In Search of Criminology

In Search of Criminology

In Search of Criminology

In Search of Criminology

Excerpt

Three facts stand out when the condition of criminology is surveyed on an international scale: the extreme paucity of the support given to the scientific study of crime even in the most advanced countries; the undaunted resilience of those who pursue it in the face of persistent indifference or scarcely-veiled scepticism; and the deep impression ultimately left by criminological ideas even on those systems of criminal justice which appear most firmly entrenched in traditional ways of thought.

My awareness of this paradox has increased steadily ever since I began, some twenty-five years ago, to follow the development of criminological thought and penal practice in Europe and in the United States of America, and that awareness has recently been stimulated and deepened by an extensive journey which enabled me to examine at first-hand contemporary standards in teaching and research. The inquiry was undertaken at a time when the University of Cambridge was considering the best means of giving a fresh impetus to criminological studies, an intention which has now become a reality.

I should like to express my great indebtedness to the colleagues of many nationalities listed in the third appendix to this volume, who were so generous in sharing with me the wealth of their experience and ideas. I am grateful to the Home Office for having given me the support which made this long journey across Europe and the United States possible, and to the University for granting me leave of absence. Finally, it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the editorial help and the many valuable suggestions which I have received from Miss J. F. S. King, who recently joined the senior research staff of the Cambridge Institute of Criminology.

Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. August, 1961.

L. R.

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