HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY
from the organizational meeting of the National Association of College
Police Training Officials (the entity that fifteen years later would be
re-named the American Society of Criminology), held December 30-31, 1941
at the home of August Vollmer in, Berkeley, California.
- Freda Adler, "The ASC and Women: One Generation Without, One Generation
With," (The Criminologist, May/June 1997, pp. 1, 3-5)
- Albert Morris, "The American Society of Criminology: A History, 1941 -
1974," (Criminology, August 1975, pp. 123-167)
- Edward A. Petty, "Historical Perspectives on the American Society of Criminology."
Unpublished history written in 1959.
- Frank Scarpitti, "The Recent History of the American Society of Criminology,"
(The Criminologist, November 1985, pp. 1-3, 9)
- A Brief History of the Western Division of the American Society of Criminology
- A Brief History of ASC and the Society Publications
- Executive Office Locations of the ASC
Society of Criminology: A History, 1941 - 1974"
(From Criminology, August 1975,
by Albert Morris
(In 1973 Professor Albert Morris, (retired)
Boston University, was asked by the Executive Board to prepare a history
of The American Society of Criminology. Professor Morris, the
1970 President of the Society, compiled this document through personal
interviews and correspondence with a vast array of members, present and
past, as well as from the scattered records of the Society. This
work is representative of Professor Morris' long dedication to careful
scholarship and his interest in tracing the social history of a professional
movement. The American Society of Criminology would like to thank
Professor Morris for his dedication and diligence in completing this two-year
On the morning of December 30, 1941, seven
men involved in teaching college courses in Police Science and Administration
met with August Vollmer at his home on Euclid Avenue, Berkeley, California,
"for the purpose of furthering college police training and standardizing
police training curricula."(1) This meeting which began at 10:15
a.m. did not adjourn until one o'clock the next morning.
The group consolidated its obviously serious
and continuing intent by formally organizing under the title the National
Association of College Police Officials. Those present on this
1. August Vollmer, Formerly
Chief of Police, Berkeley, California, Retired Professor of Police
Administration, University of California;
2. Robert L. Drexel, Chief
Investigator, District Attorney's Office, San Jose, California;
3. Vivian A. Leonard, Professor
and Head, Department of Police Science and Administration, Washington State
4. Benjamin W. Pavone, Chairman,
Peace Officers Training Division, San Francisco Junior College San Francisco,
5. Willard E. Schmidt, Director
of Police Training, Sacramento Junior College, Sacramento, California;
6. Orlando W. Wilson, Professor
of Police Administration and Director of the Bureau of Criminology, University
7. William Wiltberger, Director,
Police School, San Jose State College, San Jose, California
8. Frank Lee, Formerly Director
of the National Police academy, China.
August Vollmer was elected to the honorary
post of President Emeritus and Orlando Winfield Wilson was elected President
of the new organization. Other officers were filled as follows:
Third Vice President
5. Yee International
V.A. Leonard was appointed chairman of
a committee to prepare a constitution and by-laws. It was voted that
a membership be restricted to persons actively engaged as officials of
college police training curricula. The purposes of the Association
were suggested as follows:
1. To associate officials engaged
in professional police training at the college level.
2. To standardize the various police
3. To standardize, insofar as possible,
the subject matter of similar courses in the various schools.
4. To keep abreast of recent developments
and to foster research.
5. To disseminate information.
6. To elevate standards of police
7. To stimulate the formation of
police training schools in colleges throughout the nation.
After lengthy discussion a tripartite classification
of curricula was made in terms of those appropriate for junior college,
state college, and university levels. Committees were appointed to
prepare suggested curricula for each of these.
Prior to the meeting a questionnaire had
been sent out that consisted of a breakdown, into 25 classifications, of
the possible subject matter of police training courses. Each recipient
had been instructed to indicate his suggested allocation of an arbitrary
400 hours of instruction. The tabulated results of this inquiry became
the basis for extended discussion during the afternoon and evening sessions.
This, in turn, led into a discussion of course content and texts.
V.A. Leonard's request, that the Association
accept an invitation from the president of Washington State College to
hold its next meeting there, was acted on favorably with the date left
to future determination.(2) However, it appears that the Association
never did hold the proposed meeting in Washington.
Directly out of this beginning, evolving
through changes of membership, name, scope, and policy, has come the now
firmly established, interdisciplinary American Society of Criminology.
A meeting as well organized and as fruitful
as that of December 30, 1941 had not been an instant blossom. It
had required a period of unmarked germination. Vollmer apparently
had met often with present and former students and police colleagues to
discuss the problems and the rationale of professional police training
and administration. William Dienstein, later to become president
of the organization, recalls that he was one of
a group of graduate
students at the University of California at Berkeley who were taking courses
from August Vollmer during the period of
We got together in a rather unstructured group and called ourselves "V-men."
We even had a lapel pin; a many-pointed
star with a "V"
etched in the center.
In the course of
gatherings with Vollmer, the notion jelled to form an organization.
Our meetings were usually rather heated discussions
of police issues,
training, administration and of education, on the college level.(3)
Another of those who recalls frequent meetings
with Vollmer is William Wiltberger who had been one of the so-called "College
Cops" of the Berkeley Police Department when Vollmer was Chief of Police
there and who, in 1925, became Chief of Police in Evanston, Illinois.
In 1934, following the closing of a faltering police training program at
what was then San Jose State Teacher's College, Wiltberger developed there
a most creditable police school of which he was director. When his
assistant, William Schmidt, left in January 1940 to become director of
a police training program being established at Sacramento Junior College,
Wiltberger expressed to Schmidt his strong feeling that the college training
of police would surely expand and that the time had come to organize police
school administrators and teachers to deal with problems of curriculum
development and coordination.(4)
As Wiltberger recalls the events that followed,
he took the initiative in meeting this need by starting an organization
called the "National Association of College Police School Administrators"
of which he assumed the presidency and in which he asked Schmidt to join
him as vice-president and secretary. In this connection, Wiltberger
apparently saw an opportunity to organize and give specific purpose to
what had been
get-togethers of old friends, formerly Berkeley "cops" and then heads of
college police schools who gathered for "bull
sessions" with our
old chief . . . During our discussions I saw a good chance to enlarge the
organization I had started of an association of
head of college
public schools. So I broached the subject, told of the organization
Schmidt and I had, and as I was leaving before long
for military service
in World War II, some one else should head up the organization. They
all bought the idea...
