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NCJ Number
J W Nutter
Date Published
198 pages
This report presents an approach to reducing crime that was developed on the basis of interviews, tests, and evaluations of 315 children in grades kindergarten through susceptible to determine traits that may dispose persons to a criminal life, and of interviews, tests, evaluations, and therapy of 397 inmates in 3 prisons and 1 juvenile institution to identify characteristics of offenders.
The research, which was conducted over a 4-year period, sought to (1) verify the hypothesis that an individual possesses some basic character patterns that make him susciptible to adverse, negative, or criminal behavior when certain environmental factors are present; and (2) conduct a longitudinal study to confirm that the individual character patterns, coupled with other life patterns, would make a child susceptible to unacceptable behavior. Analysis reveals a profile of the typical criminal: he is a single, Caucasian male whose parents were divorced; he worked as a laborer, and his crimes were nonviolent. Further, patterns of the potential criminal appeared to form in the first 5 to 7 years of a child's life. The ineffectiveness of current approaches to preventing crime is highlighted, and recommendations for improving the system are grouped into four categories: law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, the court system, and the educational system. A long-term approach to preventing crime is suggested, and the implementation of a long-range plan is described. Intervention techniques for use by correctional officers, correctional counselors, and school counselors are recommended. Sixteen references and 22 figures are included.