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The Criminal Personality


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Reluctant Converts Chapter 2 History of the Concept of the Criminal Personality Chapter 3 The Criminal's Way of Life Chapter 4 Thinking Errors Characteristic of the Criminal: I. Criminal Thinking Patterns Chapter 5 Thinking Errors Characteristic of the Criminal: II. Automatic Errors of Thinking Chapter 6 Thinking Errors Characteristic of the Criminal: III. From Idea Through Execution Chapter 7 Non-arrestable Phases in the Criminal Chapter 8 Tactics Obstructing Effective Transactions Chapter 9 The Work in Perspective

About the Author

Samuel Yochelson, Ph.D., M.D., was until his death in 1976, director of the Program for the Investigation of Criminal Behavior at Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, D.C. and research professor of clinical psychiatry at George Washington University School of Medicine Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Alexandria, Virginia. He is also the co-author of The Criminal Personality, Volume II: The Change Process, and The Criminal Personality: Volume I, A Profile for Change.


The basic defect of traditional treatment systems is the persisting concept that criminals think and reason as non-criminals do and that they, therefore, respond similarly to both reasoning and love. Yochelson and Samenow have definitely profiled the characteristics of the errors of criminal thinking, together with their derivatives-feeling and behavior. They show persuasively that because of ingrained and pervasive errors of thinking, criminals live and act in a world with entirely different assumptive bases than those of non-criminals. The authors then proceed to develop a treatment program using a phenomenological process. This exhaustive and painstaking study marks a turning point in the history of efforts to rehabilitate criminals. -- W. Edward Naugler M.D.
The Criminal Personality is important reading for you. It is an often devastating book that is uncompromising in its refection of conventional wisdom in the field of criminal psychology. It rejects the concept of the criminal as biopsychosocial victim, and in its place formulates an accountability theory based on the premise that criminals freely choose and prefer lives of crime. -- Tim Murphy
The Criminal Personality is a seminal work that provides challenge to mental health professionals to alter their preconceptions in dealing with criminals, and gives correctional counselors a blueprint to begin the serious work of criminal rehabilitation. One by one the cherished myths of sociology and psychology regarding the origins of criminality are discarded, since the authors find that rationalizations of broken family, racial oppression, bad companions, and lack opportunity' are utilized by criminals to justify continued nonresponsibility for their own behavior. -- Robert B. Mills

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