Vollmer thought we
should include outstanding professors in the social sciences and criminology.
I disagreed, maintaining
that only heads
of college police schools knew the problems based on police experience
or needs of policemen and the
of administering a police school. They voted to back Vollmer's suggestion
and overruled me . . . As I
predicted, in the
early 1960s the college police professors formed an organization of their
own to work on practical problems
involving such police
The minutes of the December 30 meeting,
however, record that a motion to restrict membership to persons engaged
as officials of college training curricula was passed, although in practice
it seems not to have been vigorously adhered to. As the organization
developed, something closer to Vollmer's position came to be accepted.
The organization, thus started, attracted
to membership officers of rank concerned with police training from the
major police forces of California and some neighboring states, as well
as those engaged in college teaching in the field. But if its focus
was on police training it was with the conviction that the professionalism
of police forces was its goal and that this required that police--and especially
police administrators become broadly informed in the entire area of criminology
and in the principles of such related areas as public administration, political
science, psychology, and sociology.
Vollmer's interest in developing a formal
organization, concerned with the extension and improvement of police training,
was an almost inevitable step in his own long-existing personal commitment
to that objective. Probably the most widely known and most innovative
police chief in American police history, August Vollmer (1876-1955) had
been Marshal of Berkeley (1905-1909) the first Police Chief of Berkeley
(1909-1932) and Professor of Police Administration at the University of
California at Berkeley (1932-1937), and was widely sought as a consultant
in police administration. He was physically an imposing person (6'4"
tall and weighing about 190 lbs.) who always seemed to be in top physical
condition. He was a broadly informed and creative man with a contagious
enthusiasm for making police work a profession with a highly trained core
of persons who had college degrees and who could teach at the college level.
As early as 1916, Vollmer, in collaboration with law professor Alexander
Marsden Kidd, developed a summer session program in criminology at the
Berkeley campus in which courses were given from 1916 to 1931, with the
exception of the 1927 session.
It was Vollmer and Kidd who in 1928 proposed
the establishment of a school of criminology, a proposal that led in 1931
to criminology course in the regular school year sessions at the University
of California at Berkeley, the development of a major in criminology in
1933, a Bureau of Criminology in the Department of Political Science in
1939, a Master's program in Criminology in 1947, and the establishment
of the nation's first and only formally designated university "School of
Criminology" in 1950.(6)
Those who founded the National Association
of College Police Training Officials (hereafter referred as NACPTO) brought
others with like interests into their Association and began to hold formal
meetings at intervals for discussions related to their concerns as well
as to plan the further development of their fledgling organization.
Unfortunately, the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the
directly expanded involvement of the United States in the Pacific area
of World War II, drew some members and prospective members of the NACPTO
into military service and for a time limited the new Association's growth.
Soon after the end of the War, however,
a reorganization meeting was held. This so-called Third Annual Conference,
held at the Durant Hotel in Berkeley in 1946, formally recognized and ratified
the original goals of the Association but adopted a new and more suitably
descriptive name, amended the constitution and by-laws, and established
membership qualifications consistent with its objectives. These changes
were not perfunctorily arrived at. After considerable debate, a longer
list of proposed names for the organization had been reduced to five:
National Association of College Police Training Officials, Association
for Education in Criminology, Criminological Education Association, Association
for College and Police Training Officials and Society for the Advancement
of Criminology. It was this last title that was adopted. The
preamble to the 1946 Constitution of the newly named Society read as follows:
shall be known as the Society for the Advancement of Criminology.
The term CRIMINOLOGY as used hereinafter is
the study of the causes, treatment and prevention of crime, including,
but not restricted to:
1. Scientific crime detection, investigation and identification;
Crime prevention, public safety and security;
Law enforcement administration;
Administration of criminal justice;
Juvenile delinquency control;
Related aspects of penology.
Collectively, the titles voted on the specification
of eight areas that must be among those included within the general definition
of criminology seem to suggest the nature of some of the differences of
position and emphasis that were finally resolved to produce the Society's
official position at that time.
Both the stated purposes of the Society
and the requirements for membership clearly and specifically limited active
membership to "persons engaged by accepted universities and colleges to
instruct or supervise in professional and vocational training programs
in Criminology." Provision was made for an "associate" membership,
but this was limited somewhat ambiguously --to "persons engaged or instructing
in Criminology and not eligible for active membership" and the acceptance
of a person as an associate member had to be by unanimous vote of the Executive
Committee. An "honorary membership" might be conferred by unanimous
vote of the Executive Committee on "persons of outstanding professional
achievement in Criminology."
Again the interlocking of the SAC leadership
and the teaching faculty in criminology at U.C. Berkeley is suggested by
the fact that the first announcement Bulletin (University of California
Bulletin, 1950) of the New School of Criminology, established July 1, 1950,
with O. W. Wilson as Dean, states, "The scope of the school is established
in the broad terms adopted by the American Society for the Advancement
Inevitably, the graduates of the criminology
programs at the University of California at Berkeley began to develop college
courses in that field and those in the state colleges in California and
at Berkeley no doubt had a special interest in developing sufficient uniformity
in curricula as to make student credit transfers feasible. Under
the circumstances, it is understandable that a concern with course content
and with the problems of curriculum standards became an area of primary
interest and discussion within the Society for the Advancement of Criminology.
By the time the new name and constitution
were adopted in 1946 the Society had over 40 dues-paying members.
