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38 Int. J. Offender Therapy & Comp. Criminology 1 (1994)

handle is hein.journals/ijotcc38 and id is 1 raw text is: 



EDITORIAL



Apples Versus Oranges: Or,

Are We All Apples?

Edward  M.  Scott


E. B. White  (1977) reflected, Only a person who is congenitally self-
centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays (p. vii). The
editor of a professional journal-especially when he writes editorials-is
not  far removed  from  White's essayist. Perhaps, he has even  more
effrontery. Having not only effrontery, but lacking discipline as well, the
following comes to mind.
    When  some (maybe  most) people, including professional and lay, think
about offenders (inmates, criminals), they believe a difference (significant)
exists between offenders and nonoffenders. If so, it is difficult to compare
apples and oranges. Yet, if one (as I have for years) asks offenders how they
differ from nonoffenders, they simply say, We've just been caught. This
is their way of saying, We're all apples. Others might suggest that some
apples have fallen a little farther from the tree; or, some apples have rolled
down  the hill; while a few have run away as did the gingerbread man. In any
case, it's either due to genetics (a really different apple) or to environmental
factors (the hill).
    Patterson and  Kim  (1991) found in their research (based on 2,000
Americans) some revealing - perhaps troubling - data. These two research-
ers claimed to have employed  a cathartic method to gain  information
regarding what people, really believe, as opposed to what we think we're
supposed to believe (p. 5). For the present focus, I will mention only a
couple of their findings, namely, 7% stated they would murder for money.
That's one in every fourteen people (p. 65). Patterson and Kim pointed out
that the people interviewed might not actually murder, but too  many
individuals at least considered it. We need caution not to suggest that
thoughts, ideas, or feelings are necessarily translated into action. Yet-and
this is important -America is the most violent nation (homicide) when
compared  to eleven other developed countries (Patterson & Kim, p. 120).
    We  might  reflect that, although the majority of people would not
murder  for money, others murder out of hatred, jealousy, greed, power,
and so on. Are we - on the surface - rather different (apples vs. oranges)
but underneath alike-apples, just different apples.

International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 38(1), 1994


from the SAGE Social Science Collections. All Rights Reserved.

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