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Psychology of Criminal Conduct, Third Edition

NCJ Number
D. A. Andrews; James Bonta
Date Published
537 pages
Reflecting the lecture notes and readings that were first compiled in the mid-1970's for an advanced undergraduate psychology course in criminal behavior, this updated third edition continues to focus on a conceptual and practical appreciation of the predictors of individual variation in criminal activity and of the effects of deliberate intervention on subsequent criminal activity.
The psychology of criminal conduct (PCC) seeks a rational and empirical understanding of variation in the occurrence of criminal acts, particularly a rational empirical understanding of individual differences in criminal activity. After the first chapter provides an overview of PCC, a chapter defines criminal behavior and explores variability in criminal conduct. Among the topics discussed are means of exploring variability in criminal behavior, the correlates of crime, predictor variables, dynamic predictors, causal/functional variables, and types of studies that produce empirical knowledge of covariates of criminal conduct. The third chapter explains various theories of how criminal behavior develops, with attention to social learning through psychodynamic, social location, and differential association perspectives. The fourth chapter discusses a person, interpersonal, and community-reinforcement perspectives on criminal conduct, followed by a chapter on the developmental aspects of criminal behavior. A chapter on the prediction of criminal behavior and classification of offenders considers the assessment of predictive accuracy for criminal behavior and instruments and procedures used for risk assessment in classifying offenders. This is followed by a chapter on prevention and rehabilitation that considers various treatment techniques that hold promise for modifying criminal behavior. A separate chapter is devoted to an examination of the effectiveness of punishment as a response to criminal behavior, followed by an overview of the emergence of restorative justice as an alternative to retribution. "Exceptional" offenders are discussed in the next chapter. These include mentally disordered offenders, offenders with antisocial personality disorder, the sex offender, stalkers, and serial killers. The remaining two chapters discuss domestic violence against women, substance abuse, community policing, and a general personality and social psychology of criminal conduct. 1,152 references and author and subject indexes