There is always some difficulty in determining exact numbers because payments
may come in throughout a calendar year and some who pay dues one year may
not the next. Obviously, those who were interested in the Society's
programs and who attended its meetings exceeded the number of dues-paying
The Society increasingly extended its efforts
to become established as a significant association for the encouragement
and support of original NACPTO had already published professional books,
as well as articles that appeared in various professional journals.
In 1944, V.A. Leonard became Editor of News and Notes for the Journal
of Criminal Law and Criminology, and he continued to serve in that
capacity for twelve years, through the issue of July-August, 1956.
Other NACPTO founders and some who came into membership during the 1940s
were frequent contributors to professional journals and to the published
proceedings of various professional societies. During the period
1941 through 1950 the Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police
Science alone carried at least forty of these. Their titles indicate
the special interest of the members of that time in police problems, administration,
and criminalistic. Nevertheless, there is also evidence of a desire
that practitoners in police work, especially in administration, have a
desire that practitioners in police work, especially in administration,
have breadth of understanding of related and supportive areas of knowledge.
By the 1950s the Society's correspondence
involved increasing discussion about the direction in which it was developing.
World War II had taken some of its members into military service and in
the process thrust upon them new and broadening associations and experiences.
After the War some new members who had not been part of the "V" men and
their close associates, and who were not graduates of the University of
California at Berkeley, also became active in the Society. These
members supported an increasing concern to attract into membership criminologists
from areas beyond California and contiguous states and to include academic
and administrative personnel with primary interests in aspects of criminology
other than police work.
In a letter dated May 15, 1953, Arthur
Brandstatter, head of the Police Administration Program at Michigan State
University and Central Region Vice-President of the SAC, wrote to President
I believe one way
in which the group could become more active and meaningful is to move the
site of its annual meeting from the West
Coast. I should
like to reiterate what I said at the Interim Meeting in Los Angeles, that
I don't believe any national organization can
continue to function
as a national group unless it changes its meeting place from the West Coast
and encourages others who are
interested in the
same problems from the various sections of the country to meet with them
in discussing these problems . . . If it is at all
possible, we suggest
that an effort be made to move the meeting of 1953 to Denver, Colorado.
If you are successful in doing this . . . we
shall make every
effort to have our entire staff attend this meeting. I am reasonably
certain that you would also attract other people from
the Midwest . .
Within the Society concern was also being
expressed that the membership was "top-heavy" with police. This,
in turn, was countered by those who were worried about the likelihood that
the Society might become too much oriented toward corrections. Certainly,
the formal actions of the Society during the 1950s were directed toward
a broadening of interests and to becoming attractive to those who had achieved
academic distinction as sociologists, psychologists, political scientists,
or lawyers specializing in criminology.
In June 1950 the Society became, officially,
an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,
with the options of holding full-programs, regional sessions, or cosponsored
programs within Section K of the AAAS. It is the opinion of some
that the choice of the name, Society for the Advancement of Criminology,
had been consciously influenced by the expectation of affiliation with
the parallel named American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In December of that same year the International
Society of Criminology voted to accept the SAC as its American member and
the SAC was formally represented at the International Congresses in Europe
in 1951, 1954, and 1958 by Marcel Frym and John Kenney. Also, a direct
and planned effort was made to develop mutually supportive relations with
the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Academy
of Forensic Sciences, the American Correctional Association, and the National
Probation and Parole Association (now the National Council on Crime and
Delinquency). In 1952 the journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and
Police Sciences was designated an official publication for the Society's
news and articles. Later, in 1957, Police was similarly designated.
Accompanying this reaching out was an extension
of the geographical range and distribution of membership that was recognized
and formalized by the establishment of four regional divisions of
the SAC: East, South, Central, and West. Each division was headed
by an elected regional vice-president of the national Society. These
were to "serve as executive officers in their respective regions for the
purpose of carrying on the regional business of the organization."
In proportion, as there developed a wider
distribution of the Society's membership, the secretaries' reports, sporadic
newsletters, and attendance at the Society's meetings in California became
less satisfactory in maintaining cohesiveness. To offset this, the
Annual Conference of April 1953 made provision for a bulletin, of which
Vol. 1, No. 1 was issued with surprising promptness in May 1953 under the
editorship of Lowell Bradford. It was necessarily a modest bulletin
of two pages in which, in addition to current news items about the Society,
there appeared an invitation to members to participate actively in the
SAC through letters as a means of overcoming the obstacle of distance.
Vol. 1, No. 2, appeared in August 1953,
reporting the Society's affiliation with the AAAS, the designation of the Journal
of Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Standards as the Society's
official publishing outlet, and listing four books published by members
in 1952-1953. Number 3, dated December 1953, noted a meeting of the
Society in Boston within the ambit of the AAAS meetings there. The
theme of the Boston meeting, under the direction of the Eastern Vice-President,
Donal MacNamara, was "The Scientific Approach to Problems of Delinquency."
Bulletin No. 3 records 32 members in good standing (they had paid their
dues) and two honorary members, Vollmer and Kidd.
In all, seven bulletins of the SAC were
published. The last, No.7 of December 1954, suggests that the editorship
should no longer be the responsibility of the Secretary-Treasurer but should
be assigned to some other person specially designated to be the editor.
At the Berkeley meeting of the Society
in December 1955 it was decided that the members would be "better served
if periodic Special Bulletins were prepared describing research and special
projects underway." Pursuant to this action a First Special Bulletin,
without date, was sent out to members giving apparently in anticipation
the program for a New York meeting to be hold in December 1956.
The years 1957-1958 were a good period
of significant change in the development of the Society. From the
report by Secretary William Dienstein, of an all day meeting of the Executive
Committee held at the University of Southern California on March 30, 1957
with President John Kenney presiding, come the following excerpts which
indicate the major matters under consideration:
1. Donal E. J. MacNamara
was appointed SAC representative to the AAAS.
2. C. Robert Gutherie was
named chairman of the Publications Committee.
