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PROGRESSIONS IN CRIMINOLOGY THEORIES:
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Gary A McAvin
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Progressions in Criminology Theories:

Introduction:

Bridging the gap between criminals and the unsuspecting public stands Law

Enforcement. The effectiveness of law enforcement is contingent upon several factors, of which

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are; one-training, and two-criminal knowledge, et al. The criminal/s usually knows they are

going to commit a crime. The unsuspecting public is unaware of the criminals decision until it is

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usually too late. How can these criminals be deterred? How can they be identified prior to any

criminal activity or commission of criminal acts? Where can the edge or deterrence factor be
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found? The law-enforcement community must have tools to defeat or turn aside criminal
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activity. Of course; they have weapons and procedures for this purpose, but; is it enough? What
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would give them (the law enforcement community) the better or best advantage? Knowing and
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identifying the criminal prior to their act? Or; could newer technologies provide the edge law
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enforcement is looking for?

Law enforcement only has seconds to identify potential criminals. What can they look

for in potential criminals? How can they identify criminal types? Will the scientific aspect of

criminology be able to supply the answers? How can criminology assist on the ground law-

enforcement officials? Would creating a profile help? Yes! Would creating a theory based upon

qualitative and quantified data add anything to the formula? Yes! Would empirically

substantiated results provide the necessary edge that law-enforcement needs to stay ahead of the

criminal mind? Yes! Theories provide compelling standards on how the criminal both looks
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(physical) and thinks (mental thought processes) but; can theories be improved upon? Have

criminology theories changed since their inceptions?

Theories:

What are theories and how are they formulated, defined?

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Theory Defined:

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“Some writers regard theory as a collection of concepts. Others say theory is an

interconnected set of hypotheses. Other writers say theory is a set of concepts plus the
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interrelationships that are assumed to exist among those concepts (Selltiz, Cook, and
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Wrightsman, 1976:16). Another way of viewing theory is as a system of explanation. Some


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professionals regard theory as a conceptual scheme, a frame of reference, or a set of propositions


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and conclusions. If we consult a dictionary, one of the worst places to look for a clear definition
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of theory, theory is a mental viewing, a contemplation, conjecture, a systematic statement of

principles, or a formulation of apparent relationships or underlying principles of certain observed

phenomena which has been verified to some degree (Guralnik, 1972:1475).

All of these definitions of theory are true. Yet, no single definition above pulls together all of

theory’s essential elements. Perhaps one of the clearer and more comprehensive definitions of

theory may be gleaned from a synthesis of two definitions provided by Robert Merton (1957:96-

99) and the late theorist, Arnold Rose (1965:9-12). According to these social scientists, theory is

an integrated body of assumptions, propositions, and definitions that are related in such a way so

as to explain and predict relationships between two or more variables.” (Champion, 2000:36-37).
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Now we need to invest some time in the sub categories of theory formulae, assumptions,

propositions and definitions for clarity’s sake!

Assumptions:

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First, let’s distinguish between assumptions and propositions. Assumptions are similar to

empirical generalizations or observable regularities in human behavior (Merton, 1957: 95-96).

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For our purposes, assumptions are statements that have a high degree of certainty. These are

statements that require little, if any, confirmation in the real world. Examples of assumptions
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might be, “All societies have laws,” or “The greater the deviant conduct, the greater the group
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pressure on the deviant to conform to group norms.”


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Propositions:
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In contrast, propositions are also statements about the real world, but they lack the high

degree of certainty associated with assumptions. Examples of propositions might be, “Burnout

among probation officers may be mitigated or lessened through job enlargement and giving

officers greater input in organizational decision making,” or “Two-officer patrol units are less

susceptible to misconduct and corruption than one-officer patrol units.”


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Definitions:

Other components of theories are definitions. Definitions of terms we use, definitions of

the factors we consider significant in influencing various events, assist us in constructing a

logical explanatory framework or theory. A common problem is that often, the same terms are

assigned different definitions by different investigators. If we use the term peer influence in a

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statement about delinquents and their delinquent conduct, how should peer influence be defined?

