Career Criminals in Society
Publication Year: 2005
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.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Introduction: Two Glimpses at the Career Criminal
- The Life of Crime
- Chapter 2: The Empirical Evidence on Career Criminals
- Historical Background of Career Criminals
- Biographies and Typological Studies
- The Modern Criminal Career Paradigm
- International Contributions
- Career Criminal Characteristics
- Exceptionality and Disproportionate Criminal Involvement
- Demographic Characteristics
- Race and Ethnicity
- Onset, Versatility, and Seriousness/Dangerousness
- Summary: The Universality of Career Criminals
- 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
- 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
- Bad Boys, Bad Men
- The Criminal Lifestyle
- The Psychopathology of Crime
- 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
- Chapter 5: The Politics of Career Criminals
- 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
- Chapter 6: The Criminal Justice System and Career Criminals
- Introduction and Overview
- The Police and Career Criminals
- The Courts and Career Criminals
- Habitual Offender Statutes
- The Dangerousness Doctrine
- Civil Commitment
- Corrections and Career Criminals
- The General Landscape
- Selective Incapacitation and Its Discontents
- Making Sense of Corrections and Career Criminals
- Capital Punishment and Career Criminals
- Chapter 7: Conclusion: Do We Have the Will to Stop Career Criminals?
- Prevention and the Conservative Compromise
- Retributive Justice and the Liberal Compromise
Copyright © 2005 by Sage Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Career criminals in society/Matt DeLisi.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 1-4129-0553-2 (cloth: acid-free paper) — ISBN 1-4129-0554-0 (pbk. : acid-free paper) 1. Recidivists. 2. Criminals. 3. Criminal
behavior, Prediction of. I. Title.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
05 06 07 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Acquiring Editor: Jerry Westby
Editorial Assistant: Vonessa Vondera
Production Editor: Diana E. Axelsen
Typesetter: C&M Digitals (P) Ltd.
Cover Designer: Edgar Abarca
The actual writing of this manuscript was a relatively quick process, taking only about 3 months. However, Career Criminals in Society is, in many respects, the culmination of 10 years of my student, work, and academic life, and many people deserve thanks.
The best colleagues whom I have ever had the privilege to work with were my friends in the bond commissioner office in the 20th Judicial District in Boulder County, Colorado. With humor, intelligence, and good common sense, they encouraged my interest in, knowledge of, and acquaintanceship with high-rate criminal offenders. I would like to acknowledge Melissa Andrews, Laura Guzman, Cinnamon Jones, Kurt Miller, Dale Wetzbarger, Celia Wilson, and Gary York.
Three mentors guided me from a curious undergraduate to this point. The late Professor Arnold Goldstein taught me about juvenile delinquency and criminology when I was an undergraduate at Syracuse University. His courses remain the model for my own, and Dr. Goldstein showed me the importance of being fluent in the real and academic worlds of criminal justice. He was a wonderful man. Also at Syracuse, Professor William Coplin illustrated the link between policy and theory, provided my first criminological research opportunity, and believed that my chutzpah would someday lead somewhere good. Finally, Professor Robert Regoli was my dissertation chair, sometime coauthor, and advisor during my graduate study at the University of Colorado. From day 1, Bob treated me as his peer and offered good counsel on many topics.
Many others have benefited me with their scholarship, social commentary, or friendship. These include Gregg Barak, Mark Berg, Donna Bishop, Chet Britt, Pete Conis, John DiIulio, Bill Doerner, Dinesh D'Souza, Larry Elder, Del Elliott, David Farrington, Jewel Gatling, Michael Gottfredson, Robert Hare, Richard Herrnstein, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Michael Hindelang, Travis [Page x]Hirschi, Andy Hochstetler, Pete Iadicola, Patrick Krueger, John Laub, Seymour Lipset, Rolf Loeber, Joan McCord, John McWhorter, Walter Miller, Terrie Moffitt, Ted Nugent, David Olds, Bill O'Reilly, Joan Petersilia, Alex Piquero, Travis Pratt, Lee Robins, Angie Schadt, John Serdinak, Thomas Sowell, T. J. Taylor, Jackson Toby, Jay Thompson, Glenn Walters, James Q. Wilson, and Tom Winfree.
Thanks also to those who reviewed the manuscript: Ted Curry, University of Texas at El Paso; Elaine Gunnison, University of Nevada Las Vegas; Denise Huggins, University of Arkansas; Karen Dudash, Cameron University; William Doerner, Florida State University; and Craig T. Robertson, University of North Alabama. Jerry Westby at Sage Publications provided excellent guidance, faith, and a steadying presence while becoming both editor and friend.
Finally, I thank my family, especially my beautiful wife, Melissa, and our wonderful sons, Jamison and Landon. This is for you!
About the Author