3. It was recommended that
the Publications Committee strive for a goal of ten issues of an SAC
Newsletter each year; that
the Editor, in the initial Newsletter, urge members to submit articles
through him to the Journal of Criminal Law,
Criminology, and Police Science and to Police; and that the Editor
prepare for these two journals an SAC News
Section; and that he correspond with the editors of these journals
with this purpose in mind.
4. The Editor for the SAC
was requested to write to the institutions having criminology programs
to ask for a statement of the
objectives of such programs. President Kenney was to prepare a covering
letter to accompany this request and also a
statement of objectives for the program at USC.
5. Frank Boolsen was authorized
to bring the SAC "Directory of Colleges and Universities Offering
up to date and to prepare sufficient copies thereof for distribution to
members and others. Boolsen was requested to
collect bulletins and information on all criminology programs and
statements of objectives.
6. It was approved that
G. Douglas Gourley continue his Committee on Content and Titles for Courses
with the purpose
of presenting a report at the 1957 Annual Meeting.
7. A communication was
read concerning the possibility of Florida State University publishing
an SAC journal. The
possibility was favored by the Committee and the President will investigate
8. Following discussion
of media for the dissemination of SAC information it was decided that these
considered and communication with the editors be maintained:
b. Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science
c. American Journal of Corrections
d. Journal of Correctional Education
e. NPPA Journal
f. Federal Probation
g. Journal of Social Therapy
Marcel Frym was to communicate personally with the editors of the NPPA
Journal and the Journal of Social Therapy to
pave the way for the SAC Editor. Clyde Vedder was to communicate
personally with the editors of the correctional
journals for the same purpose.
9. Suggestions and
comments from the membership with reference to the name of the Society
and revision of the constitution
were discussed and acted upon, It was decided that the membership,
at the time of voting on the new constitution, should
vote also on which of the following names is preferred:
a. American Society of Criminology
b. American Criminological Association
c. American Criminological Society
10. It was voted that
the redrafted constitution attached hereto be approved and presented to
the membership for action
The Membership Directory accompanying the
May-June 1957 Newsletter and Report of the Executive Committee meeting
lists 64 persons, all male, 18 of whom were primarily engaged in police
administration; of the rest, 18 were teaching college police and law enforcement
training programs, 11 were teaching college criminology courses, two were
law professors, four were engaged in correctional work, eight were in related
areas (e.g., clinician, fiscal investigator, textbook publisher), and the
occupations of there were not listed.
A "bakers half" of the 64 members (33)
lived in California but the others were distributed, in numbers of 1 to
4, throughout 14 states plus Puerto Rico and the Netherlands, namely, Michigan
(4), New Jersey (3), Washington (3), Florida (2), Indiana (2), Illinois
(2), Kentucky (2), New York (2), and Arizona, District of Columbia, Maryland,
Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands,
At its next Annual Meeting held in November
1957 the Society adopted the revised constitution and a change of name
to the American Society of Criminology under which title it was formally
incorporated under the laws of the State of California on August 7, 1958.
The sporadically issued bulletins and newsletters
of the earlier Society for the Advancement of Criminology were now replaced
by an enlarged Newsletter of the American Society of Criminology of which
the first issue, Vol. 1 No. 2 (apparently so designated to follow the earlier,
undated Special Bulletin) appeared in May 1958. It was a six-page
issue with an improved format to which was appended a four-page paper by
Edward Petty entitled, "Historical Perspective on the American Society
In the Newsletter, itself, a "President's
Message" by John Kenney, and reports from the Central and Southern vice-presidents
(Richard Myren and Vernon Fox) and from the Membership Committee were all
optimistic in tone. President Kenney, commenting on the incorporation
of the ASC, wrote: "This was a major hurdle in our quest for foundation
funds and should provide us with many additional benefits in the future,"
a statement that was followed by reference to the preparation of a proposal
for funds "to underwrite our proposed study of the status of teaching and
research in criminology." This matter had been under discussion at
the Society's meetings since its origin, and preparatory work toward it
had been done through the periodic revisions of a Directory first completed
by Frank Boolsen in 1950. The instant proposal included a follow-up
to the intended survey through a conference to be arranged to evaluate
the findings of the study and to give direction to criminological education
The report of the Membership Committee
in that Newsletter was one of substantial achievement. Dated October
1958, the report said, "We are pleased to inform you that the membership
drive for 1958 is approaching its peak. Since its inception early
in the year, we have nearly doubled our membership rolls." Included
in the same Newsletter were news items and commentary on penology and police
administration, a listing of new books by title and publisher, news and
notes on the activities of some individual members of the Society, and
a preliminary announcement of the Annual Conference to be held at the University
of Arizona in February 1959.
In spite of the auspicious start of the
ASC Newsletter, it did not flourish. At the February 1959 meeting
at the University of Arizona, Howard Leary, Deputy Commissioner of Police
of Philadelphia, was made Editor of the Newsletters, without dates (possibly
March and June 1959), consisting of note from the newly elected president,
Marcel Frym, emphasizing the international aspects of criminology and a
proposal to study the teaching of criminology, together with minutes of
meetings and copies of papers read at the Arizona meeting. Presaging
things to come, Marcel Frym, who had represented the Society as an American
delegate at three International Criminological Congresses, wrote in the
first of these two Newsletters, "The time has come for our young organization
to look abroad and to establish liaison with international criminological
circles . . . Crime is an international phenomenon." And in the second
of these two Newsletters Frym wrote, " I am working on our plans to call
and International Congress of Criminology for the Fall of 1961 here in
the United States and I have already obtained statements of enthusiastic
support from high government officials and other interested parties as
well as from the leaders of foreign scientific organizations in the field
A significant meeting of the newly incorporated
American Society of Criminology, as an affiliate of the American Society
of Criminology, as an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement
of Science, was held at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. in December
1958, in connection with the AAAS meetings. The theme of the conference
was "Controversial Areas in Criminology." This meeting coincided
with the golden anniversary of the publication of the Journal ofCriminal
Law, Criminology, and Police Science which Robert Gault had
been editing with conspicuous success. The Society recognized this
by presenting to Gault a plaque inscribed as follows:
JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW, CRIMINOLOGY
AND POLICE SCIENCE
1901 - 1959
WE, the criminologists of America assembled
in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, on the occasion of the
125th Annual Meeting of the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF
SCIENCE and the 15th Annual Conference of the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY,
note with professional pride and personal affection the GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY
of the JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW, CRIMINOLOGY and POLICE SCIENCE and extend
to its long-time able editor, our honored pioneer in AMERICAN criminology,
DR. ROBERT H.
