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Recipient of Choice Magazine's 1991 Outstanding Academic Book Award Why do some individuals pursue crime as a lifestyle? After years of incarceration, why do these offenders habitually repeat criminal behavior? In The Criminal Lifestyle, Walters approaches the question of crime by examining how various biologic, sociologic, and psychologic factors interact to bring about criminal behavior. He extends the criminal career concept to include those persons who approach crime–not as an isolated incident–but as a lifelong commitment. Organized in the same manner as the study was conducted, this riveting book reviews and evaluates research, theoretical issues and practical considerations concerning crime, and develops a model of lifestyle criminality. In The Criminal Lifestyle Walters examines a variety of different perspectives, and organizes them into a framework which furthers our understanding of persons who approach crime as a lifestyle. As such, this contemporary study should be required reading in courses on psychology, criminology, and criminal justice. In addition, practitioners and policymakers who must make decisions about individual offenders will not want to pass up this distinctive resource. “This is an intriguing book that should have a wide audience both in criminology and in other fields. Upper-division undergraduates and above.” – Choice

Cognitive Patterns
Cognitive patterns

Conditions set the stage for choice, which in turn pave the way for cognition. Choice and thought are, of course, inextricably linked and to separate them portends a certain degree of artificiality. However, within the context of the criminal lifestyle, it is essential that we appreciate the sequence of events responsible for the rise of criminologic thought, a progression that commences with the early and later life tasks and the choices one makes relative to these tasks. Out of the morass of confusion generated by these interacting influences arises a cognitive system dedicated to supporting, buttressing, and perpetuating the irresponsibility and self-indulgence of adolescence. Learning eventually permits this thinking style to crystallize to the extent that the evolving lifestyle criminal finds shortsighted ...

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