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Career Criminals in Society
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Career Criminals in Society



February 2005 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
More than a century of scientific research has indicated that the majority of crime that occurs in society is committed by a small percentage of the population, meaning that most criminals are repeat offenders, or "career criminals." If societies devoted considerable resources toward preventing and neutralizing career criminals, there would be dramatic reductions in crime, the fear of crime, and the assorted costs and collateral consequences of crime.

Career Criminals in Society examines the small but dangerous group of repeat offenders who are most damaging to society. The book encourages readers to think critically about the causes of criminal behavior and the potential of the criminal justice system to reduce crime. Author Matt DeLisi draws upon his own practitioner experience interviewing criminal defendants to argue that career criminals can be combated only with a combination of prevention efforts and retributive criminal justice system policies.

With its controversial, thought-provoking style, Career Criminals in Society is sure to advance theory and research on chronic offenders and inspire discussions on how to adequately control crime.

 
Preface
 
Chapter 1. Introduction, Two Glimpses at the Career Criminal
The Life of Crime

 
Overview of the Book

 
Practitioner Approach

 
Summary

 
 
Chapter 2. The Empirical Evidence of Career Criminals
Introduction

 
Historical Background of Career Criminals

 
Biographies and Typological Studies

 
The Modern Criminal Career Paradigm

 
International Contributions

 
Career Criminal Characteristics

 
Summary: The Universality of Career Criminals

 
Endnotes

 
 
Chapter 3. Developmental Theory and Its Application
Overview of Developmental Theory

 
Patterson's Coercion Theory

 
Moffitt's Developmental Taxonomy

 
Sampson and Laub's Age-graded Theory of Informal Social Control and Cumulative Disadvantage

 
Thornberry's Interactional Theory

 
Social Development Model

 
Developmental Theory in Action: A Review of Some Successful Prevention Policies

 
Strategies that Help to Forestall Career Criminality

 
Summary

 
Endnotes

 
 
Chapter 4. The Challenges Posed by Propensity Theory
Overview of Propensity Theories as they relate to Career Criminals

 
The Implicit and Explicit Role of Psychopathological Conditions

 
Wilson and Herrnstein's Crime and Human Nature

 
Gottfredson and Hirschi's A General Theory of Crime

 
The Gottfredson and Hirschi Critiques

 
Theoretical Challenges and Summary Issues

 
Conclusion

 
Endnotes

 
 
Chapter 5. The Politics of Career Criminals
Introduction

 
The Ethical Quandaries of Prediction

 
Media Portrayals of Career Criminals

 
The Criminological Significance of Career Criminals

 
The Sympathetic Life of Career Criminals

 
The Mercurial Criminal Justice System

 
Academics and Career Criminals

 
Constructing the Career Criminal

 
Conclusion

 
Endnotes

 
 
Chapter 6. The Criminal Justice System and Career Criminals
Introduction and Overview

 
The Police and Career Criminals

 
The Courts and Career Criminals

 
Corrections and Career Criminals

 
Capital Punishment and Career Criminals

 
Endnotes

 
 
Chapter 7. Conclusion, Do We Have the Will to Stop Career Criminals?
Overview

 
Prevention and the Conservative Compromise

 
Retributive Justice and the Liberal Compromise

 
Conclusion

 
Endnotes

 
 
References

Matthew J. DeLisi

Matt DeLisi (Ph.D. University of Colorado, 2000) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Studies Program at Iowa State University. Dr. DeLisi’s primary areas of study are career criminals and self-control theory and his research has appeared in Advances in Criminological Theory, American Journal of Criminal Justice, Behavioral Sciences & the Law, Crime & Criminal Justice International, Criminal Justice Policy Review, Criminal Justice Review, Criminal Justice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law & Society, Encyclopedia of Juvenile Justice, International Journal of... More About Author

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