Book Reviews

Published date01 April 1965
DOI10.1177/003288556504500108
Date01 April 1965
Subject MatterArticles
50
BOOK
REVIEWS
CHANGING
THE
LA WBREAKER,
by
DON
C.
GIBBONS.
Prentice-Hall,
Incorporated,
Englewood
Cliffs,
New
Jersey,
1965.
306
pp.,
$9.25.
In
spite
of
many
excellent
observations
and
some
valuable
critical
com-
ments
on
current
treatment
programs
in
corrections,
Changing
the
Lawbreaker
does
not
accomplish
what
it
sets
out
to
do,
namely,
provide
the
diagnostic
tools
or
the
prescriptions
for
treating
the
individual
offender.
It
is
not
a
&dquo;Materia
Crimina&dquo;-to
continue
the
analogy
with
medicine
set
forth
in
chapter
one.
Basically,
it
provides
merely
another
classificatory
arrangement
of
24
criminal
types
(9
delinquent
and
15
adult
types,
pages
74-128)
which
are
descriptive
in
general
terms
based
on
many
observations,
most
of
which
are
valid.
However,
such
classifications
do
not
provide
the
proper
basis
for
a
diagnostic
technique.
&dquo;Skill&dquo;
and
&dquo;informed
judgment&dquo;
are
not
sufficient
if
the
end
result
is
merely
to
put
offenders
into
&dquo;diagnostic
pigeon-holes&dquo;
based
on
the
crime
a
person
commits
instead
of
on
the
basic
maladjustment
which
underlies
the
crime.
Such
basic
maladjustments
can
be
classified
and
offend-
ers
rated
accordingly
after
which
the
three
steps
in
diagnosis
suggested
on
page
127
will
apply.
However,
the
criminal
type
classifications
offered
do
not
provide
this
basis.
This
is
a
fundamental
weakness
in
Gibbons’
thesis.
Again,
in
presenting
the
subject
of
treatment
(Chapter
6
and
7,
pp.
228-
282),
these
descriptions
of
criminal
types,
while
valuable
as
background
in-
formation,
do
not
provide
treatment
techniques
for
attacking
either
basic
causes
or
current
problems.
The
presentation
of
the
elements
of
individual
and
group
psychotherapy
and
of
environmental
change
and
milieu
manage-
ment
although
offering
many
excellent
generalities
and
some
concrete
ele-
ments
(see
pp.
145-148),
does
not
provide
an
adequate
treatment
technique
because
again
they
are
not
applied
to
basic
maladjustments
in
offenders.
(Incidentally,
Gibbons
seems
not
to
have
heard
of
&dquo;behavior
therapy.&dquo;)
There
are
several
reasons
for
these
conclusions.
Three
are
important:
(1)
These
classifications
assume
that
the
crime
which
a
person
commits
is
the
basis
for
diagnosis
and
treatment
when
as
a
matter
of
fact
the
crime
is
only
a
symptom
of
the
basic
difficulty,
and
only
one
symptom,
and
possibly
the
least
important
symptom.
For
example,
of
three
thieves,
one
man
may
steal
because
he
can’t
get
a
job,
another
because
he
can’t
hold
a
job,
and
a
third
because
he
doesn’t
want
a
job.
Treatment
of
the
obvious
basic
maladjustment
of
such
types
is
not
included
in
any
of
the
sections
dealing
with
the
professional
thief,
the
semi-professional
property
criminal,
or
the
property
offenders,
&dquo;one-time
loser&dquo;
presented
by
Gibbons.
(2)
In
spite
of
the
wide
coverage
of
these
24
criminal
types,
they
omit
many
well-recognized
criminals
in
the
classes
listed
as
well
as
one
entire
class,
namely
those
whose
basic
difficulty
is
biological
or
medical-the
handicapped,
the
sick,
the
epileptic,
the
brain
damaged
criminal,
those
with
glandular
dis-
turbances,
and
the
like.
In
addition,
it
is
difficult
to
fit
the
neurotic,
the
psychopath,
the
pre-psychotic,
and
the
whole
group
of
mentally
ill
or
retarded
persons
into
these
groups
altho
their
treatment
obviously
may
have
little
or
no
relationship
to
the
particular
criminal
category
into
which
they
happen
to
fall.
(3)
While
the
descriptions
of
the
24
types
of
offenders
in
chapters
3,
6,
and
7
present
many
cogent
observations
about
these
different
classes
of
criini,

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