[Ibid]

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Now that we have the base requirements for theory hypothesis, we can investigate former
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criminologists and their theory formulations. In search of the criminal man, the trail sometimes
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becomes obfuscated by prejudice and personal opinion. Some of the basic theories operated with
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the premise (what we now call labeling/stereotyping) that certain individuals are atypical
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criminals because of their appearance. What can we learn from primitive criminological
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theories? Did these criminologists have facts to substantiate their claims? Not always! For the

most part they were very observant!

How did people like DaVinci, Democritus, physicians of Egypt, Galen, Newton and

others see the deeper things without the aid of modern scientific instruments? Were their powers

of observation better than we may suppose or presume? Several theorists must be considered as

we analyze their theories for viability today. Origins of the Classical School of Criminology

reside in a theory composed by Cesare Beccaria, called “On Crimes and Punishment 1764”
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Formal Deterrence Theory:

“Beccaria believed that the function of law was to promote justice (Young, 1984). In his

1764 essay On Crimes and Punishments, he formulated the following principles, which

represented a dramatic departure from how criminal law had previously been perceived (Vold,

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1970:18-22).

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• Prevention of crime is more important than punishment for the crime committed. Punishment is

desirable only as it helps to prevent crime and does not conflict with the ends of justice.
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• Desirable criminal procedure calls for the open publication of all laws, speedy trials, humane
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treatment of the accused, and the abolishment of secret accusations and torture. Moreover, the
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accused must have every right and facility to bring forward evidence.
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• The purpose of punishment is to deter persons from the commission of crime, not to give

society an opportunity for revenge. In addition, punishment must be certain and swift, with

penalties determined strictly according to the social damage wrought by the crime. Therefore,

celerity—the time-span between crime and punishment—is a key element in deterrence (van den

Haag, 1986:100).
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In short, Beccaria redefined criminality, prescribed fair treatment of individuals, and

temporarily removed revenge and retribution as rationales for punishment.” (Vito & Holmes,

1994:75)

Beccaria’s Theory was a prototype of Deterrence Theory that is the cornerstone of the

contemporary criminal justice system’s response to criminals. (Winfree & Abadinsky 2003:36)

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We must remember that Beccaria was only 26 when his On Crimes and Punishments was

published. Early criminologists utilizing only powers of observation (and measurements)

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deduced the criminal intentions of their time and recorded their results. This foundation in

criminology was built upon by subsequent individuals using different criminology design
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patterns or assumptions! Beccaria’s work was read and studied by the men of renown in his era.
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His work had significant impact on future laws and decisions.


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“The whole question of “sanctions” (meaning both punishment and reward) was an
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absorbing one to the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The father of what came to be

known as the Classical School of Criminal Law was Cesare Bonesana, Marquis of Beccaria. In

1764 Beccaria, then only twenty-six and barely out of law school, published in Leghorn, Italy, a

slim volume entitled Essay on Crimes and Punishments. It appeared anonymously because the

young author, a Milanese whose territory was then under the rule of Austria, feared reprisals if

his authorship were known. Quite the opposite occurred. Beccaria was lionized; his slender

volume was translated into all the languages of Europe. It was read as avidly by the Austrian

Emperor Joseph II as by Sir William Blackstone, then a lecturer on the English law whose

lecture notes would soon be published as Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England.
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Seldom has a single work had so galvanizing an effect on the legal thinking of an as did

Beccaria’s essay.” (Rennie: 15).

