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36 Int. J. Offender Therapy & Comp. Criminology 1 (1992)

handle is hein.journals/ijotcc36 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Do We Have too Many Criminals?

Edward   M. Scott, Ph.D.

Iwould   assume that the majority opinion would be, Yes, we have too
   many criminals. We, also, have too many other people: poor people,
psychotic people, alcohol and drug abusers, etc. Do we have too many
politicians? Perhaps we have too many politicians who seem to be moti-
vated  by self-interest. Do we have too many  dishonest business and
professional individuals? I will venture an opinion-yes.
     The Vice President, Dan  Quayle, stated (maybe insisted) that the
U.S.A.  has too many  lawyers. The American Bar Association President
idealized the lofty mission of lawyers-protecting the poor, etc. How holy
can one's mission be? I suppose this is rather typical of individuals and of
groups. The American  Medical Association, American Psychiatric Associ-
ation, American Psychological Association, and churches (to name a few)
all look heaven-ward and tend to ignore the debris of their organization at
their feet-but quickly point to  the debris of other associations and
    A  more complex and conflicting question: How come so much crime,
poverty, rape, child abuse, murder, etc.? Does the problem originate in the
home?  Yes, to a degree-the  genetic and neurological deficits of some
parents and their children-and/or  from inadequate and  dysfunctional
parenting, not physical defects. Do some criminals emerge from  poor
neighborhoods infected by gangs, drugs, etc.? Yes - to a degree - but some
individuals rise above their neighborhood. Is inadequate education causal?
Perhaps - for some individuals. Are some individuals greedy? Some suc-
cessful business and professional persons certainly seem to be.
    We  might ask, where have all of the positive influences gone? Are they
gone away-everyone?   Are the negative forces and the evil influences
more powerful, more immediate, more exciting, more attainable? Are we -
as a people-selfish, greedy, and self-centered? Even Greek mythology had
its criminals. One of the better thieves was Sisyphus, a real clever devil; so
clever that he was able, while in hell, to put handcuffs on the god Hades.
    On  the contrary, seemingly the Russian people's response in August
1991 to the coup is an outstanding example of strength united for good. In
the words of Morrow  (1991), the Russian people accomplished a kind of
miracle (p. 20).

International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 36(1), 1992

from the SAGE Social Science Collections. All Rights Reserved.

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