This greeting, expression of gratitude,
and pledge of continuing support in the difficult and exacting task
which for these many years he has so uncomplainingly and so magnificently
PRESENTED AT THE CONFERENCE LUNCHEON BY THE HONORABLE
PATRICK MAC NAMARA UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN
December 27, 1958
|JOHN P. KENNEY
American Society of Criminology
|DONAL E. J. MAC NAMARA
Conference General Chairman
There was a second recognition of the Journal,
and Gault's editorship of it, at the official Annual Meeting of the Society
held at the University of Arizona at Tucson in February. Gault was
not able to be present but sent President Kenney a letter to be read to
the gathering, and in it he said: "I wish I could tell you how deeply
I appreciate your attention to the Journal's 50th Anniversary and to its
services . . . It is wonderful on
your part to reenact the plaque ceremony
in the Tucson program."(7)
The happy decision to honor Robert Gault
apparently served to crystallize a widespread, though possibly latent,
feeling that it should be a continuing and regular function of the Society
to give formal and public recognition to outstanding scholars and practitioners
in criminology and criminal justice. Pursuant to this opinion the
Society, at its 1959 Annual Meeting in Tucson, established an award to
be given annually in recognition of "an outstanding report of research
in the field of criminology." The award quite understandably was
named for August Vollmer. This was the first of several named awards
to be established over a period of years.(8)
In view of the action of the Society in
1973 in urging, upon the regents of the University of California the continuance
of the School of Criminology at Berkeley, it is of interest that a motion
to the same effect was passed at the 1959 meeting in Arizona. These
actions reflect the continuance-albeit in some attenuated form-of the informal,
mutually supportive interrelationship between the Society and the University
of California's School of Criminology at Berkeley that grew out of the
origination of the Society's parent organizations and leadership in their
development by members of the faculty and former students of the Berkeley
By the very circumstances of the Society's
origin, its members, during its earliest years, lived in California and
contiguous Western states and all of its meetings were held in California.
Furthermore, its members, with the exception of a forensic psychiatrist
and one or two lawyers, were all involved in police administration and
training. Throughout the 1940s, O.W. Wilson was president of the
developing organization. In 1950 he was succeeded by forensic psychiatrist
Douglas Kelley, one of Wilson's colleagues at Berkeley. In turn,
Kelley was followed by other Californians: Frank Booslen and then
William Dienstein, both of the faculty of the California State College
at Fresno; Richard Simon, Deputy Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department;
Richard Hankey, who was in charge of the Law Enforcement Program at the
College of the Sequoia's; John Kenney of the University of Southern California;
and Marcel Frym, engaged in legal research with the Hacker Clinic in Los
Although concern had been expressed about
the need for extending the geographical range of membership in the Society,
it was not until the presidency of Marcel Frym, in 1959, that an Annual
Meeting was held as far away from the Pacific Coast as Chicago.
Meanwhile, in 1948, Donal Mac Namara, a
New Yorker whose studies in police administration had been done at Columbia
under Bruce Smith, too a post at the University of Southern California
and also joined the Society for the Advancement of Criminology. In
1950 he became its secretary.
MacNamara was among those actively seeking
to expand the work and membership for the Society, and when he returned
to NewYork in 1953 holding the position of vice-president of the Society
responsible for the Eastern Region, he organized many meetings of the Society
in such major centers as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Cleveland,
and Chicago - as well as in some smaller cities - and encouraged qualified
persons with whom he had contact in the Eastern states to become members.
This eventually resulted in shifting the leadership of the Society eastward.
In 1960 Mac Namara himself became its president, a post in which he served
four years (1960-1963), during which time the Annual Meetings of the Society
were held successively in New York, Denver, Philadelphia, and Cleveland.
Among those whose interest MacNamara enlisted
were several academic sociologists having a primary interest in basic criminological
research and teaching at the university level. One of these, Walter
Reckless of Ohio State University, was elected to succeed MacNamara as
President of the Society for 1964 at the Annual Meeting of 1963 in Cleveland.
He was reelected for 1965 and 1966.
Marvin Wolfgang, of the University of Pennsylvania,
who succeeded Reckless in 1967, was also a sociologist, and he was followed
by a legal scholar, Gerhard O. W. Mueller of New York University; Bruno
Cormier, a forensic psychiatrist of McGill University, Alber Morris, sociologist,
of Boston University; another sociologist, Simon Dintz of Ohio State University;
Charles L. Newman of Pennslyvania State University, whose basic field is
Public Administration; John Ball of Temple University, a research sociologist;
Edward Sagarin, sociologist of the City University of New York; and Nicholas
Kittrie, a legal scholar on the faculty of American University.
Because the Annual Meeting, whose agenda
includes the election of officers and the transaction of other business
by the membership, inevitably entails extensive travel which some members
find it difficult or impossible to undertake, it has been the practice
of the Society to hold other meetings throughout the year in various sections
of the country, sometimes away from the usual major metropolitan centers
of population-Tallahassee, Indianapolis, Dallas, Tucson, Fresno-as well
as in New York, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Not
uncommonly, these have been jointly sponsored with such professional societies
as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American
Orthopsychiatric Association, Association for the Psychiatric Treatment
of Offenders, New York Institute of Criminology, the International Association
of Penal Law, and others. Such interim meetings have helped to make
face-to-face participation in the Society's substantive concerns more common
than might otherwise have been possible.
