Quietly observing that illegal behavior and criminal conduct as scrutinized by officials are two different things, Hartjen...

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CRIME AND CRIMINALIZATION

Quietly observing that illegal behavior and criminal conduct as scrutinized by officials are two different things, Hartjen begins with the idea that crime is ""an inherently political phenomenon. . . ultimately an expression of group conflict and interest."" The focus of criminology should not be on the offender himself, but on the way society defines a lawbreaker, and (he way the judicial system turns out its ""products,"" from the arrest and the plea (90 percent plead guilty in the U.S.), to the correctional system. Hartjen adds, ""People must ask themselves if they are willing to tolerate. . . the kind of systematic thought reform, behavior altering and monitoring, and personality modification that might be prerequisite to rehabilitation,"" but he includes no hard data on how far various Clockwork Orange programs have gone in prisons. The book's strength, rather, is in its general call for a humanistic criminology. It would be impossible to understand slavery simply by studying a degraded slave, Hartjen says, and criminologists must be ""involved with the world,"" seeking ""liberation"" as did the great sociologists. Refreshingly against the grain.

Pub Date: April 1, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974