In the same Classical School of Criminology, Jeremy Bentham built upon Beccaria’s work

and offered the following addition to crime deterrence. “In Britain, philosopher Jeremy Bentham

(1748—1833) helped popularize Beccaria’s views in his writings on utilitarianism. Bentham

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believed that people choose actions on the basis of whether they produce pleasure and happiness

and help them avoid pain or unhappiness. The purpose of law is to produce and support the total

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happiness of the community it serves. Because punishment is in itself harmful, its existence is

justified only if it promises to prevent greater evil than it creates. Punishment, therefore, has four
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main objectives: (Siegel 2004:108)
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1. To prevent all criminal offenses


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2. When it cannot prevent a crime, to convince the offender to commit a less serious crime

3. To ensure that a criminal uses no more force than is necessary


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4. To prevent crime as cheaply as possible

Can we use the research and writings of Beccaria and Bentham today, or; are they ideas

relegated to another place in time? Are theories only consigned to a particular historical period?

Or; can we coalesce these older theories with the newer more scientific posits? What does

modern criminology find useful in these theories from Beccaria’s On Crime and Punishments

1764 and Bentham’s Moral Criticism 1789? Obviously; good criminologists build on proven
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assumptions, propositions and definitions! The foundation of the deterrence theory was strong

and was given new life by Gibbs and Becker circa 1968 and; they found viability in this theory.

“Criminologists’ interest in deterrence theory waned in the last quarter of the nineteenth

century. The influential writings of Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and Cesare Lombroso,

whose contributions we explore in the next chapter, led to a positivistic revolution in

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explanations of human behavior. Criminologists shifted from the study of laws and punishments

to the study of criminals, both in society and in its prisons, a locus they largely maintained until

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the 1960s. For 100 years criminologists took one path, and policy makers followed an entirely

different one.
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The 1960s brought about many changes in American society; ranging from desegregation
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to near political anarchy. In those tumultuous times two social scientists shifted criminologists’
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attention back to deterrence theory. In 1968, Jack Gibbs published “Crime, Punishment, and
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Deterrence,” in which he attempted to test the deterrence hypothesis. This was the beginning of
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perceptual deterrence studies. Also in 1968 economist and 1992 Nobel Prize winner Gary S.

Becker published “Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,” a work that generated great

interest in a perspective called cost—benefit analysis. With the publication of these two works,

deterrence theory was once more on the agenda of criminologists. One irony in this rediscovery

of deterrence is that positivistic criminologists began applying the scientific method in an

attempt to reveal punishments’ deterrent effects.” (Winfree & Abadinsky 2003: 36)

Proof in point; that good criminologists build upon the foundation already laid in

previous generations. We must remember the intelligence of ancient civilizations and the people
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responsible for historical preservation. How could for instance; Democritus understand the

theory of the atom unless he was extremely intelligent? It is not good investigative practice to

dismiss former generations and their accomplishments.

Positivist Criminology:

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Nineteenth-Century Positivism:

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“The classical position served as a guide to crime, law, and justice for almost 100 years,

but during the late nineteenth century a change in the way knowledge was being gathered created
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a challenge to its dominance. The scientific method was beginning to take hold in Europe. Rather
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than rely on pure thought and reason, careful observation and analysis of natural phenomena was
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being undertaken to understand the way the world worked. This movement inspired new
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discoveries in biology, astronomy, and chemistry. If the scientific method could be applied to the
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study of nature, then why not use it to study human behavior?” (Siegel 2004:6)

Biological Theory:

“The earliest “scientific” studies examining human behavior were biologically oriented.

Physiognomists, such as J. K. Lavater (1741—1801), studied the facial features of criminals to

determine whether the shape of ears, nose, and eyes and the distance between them were

associated with antisocial behavior. Phrenologists, such as Franz Joseph Gall (1758—1828) and

Johann K Spurzheim (1776—1832), studied the shape of the skull and bumps on the head to
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determine whether these physical attributes were linked to criminal behavior. Phrenologists

believed that external cranial characteristics dictate which areas of the brain control physical

activity though their primitive techniques and quasi-scientific methods have been thoroughly

discredited, these efforts were an early attempt to use a “scientific” method to study crime.”