With the exception of the Annual Meeting
of December 1965, which was held at the University of California in Berkeley,
and that of 1961 in Denver, all of the Annual Meetings since 1959 have
been held east of the Mississippi River. This includes two meetings
held in Canada (one at Montreal and the other at Toronto), as well as once
in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and one in Caracas, Venezuela, These last
are further substantial evidence of the Society's acceptance of the suggestion
of Marcel Frym, the Society's president in 1959, that "the time has come
for our . . . organization to look abroad and establish liaison with international
criminological circles." Indeed, since Frym participated in and emphasized
the importance of professional relationships on an international basis,
members of the Society have become increasingly involved in international
criminological meetings. Further, since the early 1970s the Society,
officially, has become actively concerned with the possibility and desirability
of joint sponsorship of conferences and other professional gatherings of
an international nature while still normally retaining its own Annual Meeting
and other national meetings within the boundaries of the United States
The development of the Society in terms
of membership numbers had been a matter of continuing concern from the
beginning as with and professional organization. An increasing membership
of qualified persons enhances the prestige and improves the visibility
of a Society which in turn attracts additional qualified membership and
provides the human and financial resources to further the Society's interests.
Beginning with a dozen or so members in the early 1940s, the paid membership
increased more than tenfold before the end of the 1950s.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIETY'S JOURNAL
In 1960, during the presidency of Dona
MacNamara, Charles L. Newman, then at the University of Louisville's Kent
School of Social Work, became secretary-treasurer of the Society.
Newman reports at that time,
A membership list
in excess of 800 members, only a handful whom had paid any organizational
dues for a number of years. My first
effort was to establish
who, indeed, was member of the Society and we moved in that direction
to the point where the 800 list was culled
down to somewhere
in the neighborhood of 150 or 200. We then started on rather
extensive membership drive.
In 1962, it appeared
to me that one of the ways to enhance both the desirability of becoming
member of the Society, as well as to
material, was to establish newsletter; and hence "Criminologica" was born.
I should point out
that during the years prior to my taking on the role of secretary most
of was done by Don MacNamara and Jacob
Chwast in New York.
Mac funded most of the expenses of the organization out of his own pocket.
When I took over I helped share in that
I am happy to note that one demonstration of the Society's fiscal status
was the opportunity to buy $500 Certificate of Deposit
which was probably
the first mark of solvency of that organization, and that came around 1963
There had, of course, ben earlier newsletters
to which reference has already been made. Reestablished now as "CRIMINOLOGICA:
News-letter of the American Society of Criminology" (Vol. 1 No. 1), six
pages appeared in new 9 x 12 printed format in May 1963. Since
that time, with changes in title and format as in evolved, it has been
published continuously as the official organ of the Society. Edited
by Charles L. Newman, with Harry More, Jr., of Washington State University
and Dorothy Tompkins of the University of California, Berkeley, as contributing
editors beginning May 1966, "Criminologica" continued through 12 quarterly
issues. In the process it became substantial publication of
as many as 39 lager than letter size pages. An improvement in the
cover page with Vol. 3, No. 1 of May 1965, and the increase in number of
pages sufficient to permit more extended articles of substance, made "Criminologica"
creditable feature of the Society's professional effort.
In 1966 Newman moved to Pennsylvania State
University for fill the post of Director of the Center for Police and Corrections
Education (now Law Enforcement and Corrections Services) and the task of
publishing "Criminologica" shifted to Ohio State University where Simon
Dinitz assumed the responsibilities of editorship.
With Vol. 4, No. 1 of May 1966 the first
issue edited by Dinitz, "Criminologica", had been give distinctly new look.
It now appeared in smaller size, 9x6, but with more pages (64) and bound
in heavier yellow cover. Further, the subtitle "Newsletter of the
American Society of Criminology" had been dropped, and in its place appeared
the subtitle, "An Interdisciplinary Journal of Criminology." Jamie
Toro Calder of the University of Puerto Rico was listed for the first time
as Associate Editor for Latin America, and Christine Schultz as Editorial
Associate. Through the skill of Dianne Poulton, who became Editorial
Consultant, subsequent numbers of the Journal through Vol. 7, No. 4 of
February 1970 were livened in appearance by covers of two colors, different
for each issue, and arranged in vertical stripes of varying widths.
This cosmetic change was, happily, accompanied by content of increasingly
high level professional quality made possible by the larger number and
merit of papers being submitted for possible publication as the Society
continued to grow in stature and strength.
With the publication of "Criminologica,"
Vol. 6, No. 1 of February 1969, Simon Dinitz relinquished the editorship
to C. Ray Jeffery, Professor of Sociology at New York University.
In the last issue of which he was responsible Dinitz observed that,
still newsletter . . . three years ago. At that time its potential
seemed quite limited and even its survival was much
in doubt; indeed
there was some feeling that "Criminologica" served no unique purpose or
special purpose, and on the contrary,
far too heavy drain on the meager resources of our organization.
Several of our members suggested that we might profitable
pool our efforts
with one or more of several quality struggling journals in the field.
Despite these sentiments, the Executive Committee
discussion chose to support our Journal.
Three years later,
we are no longer faced with the prospect of the imminent demise of Criminologica."
Instead we are now beset by the
by rapid growth and expansion. "Criminologica" exceeded our most
optimistic expectations. As measured by the
number of articles
submitted, subject matter, quality and authorship, there is no doubt that
"Criminologica" has earned place, albeit still
broadly interdisciplinary journal. Professional readership has increased
markedly and is nearly double what it was at the
our articles have been cited elsewhere and several have been included in
collections of readings.
and qualitative growth is testimony to and reflection of the increasingly
strength of the American Society of Criminology
as an interdisciplinary
Under the editorship of C. Ray Jeffery
the editorial office was shifted to New York University where, by arrangement
with the University, "Criminologica" was there published for the Society
through the facilities of the University's Criminal Law, Education and
Research Center (CLEAR), New York University School of Law, of which Gerhard
O.W. Mueller, President of the American Society of Criminology in 1968,
was Director. At this time, Denis Szabo of the University of Montreal
was added to the staff as Associate Editor for Canada. Later in 1969,
when C. Ray Jeffery accepted post at Florida State University in
Tallahassee, the editorial office was moved there and arrangements were
made to have the Society's journal published by commercial publishing house.
