criminals we find ourselves shifting gears as application begins to supplant development in importance. We must remain mindful, nevertheless, that acquisition and application are interrelated to the extent that knowledge accumulation is at least partly motivated by the prospect of knowledge utilization. a review of historical trends in crime reveals that criminals, lifestyle or otherwise, have been with us since the dawn of civilization. Cross-national comparisons, on the other hand, inform us that while some countries may experience lower rates of criminality than others, the prospect of a veritably crime-free society is a fantasy. Likewise, research investigations demonstrate that choice is an essential component in the events that define a particular criminal act. As such, it would be inane for us to set as our goal the development of a crime-free society, although as this volume demonstrates, neither do we need to view ourselves as hapless victims who have no choice but to accept crime, violent or otherwise.

One vehicle by which we might understand criminality as a means to achieving a reduced level of crime is what was referred to in Volume 1 as the five foundations of criminal science. This, in fact, is a theme that finds itself a home in the pages and chapters of this volume as well. the reader may recall from our discussions in Volume 1 that context exists as the first foundation or pillar of criminal science endeavor. Consequently, crime does not occur in a vacuum but must be considered within its proper historical and cultural context. As part of our journey through the first foundation we considered crime within the context of several centuries of American history and entertained cross-national comparisons of crime-related issues, the results of which subsequently established that crime is influenced by both time and place.

Wide-range data collection, discussed in Volume 1 under the heading of research, is the second foundation of criminal science inquiry. Characteristics of the individual, features of the environment, aspects of the person X situation . . .

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