[Ibid]

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What can we determine from these theories that began using scientific methods to study

criminology? Exact measurements and astute observations were used to determine the criminal

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possibility; as the search for the “Born Criminal” took a new dimension! Positivists believed

that there were specific indicators for defining a criminal. Now the attention was directed
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towards behavior patterns, body types, head size and shape and other physical factors that were
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significantly identifiable in criminals but; not in the norm of society, or so it was posited.
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Would Physiognomists be able to determine facial distinctions as identifiers? Can the


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skull provide clues, or; answers to what resides within? Phrenology was the forerunner of brain

mapping or neuroimaging. Spurtzheim assisted Gall in his studies. Gall eventually charted 27

different regions of the skull and attributed numbers and physical possibilities to each one. For

instance; Location 1. Amativeness=impulse to propagation (we call it the arousal of feelings of

sexual desire today) Location 2. Conjugal love=Tenderness to the offspring, or parental love.

This process was mapped and studied by phrenologists, and still is today! But is this theory

useful today? Yes! But only the premise! Because of this exterior expedition, interior brain

mapping (neuroimaging) became a study and is now accepted intelligence that is scientifically

provable.
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And; before we pass this point; it might be of interest to consider the face recognition

software now being integrated into antiterrorist applications. Considering Physiognomy and the

theory behind it; can it be that this is only a progression now found in this newer identification

theory? Another facial distinctions theory built upon the older theory of Lavater? Is there

correlation between the two? With this technology, face identification can be utilized in the

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same processes that are used for fingerprint searches.

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Face recognition next in terror fight:

By Thomas Frank, USA TODAY


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“WASHINGTON Homeland Security leaders are exploring futuristic and possibly
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privacy-invading technology aimed at finding terrorists and criminals by using digital


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surveillance photos that analyze facial characteristics.


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The government is paying for some of the most advanced research into controversial face-
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recognition technology, which converts photos into numerical sequences that can be instantly

compared with millions of photos in a database. Facial-recognition research was sought to enable

federal air marshals to surreptitiously photograph people in airports and bus and train stations to

check whether they were on terrorist databases. The air marshals disavowed the technology to

focus on identifying suspects through methods that don't use cameras.” (www.usatoday.com)

“Until just a few decades ago, it was very difficult to detect, non-invasively,

physiological signals from the brain. However, the discoveries in physics, the evolution of
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information technology, and the invention of non-invasive biomedical technologies in the last

decades of the twentieth century transformed this scenario and created numerous opportunities

for studying the brain in living subjects. The authors trace the extraordinary evolution of brain

imaging techniques (magnetic resonance imaging, emission tomography, and? functional

neuroimaging?) in the second part of the twentieth century. Not only have these methods had a

remarkable clinical impact, they have also been outstanding research tools in the field of the

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neurosciences. In their most recent applications, they are employed in the quest to uncover the

neuronal substrate of the human mind.” (www.pubmed.com)

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Can we correlate the foundational theories of Gall, Spurtzheim, and Lavater et al; and
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apply them to this new scientific information? There are distinct correlations applicable to
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today’s criminology understandings. Galls, Spurtzheim, were forerunners of brain mapping, and;
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Lavater with his facial recognition possibilities. His theory is now being utilized in fast face scan
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applications. Although only given a glimpse of their potentiality, these theorists laid foundational
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possibilities even they could not perceive in their era.

Historically; knowledge seemingly comes at specific periods in the spectrum of human

intelligence. There are periods of illumination called; “Enlightenment” and periods of darkness

when no intellectual discoveries are made called; “The Dark Ages.” Since the enlightenment,

criminology has advanced from the so-called primitive form, i.e. Classic, to the most advanced

era in time; now! Most of the criminology theories and techniques were discovered in the

Twentieth Century. Science now provides new investigative proficiencies unparalleled in history.
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Biological Determinism:

Cesare Lombrosco an Italian physician was one of the first to take the scientific approach

to the study of criminal man. Lombrosco advanced the theory that physical traits were indicative

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of criminality. He believed that criminality was inherited from generation to generation.