This seemed to be an appropriate time to
reconsider the format of the Journal and as consequence Vol. 8 ,
No. 1, appeared in May 1970 in its present attractive style. An announcement
"From the Editor" in that issue, explained:
The American Society
of Criminology has entered into contract with Sage Publication for
the publication of Criminologica under its new
title of Criminology:
An Interdisciplinary Journal. Sage Publications is publisher
of professional Behavior social science journals,
including The American
Behavioral Scientist, Law and Society Review, Journal of Comparative Administration,
Education and Urban
Society, Urban Affairs
Quarterly, and Environment and Behavior.
The Society thus
has taken step to completely professionalize its journal at
time when crime, delinquency, law and order, and criminal
justice are topics
of foremost concern for professionals, for politicians, and for the public.
The journal will be expanded in size and
campaign to enlist
new subscriptions from libraries and individual subscribes will be undertaken.
The masthead carried for the first time
the notation, "The Official Publication of the American Society of Criminology"
and listed, in addition to the Editor and Contributing Editors, and Editorial
Board of five persons of which Gerhard O.W. Mueller of New York University
was chairman. The other four members were, ex officio, Alber Morris
of Boston University, president of the Society, Simon Dinitz of Ohio State
University, president elect, and Jamie Toro Calder and Denis Szabo,
formerly listed as associate editors for Latin American and Canada, respectively.
The editorial policy on the publication
, formally stated, emphasized its scope and the level of its concern in
The journal is interdisciplinary
in nature, devoted to crime and deviant behavior, as found in sociology,
psychology, psychiatry, law, and
social work, as
well as newer disciplines such as urban design, system analysis, and decision
theory as applied to crime and criminal
major emphasis is on empirical research and scientific methodology, and
articles reporting on original research are given
Articles which review the literature or deal with theoretical issues stated
in the literature are also desired if they help to establish
an empirical base
for the study of issues dealt with and suggest the types of investigations
which might properly be carried out in the
During Jeffery's editorship the journal
began to be abstracted in Sociological Abstracts.(11) With
Vol. 11, No.2, of August 1973, Charles L. Newman, who had originated "Criminologica"
as the newsletter of the Society just ten years before, became Editor-in-Chief
of the Society's journal, now grow into well accepted professional
quarterly, of which each volume consists of approximately 550 pages.
With Newman's return to the editorship of Criminology, the publications
office of the Society was established at Pennsylvania State University.
rough classification of the 73 major papers published in "Criminologica:
An Interdisciplinary Journal," Vol. 4 through 7, indicates that some 47
were theoretical or research papers (Prediction, Criminal Statistics, the
XYY Syndrome, Phenomenology of Crime, and so on), and 26 dealt more directly
and descriptively with specific programs and procedures (Police Review
Boards, Juvenile Court Project, Narcotics Project, Slug Rejection Devices,
In-Service Training). Since the shift to Criminology with Vol. 8,
No.1, the Society's Journal has published only articles that are primarily
theoretical or research presentations, although the "Across the Desk" notes
by Dorothy Tompkins and those on "Law Enforcement Education" by John More,
Jr., were continued through Vol. 11, No.1, and Vol. 10, No. 4, respectively.
With the accession of Charles L. Newman
to the editorship (Vol. 11, No. 2) four Associate Editors replaced the
former Editorial Board, and with Vol. 11, No.3, the posts of Contributing
Editors were dropped.
Under Newman's editorship significant
improvement was introduced into the procedure for evaluating articles submitted
for possible publication, by providing for their review by an impressive
array of assistant editors and referees under system of author-referee
anonymity. Partly induced by an increasing number of papers (243
during the last 12 months) this system, now commonly used by scholarly
journals, not only permits an editor to deal with the larger volume of
articles that come to the editorial desk by it tends to involve more scholars
in the work of the journal and the Society as well as to assure effective
and qualified assessment of submitted manuscripts. Further, contributors
whose manuscripts are returned are normally given some appraisal of their
work and suggestions looking toward possible suitable publication.
OTHER SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS
In addition to its official journal the
Society has also established its intent to publish series of volumes
of papers presented at the Society's Annual Meetings. This practice
was initiated by Herbert Bloch, vice-president of the Society, when
he published "Crime in America," (Philosophical Library, 1961) an
anthology of papers delivered at ASC meetings. It was continued by
Walter Reckless, when, as president of the Society, he obtained funds from
Irene Hirsch of Columbus, Ohio, to publish the papers presented at the
1964 meetings in Montreal under the title "Interdisciplinary Problems in
Criminology: Papers of the American Society of Criminology, 1964" (Ohio
State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1965) Co-edited with Charles L.
The papers presented at the 1971 Annual
Meeting held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, edited by Gerhard O. W. Mueller
and Freda Adler, have been published under the title, "Politics, Crime,
and the International Scene: An Interamerican Focus" (North-South
Center, San Juan, 1972).
Four volumes published by Praeger of New
York are based upon papers presented at the Interamerican Congress of Criminology
held in Caracas, Venezuela, in November 1972. These are titled "Corrections:
Problems of Punishment and Rehabilitation," edited by Edward Sargarin and
Dona MacNamara; "Politics and Crime," edited by Sawyer Sylvester
and Edward Sagarin; "Images of Crime: Offenders and Victims," edited
by Terence Thronberry and Edward Sagarin; and "Crime Prevention and Social
Control," edited by Ronald Akers and Edward Sagarin.
