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BEYOND ADOLESCENCE-LIMITED CRIMINOLOGY: CHOOSING OUR FUTURE—THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY 2010 SUTHERLAND ADDRESS

Authors


  • At least in my case, it has taken a village to make a Sutherland Award winner—and so my sincere gratitude is extended to my family, friends in the field, current and former students, and colleagues at the University of Cincinnati. Unfortunately, I have space to thank by name only those scholars who have been most instrumental in shaping my thinking on the ideas in this address. They include Michael Benson, John Eck, Bonnie Fisher, Colin Goff, Daniel Nagin, Pamela Wilcox, John Wozniak, and John Paul Wright. Direct correspondence to Francis T. Cullen, School of Criminal Justice, P.O. Box 210389, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0389 (e-mail: cullenft@ucmail.uc.edu).

Abstract

For over a half century, criminology has been dominated by a paradigm—adolescence-limited criminology (ALC)—that has privileged the use of self-report surveys of adolescents to test sociological theories of criminal behavior and has embraced the view that “nothing works” to control crime. Although ALC has created knowledge, opposed injustice, and advanced scholars’ careers, it has outlived its utility. The time has come for criminologists to choose a different future. Thus, a new paradigm is needed that is rooted in life-course criminology, brings criminologists closer to offenders and to the crime event, prioritizes the organization of knowledge, and produces scientific knowledge that is capable of improving offenders’ lives and reducing crime.

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