1934 Proc. Ann. Cong. Am. Prison Ass'n 167 (1934)
A Sociological Technique in Clinical Criminology

handle is hein.journals/panectiop48 and id is 177 raw text is: A SOCIOLOGICAL TECHNIQUE IN CLINICAL
Saul D. Alinsky
FOR the past year the writer has held the position of staff
sociologist and member of the classification board at the
Illinois State Penitentiary-Joliet. Prior research work
had resulted in a fund of detailed and intimate knowledge of
the background of individual delinquents and social factors in
crime.   This fund of first-hand research data was utilized for
classification purposes. The material would roughly fall into
five divisions.
A. The general neighborhood situation.
i. This would embody a detailed picture of the community both phys-
ically and socially.
B. Criminal techniques.
An intimate knowledge of the techniques employed and the degree
of criminality indicated by the latter.
C. The typical sequence of delinquent experiences in the criminal career.
D. Acquaintance with many delinquents.
E. A first-hand knowledge of the group nature of delinquency, development
of criminal attitudes, and social factors operating in delinquency and
It should be clearly understood at this point that the writer
is only speaking of the delinquent or criminal coming from the
very deteriorated areas of Chicago and regarded as the gang
boy.   It is these areas that research has demonstrated have
consistently high rate of delinquencies.
All of the writer's past research experience has been based
upon the premise that in order to gain insight, one should be
on the inside of the problem    as much as possible.     Prior to
the writer's affiliation with the classification board he had been
engaged in a two year research study of a delinquent gang.'
This delinquent group resided on the near west side of Chica-
go in a deteriorated immigrant area which is well known for
' This study was made under the supervision of C. R. Shaw-Institute for
Juvenile Research, Chicago, Ill.

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