(Lombrosco’s theory is not one I want to pursue, but; what progressions that come after; is where

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modern interests lie.) And; following Lombrosco’s physical characteristics pattern were others

that applied physical features as indicators for criminality. Goring’s “defective intelligence”
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findings; Hooten’s physiological inferiority characterizations; and then we come to William
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Sheldon’s Somatotypes theory. But; Sheldon built his work, research and theory on the work of
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others.
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Biological Theory:

“Body types and crime. The search for a constitutionally determined criminal man did not

stop with Goring’s (1913) conclusions. Kretschmer (1925) took up the theme as the result of his

study of 260 insane people in Swabia, a southwestern German town. He was impressed with the

fact that his subjects had definite types of body builds that he thought were associated with

certain types of psychic dispositions. First published in German in 1922 and translated into

English in 1925, Kretschmer’s study identified four body types: asthenic, athletic, pyknic, and

some mixed unclassifiable types. He found asthenics to be lean and narrowly built, with a

deficiency of thickness in their overall bodies. These men were so flat-chested and skinny that
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their ribs could be counted easily. The athletic build had broad shoulders, excellent musculature,

a deep chest, a flat stomach, and powerful legs. These men were the 1920s counterpart of the

modern “hunks” of media fame. The pyknics were of medium build with a propensity to be

rotund, sort of soft appearing with rounded shoulders, broad faces, and short stubby hands.

Kretschmer argued that the asthenic and athletic builds were associated with schizophrenic

personalities, whereas the pyknics were manic-depressives.” (Lilly, Cullen, & Ball, 2003:22-23)

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“Kretschmer’s work was useful in Mohr and Gundlach’s report published in 1929-30 on

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the various body types cataloged by Kretschmer. [Ibid] Ten years later Earnest A. Hooten

followed this same line of research and offered, “criminals are inferior to civilians in nearly all
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their body measurements.” [Ibid] This search continued into the 1940s and 1950s with William
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H. Sheldon changing the research paradigm away from adults to delinquent male youths. He
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produced an index that subjected the juvenile to degrees of troubles. With the extreme, (score of
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10) calling for institutionalization and lower scores, (6) implying various degrees of adjustment
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possibilities. Sheldon also categorized body types into three classifications, endomorphs,

mesomorphs, and ectomorphs. Each type had different physical features. These features were

used as an adjunct to possible criminal tendencies and potential.” [Ibid]

The problem with body typing resides in the potential for change. Will a mesomorph

always remain a mesomorph? Changes take place in all three body types. Several factors for

example can be considered. Body types can be altered by conditioning programs and diets.

Heavy weight lifting can change a body type from thin, or overweight, into a very muscular type.

Also; overweight people can lose weight, develop an exercise routine and subsequently change
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their appearance also. Consider the programs allowed in prisons for routine exercise. These

programs (if they are weight lifting oriented) can definitely alter body types; and; all three of

Sheldon’s body types can be altered, and very significantly at times. It is known by cessation of

weight lifting programs you can become obese in a matter of time; from mesomorph to

endomorph in a short time for some. At one time, these body types could be useful for quick

identification by patrolling police officers, but; now the paradigm is changing. Something that

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the general public is probably unaware of, took place in criminal typing; and this could be cause

for concern!

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“Efforts to connect body shape and behavior were not limited to crime alone. In 1995, it
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was revealed that between the 1940s and the 1960s, Hooton and Sheldon had been involved with
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a eugenics experiment that took “posture photos” of freshmen as they entered some of the
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nation’s most prestigious Ivy League schools including Harvard University, Yale University, and
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Wellesley College. They were pursuing the now discredited idea that body shape and intelligence
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are somehow connected & Some of “America’s Establishment” photographed for the experiment

included New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, former president George H. W. Bush, New

York Governor George Pataki, University of Oklahoma President David Boren, and television

journalist Diane Sawyer. Although some of the photographs had been destroyed since the

experiment was ended during the late 1960s, in 1995 the Smithsonian museum in Washington,

D.C., still had as many as 20,000 photographs of men and 7,000 photographs of women. Since

then, the photographs have been destroyed (“Naked Truth Returns,” 1995; “Naked Truth

Revealed,” 1995; “Smithsonian Destroys,” 1995).” (Criminology Theory, Lilly, Cullen, Ball,

2003:24)
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This can be problematical in wrongful applications of criminology technology. In the not too

distant past; the unsuspecting public was the subject of eugenic studies that ended in tragedy.

