The Psychology of Criminal Conduct 5th Edition
It is a pleasure to introduce edition number fi ve of The Psychology of Criminal Conduct (PCC-5). As in PCC-1 through PCC-4, we update research, theory, and applications in PCC-5. PCC-5 remains true to its original intent of developing a holistic and truly interdisciplinary general personality and social psychology of criminal conduct. We draw upon a variety of theoretical positions on variability in the criminal behavior of individual human beings but once again fi nd particular value in general personality and cognitive-behavioral and cognitive social learning perspectives on human behavior in general and criminal behavior in particular.
We remain open to the full range of potential variables of interest from the biological through the personal, interpersonal, familial, structural/ cultural, political/economic, and the immediate situations of action.
An outstanding change in criminology, forensic mental health, and criminal justice over the last 20 years has been the enhanced position of PCC academically and in practice. Indeed, applications of PCC have revolutionized corrections and forensic mental health in many areas of North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In applied terms, prevention and corrections have moved from “nothing works” through “what works” to “making what works work.” All of this occurred in a political/judicial environment that was preoccupied with “getting tough.”
We use the phrase “rehabilitative jurisprudence” to underscore the importance of crime prevention becoming once again a major focus within justice and corrections. For too long, crime prevention has been next to excluded because of a focus on due process, just desert, deterrence, “getting tough,” and the fear of offenders being mollycoddled. We call for crime prevention efforts in the context of the normative structure of justice. Additionally, and more than ever before, PCC-5 calls for crime prevention to become a valued outcome of general educational, social, human, and clinical services.
The organizational and content changes in PCC-5 refl ect a number of concerns. First, many colleagues and students have found earlier editions to be intellectually stimulating and professionally inspiring. That response we want to maintain and enhance. Yet some users of PCC have found PCC diffi cult and challenging in that so much attention was paid to quantitative research and to the analysis of competing intellectual traditions. Those concerns we addressed directly in PCC-4 and now in PCC-5. Detailed summaries of research and detailed discussions of intellectual and discipline-based criticism are presented in Technical Notes that appear at the end of the text. The major content of the book may be appreciated without reading the Technical Notes.
As was PCC-4, PCC-5 is open to an audience broader than our original focus on the concerns of senior undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals in psychology. We think that undergraduate students, graduate students, and practitioners in the domains of social work, sociology, education, health, youth and family studies, criminology, and youth and adult justice will profi t from PCC-5. In addition, we are fi nding that many members of the general public have a tremendous interest in understanding antisocial behavior. Crime, after all, has always been a major interest within the news media and the arts and entertainment. We are finding now that extraordinary numbers of high school students, their parents, and members of the public fi nd antisocial behavior to be not only interesting but fascinating. We receive e-mail requests for information regularly. (Yes, we agree, it is part an effect of the popularity of the “CSI” series and similar programs on TV). We hope that some members of the general public will check out PCC-5.
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