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12 J. Res. Crime & Delinquency 1 (1975)

handle is hein.journals/jrcd12 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency




  One  prerequisite of the rotating
editorship of this Journal is the pan-
oramic view it offers of the state of
criminology. Our contributions to the
abatement of street crime in America
may  not be reflected in the Uniform
Crime Reports or by other indicators,
but we are accumulating instruments
of increasing power for understand-
ing the phenomenon.  We  have gone
past the naive quest for etiology re-
flected by the banal expression which
used to be so common-a  search for
the root causes of crime. Whatever
those root causes may be, and most
of us know them  all too well, we are
now  searching for a strategy of ef-
fective prevention and minimum in-
tervention. Most of the papers sub-
mitted for publication by this Journal
have been intended to contribute to a
resolution of one or  the other of
these stubborn problems. There is no
end  in sight for this continuing ef-
fort, but it is heartening to observe
that not only has the quality of crimi-
nological research improved but the
opportunities for doing it have vastly
  It is important to take note of the
reasons for these favorable develop-
ments. The  massive investments by
the major benefactors of American
criminology are  beginning to  pay
off. The National Institute of Mental
Health, the Law Enforcement  Assis-
tance Administration, and the Ford
Foundation   have   persisted long

enough  to allow the development of
a criminal justice research communi-
ty.  This  important   contribution
would not have brought us as far as
we have come, however, if it were not
for the willingness of the legislatures
of a few states to undertake major
and  radical innovations which have
built on the concepts emerging from
research. One  article appearing in
this issue results directly from coura-
geous and  massive statewide experi-
ment.  The  famous  closing of the
youth training schools of Massachu-
setts is a  continuing  experiment
which, regardless of its eventual out-
come, is generating studies which will
eventually settle the role, if any, of
youth training schools in industrial
society. It can be plausibly argued
that the Massachusetts exploration of
community  corrections for youthful
offenders is the most ambitious pe-
nological laboratory ever created.
  Some   stress is placed  on  this
experiment  because much  more  of
the same  kind is going on. In the
states of New   York,  Washington,
Minnesotaand Florida,   to bring a
few more  jurisdictions into the dis-
cussion, research is playing an active
part in the development  of correc-
tional change. It is not too much to
say that we are moving into an era
when  the criminologist will be less oc-
cupied with the explication of failure
than with the design of modest suc-
cesses. It is hoped that some of the


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