Strong oversight should accompany all advanced technologies of this genre.

Behaviorism and Learning Theory:

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Theories by Pavlov and Skinner revealed the conditioned response in learning. You can

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train dogs (Pavlov) and people (Skinner et al) to respond accordingly.

“Behaviorists see all behavior as resulting from learned responses to distinct stimuli. As noted by
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Skinner, when some aspect of behavior (animal or human) is followed by a certain type of
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consequence—a reward—it is more likely to recur. The reward is a positive reinforcer. However,
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a reward becomes a positive reinforcer, and punishment becomes a negative reinforcer, only
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when actually influencing behavior in a specified manner. These concepts form the basis for
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operant conditioning, whereby behavior patterns are shaped incrementally by reinforcement.

(Winfree & Abadinsky 2003:136)

Can we apply this premise to behavior modification procedures? For example if we posit;

the child learns via family, peer groups, environment, observation, and social settings, et al, can

we produce the proper input for the expected outcome? If criminals learn to be criminals; what

must change? The learning environment or conditions of learning must change or be adjusted. In

order to change or modify criminals you must go to the source of their criminality; the mind! I

cannot subscribe to criminality that is not learned somewhere!


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“The behavioral psychologist operates from a radically different perspective than the

therapist oriented toward the psychoanalytic model. The focus is on specific behavior, which is

the end result of the values, attitudes, interests, skills, and basic personality patterns of the

individual.

The basic principle underlying behaviorism is that all behavior is learned. The father of

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behaviorism, John B. Watson, believed that the purpose of psychology is to understand, predict,

and control human behavior (Bartol, 1986:79). B. F. Skinner, a dominant figure in behaviorism,

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felt that there is nothing emotionally or morally wrong with persons who commit crimes. Rather,

they are simply responding to rewards and punishments within their environments. Thus,
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behavior is repeated if it is rewarded; conversely, behavior that is not rewarded is not repeated.
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According to the behaviorists, behavior can be changed through either positive or negative
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interactions with the environment. Because the personality develops through the interaction of
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the unique biological and social forces that make up the learning process, the viability for change
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comes from the person making rational decisions based on what is pleasing. Thus, all behavior

can be studied and predicted if the positive reward system driving it is efficient enough.” (Vito &

Holmes 1994:128)

Now; if we consider the premise posited by Watson, that all behaviors are learned, how

can we change the behavior patterns in criminals? Can we use various deterrence sanctions,

reward and punishments? Can we treat prisoners like Pavlov’s dogs with positive or negative

reinforcement? If they learned it; they can unlearn it and; or; change! But; what if the criminal

wants to be-a criminal? Dr. Samenow blames criminal behavior on-criminals!


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Psychological-Psychoanalytic Theories:

“Although by the middle 1970s psychoanalytic theory had lost considerable standing and

was to come under considerable attack by the early 1990s, partly because of new evidence

suggesting that Freud had either misjudged or actually suppressed much of his critical case

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material and partly because of sharp feminist critiques, Yochelson and Samenow (1976)

published a popular book, The Criminal Personality, arguing that crime is the result of

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pathological thought patterns constituting a “criminal mind.” Offenders were described in the

traditional language of psychopathy as manipulative, calculating, and largely immune to


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traditional efforts to treat them. ..Still, by the 1980s, the notion that the criminal must be
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characterized by some pathological mentality, if only it could be identified, had gained more
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favor, with many different psychological characteristics suggested as the origin of crime.” (Lilly,
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Cullen & Ball, 2002:217)


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“Criminals cause crime—not bad neighborhoods, inadequate parents, television, schools,

drugs, or unemployment. Crime resides within the minds of human beings and is not caused

by social conditions. Once we as a society recognize this simple fact, we shall take measures

radically different from current ones. To be sure, we shall continue to remedy intolerable social

conditions for this is worthwhile in and of itself. But we shall not expect criminals to change

because of such efforts.

Only if society knows who the criminal is can genuine progress be made in fighting crime. Here,

I shall propose still another approach to the crime problem, a method of dealing with criminals
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that has had positive results and therefore offers a ray of hope. It begins with holding the

criminal completely accountable for his offenses. This is to say that a person is responsible for

having committed a crime, regardless of his social background or the adversities that have

confronted him. However, the fact that a criminal commits crimes out of choice should not result

only in locking him up for he will emerge from prison still a criminal. Just as he has chosen a life

of crime, so a criminal can make choices in a new direction and learn to lead a responsible life.

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This is not an attempt to resuscitate rehabilitation under another name, for all the traditional

rehabilitative programs in the world will be of no use unless the criminal changes his

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thinking.” (Samenow, 1984:6) (Emphasis Mine)
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If we follow this train of thought; we can arrive at possibilities. Today we have the
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technology to effect change. We have mind altering drugs that can change the mental state of
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individuals. And; these drugs are found on the street as well as in the pharmaceutical. If we can
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apply the advances of mind altering technologies on willing participants, changes can be
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realized. If the criminal wants to change; they can. Also of use is subliminal mind altering

processes, now; I suggest this type of therapy on a willing criminal base. Volunteers only! A

control group could be established composed of criminals that really want to change. These

people could be used in a controlled scientific experimental basis (control group) and then tested

for results. What do we know about subliminal programming?

“Subliminal therapy has been used for many decades, dating back as far as the early

1900's. The first recorded use of subliminal messages was seen in the form of whisper therapy, in

which a therapist whispers suggestions to the patient in hopes of subconsciously persuading the
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patient to improve his/her behavior. In the whisper therapy example, the therapist whispers the

suggestion to the patient at a level inaudible to the conscious mind; or at a time when the patient

is not expecting it. If the patient is unaware of the suggestion because it is below his/her level of

awareness, the suggestion will be entered into the subconscious mind.

Though use of subliminal messages was not recorded until the twentieth century, research began

much earlier. The research of Suslowa in 1863 demonstrated that there is a threshold between

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conscious and subliminal that was seen through the use of "subliminal electrical stimulation."

The patient was administered electrical impulses at different levels of intensity, and brain activity

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was observed to change at the specific threshold point. This border between the conscious and

subconscious varies slightly from person to person.”


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Is there validation for this process? Consider the following: “Currently, not much is
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being done to curb the use of subliminal messages in advertising and daily use. In Australia and
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Britain, the use of subliminal advertising has been banned with severe consequences for those
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who disobey the strict laws. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United

States will now revoke a company's broadcast license if the use of subliminal messages is

proven. Subliminal message usage has also been banned for all members of The National

Association of Broadcasters. In a Nevada court case, the judge ruled that the First Amendment's

protection of freedom of speech and press does not extend as far as subliminal messages

(Pratkanis200).” (http://library.thinkquest.org/)

If the FCC will revoke a station’s license for intentionally using subliminal messaging,

this would validate it authenticity, wouldn’t you think? Ok! Say this works! If scientists would
22

utilize this process to go below the conscience level of communication to the sub-conscience,

could change be affected? We are looking for things that can change behavior patterns.

Another technology that can change/alter mind states is found in neuroscience and

psychoacoustics.

D
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The Scientific Research Behind

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Acoustic Brainwave Entrainment:
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“David Krech, University of California at Berkeley psychologist predicted almost
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twenty-five years ago: "I foresee the day when we shall have the means, and therefore,
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inevitability, the temptation, to manipulate the behavior and intellectual functioning of all people
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through environmental and biochemical manipulation of the brain."


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That day may very well be here now, and the gentle altering of brain wave patterns using sound

may be the easiest, most potent, and safest way to do it. Acoustic Brainwave Entrainment uses

sound technology to entrain brain wave patterns, giving us the ability to influence and/or create

tranquility, pain control, creativity, euphoria, excitement, and focused attention, relief from

stress, enhanced learning ability and problem solving ability, increased memory, accelerated

healing, behavior modification, and improvements in mental and emotional health.”

(http://www.neuroacoustic.com/acoustic.html)
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Today; believe it or not; technology exists that can change brainwave patterns and

thought processes. This could prove effective in Criminal Justice if applied. Criminal mind

states must be changed at point of origin-within. If this technology could be applied in control

groups across the criminal spectrum, results could be studied and verified as to validity.

Something must be found or we will continue to process and warehouse our criminals. Nothing

seems to have any lasting effect on criminals because it is applied to the wrong location-external,

D
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rather than-internal, the seat and origin of all affections, good or evil.

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Conclusion:
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If we make the assumption that effective changes reside within our capabilities; via
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modern mind altering technology, it becomes our responsibility to implement such. It has
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become paramount to find and implement new workable procedures to reduce the criminal
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behavior. Deterrents work if applied swiftly and consistently, albeit; the outcry against severe
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sanctions (death penalty) will restrict and minimize severe sanctions, emboldening the criminal

to continue harsh acts of criminality upon the unsuspecting public.

Putting into propositional form the concept of changing criminal behavior from within,

could gain substantial support, providing the test results were empirically validated. This would

require beta testing at several penal locations, and perhaps the worst criminals could be in the

initial control groups. If proven empirically, this could become policy followed by application.

Although; strictly on a volunteer basis because of ACLU type organizations.


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Definitions of terms we use, definitions of the factors we consider significant in

influencing various events, assist us in constructing a logical explanatory framework or theory.

Defining the problem of deterrence and providing useful solutions can change the criminal

paradigm. What is the overall problem? Finding answers for societies burgeoning criminal

problem. Criminals no longer fear harsh sanctions as they once did. Their probability of even

getting apprehended for their crimes is; infinitesimally small. The solution resides in change.

D
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Changing the criminals desire to commit crimes and to become beneficial instead of detrimental,

can be accomplished with the proper theories and applications thereof!

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References:

Champion, Dean J. (2000). Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology (Second

ed., Vol. 1) (Marion Gottlieb. Neil Marquardt, Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-

Hall, Inc. (Original work published Prentice-Hall, Inc)

Lilly, Robert J. & Richard A. Ball. (2002). Criminological Theory Context and Consequences

(1st ed., Vol. 1) (Vonessa Vondera. James Westby, Ed.). London: Sage Publications, Inc.

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(Original work published 2002)

Rennie, Ysabel Fisk. (1978). The Search For Criminal Man (1st ed., Vol. 1) (Dinitz. Conrad,

R
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Ed.). N/A, Canada: D.C. Health and Company. (Original work published D. C. Health

and Company)
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Samenow, Stanton E. (1984). Inside the Criminal Mind (1st ed., Vol. 1) (Samenow, Ed.). New
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York: Time Books, a Division of Random House. (Original work published Time Books)
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Siegal, Larry J. (2004). Criminology Theories, Patterns, & Typologie (1st ed.) (Horne. Whitney,
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Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.


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Vito, Gennaro F. & Holmes, Ronald M. (1994). Criminology Theory, Research, and Policy (1st

ed., Vol. 1) (Brian Gore, Ed. et al.). Belmont, CA: International Thompson Publishing.

(Original work published 1994)

Winfree, L., Thomas & Abadinsky, Howard (2003). Understanding Crime Theory and Practice

(1st ed., Vol. 1) (Massicotte. Horne, Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson

Learning.

(http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-05-10-facial-recognition-

terrorism_N.htm

(Neuroimaging: a story of physicians and basic scientists.) (www.pubmed.com)