Several papers on the nature and teaching
of criminology that did not fit well into the aforementioned Praeger series
were published separately under the general direction of Gerhard O.W. Mueller
by the Criminal Law Education and Research Center of New York University
Law School (CLEAR) under the title, "Education for Crime Prevention and
Control," edited by Robert J. McLean (Publications of the Criminal Law
Education and Research Center, Vol. 10, Charles C Thomas, 1974).
Another series of four volumes published
by Praeger includes selection from the numerous papers read at the
Society's 1973 Annual Meeting in New York City. These are:
"Police: Perspectives, Problems, Prospects," edited by Dona E.J. MacNamara
and Marc Riedel; "Crime and Delinquency: Dimensions of Deviance,"
edited by Marc Riedel and Terence P. Thornberry; "Treating the Offender:
Problems and Issues," edited by Marc Riedel and Pedro . Velez; and "Issues
in Criminal Justice: Planning and Evaluation," edited by Marc Riedel and
THE SOCIETY'S AWARDS
In order to recognize outstanding achievements
in Criminology and to extend awareness of them and to encourage them, the
Society has established awards to be presented from time to time at its
Annual Meetings, to persons selected by the Society for such honors.
The standing awards, in the names of individuals who have made major contributions
1. The August Vollmer Award,
established in 1959, for an outstanding report or research in the field
2. The Edwin Sutherland
Award, established, in 1960, for major contribution to criminological
3. The Herbert Bloch Award,
established in 1961, for outstanding services to the Society itself and
to the profession.(13)
4. The Sellin-Glueck Award,
established in 1974, to be given to persons outside the United States who
have gained international
recognition for their contributions in criminology.(14)
The recipients of these awards through
1974 have been:(15)
The August Vollmer Award:
1960 Marvin Wolfgang, University
of Pennsylvania, and Paul Bohannnon, Northwestern University
1961 Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck,
Havard University Law School
1962 James Bennett, Director,
U.S. Bureau of Prisons
1963 Austin MacCormick, Exec.
Director, The Osborne Association
1964 Hon. J. Adrien Robert,
Director, Montreal Police Dept., Chief, Quebec Provincial Police
1965 Not Given
1966 Judge George Edwards,
former Justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan, Police Commissioner
of Detroit, Justice of the U. S.
Circuit Court of Appeals
1967 Howard Leary, Police Commissioner
of New York
1968 Mryl Alexander, Director,
U.S. Bureau of Prisons
1969 Hon. Joeseph Tydings,
U.S. Senator, Maryland
1970 Milton Rector, Executive
Director of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency
1971 Not given
1972 Jerome Skolnick, University
of California, Berkeley
1973 E. Preston Sharpe, General
Secretary of the American Correctional Association
1974 Patrick Murphy, President
of the Police Foundation, and Sol Rubin, Counsel Emeritus, National Council
Crime and Delinquency
The Edwin Sutherland Award
1960 Thornsten Sellin, University
1961 Orlando Wilson, Police
Superintendent of Chicago, Professor of Emeritus, University of California
1962 Negley Teeters, Temple
1963 Herbert Wechsler, Columbia
University Law School, and Walter Reckless, Ohio St. University
1964 Hon. J.C. McRuer, Chairman
of the Royal Commission on Civil Rights, former Chief Justice of Ontario
1965 Not Given
1966 George Vold, University
1967 Donald R. Cressey, University
of California, Santa Barbara
1968 Denis Szabo, University
1969 Lloyd Ohlin, Harvard University
1970 Alfred Lindemsith, University
1971 Marshall Clinard, University
1972 Leslie Wilkins, State
University of New York at Albany
1973 Edwin Lemert, University
of California (award not conferred until 1974 because the recipient was
not able to attend the 1973 meeting)
1974 Simon Dintz, Ohio State
The Herbert Bloch Award
1966 Charles L Newman, Pennsylvania
1967 Dona MacNamara, John Jay
College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York
1968 Not given
1972 Freda Adler, Temple University,
1973 C. Ray Jefferey, Florida
Sate University, Tallahassee
The Sellin-Glueck Award
1974 Franco Ferracuti, Rome
On occasion, special awards in the form
of Presidential Citations have been made in the recognition of special
services and achievements.
The importance of encouraging interested
students to develop scholarly and professional competency in criminology
has been recognized by the Society in variety of ways. Beginning
with the 1968 meeting in Toronto the Society has, from time to time, arranged
special sessions for student papers at its annual conference. In
1971 the Society announced an annual "Student Research Papers Competition"
for which authors of the fourth and fifth place papers receive an appropriate
Certificate of Participation. The first-place paper is also considered
for presentation at the next Annual Meeting of the Society. To be
eligible for the competition, students must be enrolled in an academic
program in college or university at either the undergraduate or graduate
level. Entries must be research papers related to the broad area
of criminology and the administration of criminal justice. They are
judged by panel of Society members who are recognized scholars in
PROBLEMS AND ISSUES
All learned and professional associations
move through continuing series of problems and are involved in making
decisions about how to deal with them. May such problems are of
recurring and routine sort, differing only in minor details, once the original
appearance of situation has been satisfactorily dealt with. However,
the line between these and more fundamental and difficult problems and
decisions is not always sharply drawn. Further, by some process of
social mutation, under new circumstances what was once insignificant may
suddenly be recognized as having acquired new level of importance.
Undoubtedly the need to develop and maintain
supportive membership and an adequate financial base poses ever-present
and unavoidable challenges to all scholarly and professional organizations.
So, inevitably, throughout the history of the American Society of Criminology
its officers have stressed these needs and met them with a considerable
measure of success.
The life of the American Society of Criminology,
like that of any such association, is not adequately revealed by the bare
record of names and events-important, and even essential, as these are-but
by the decisions it has made with reference to policies, principles, and
purposes, and by the quality of effectiveness of its actions in support
of these. These mark the path of the Society's development and the
direction and quality of its growth.
Such decisions and actions are indeed difficult
to recapture authoritatively or to evaluate in terms of their relative
importance, and any attempt to do so must necessarily be selectively and
illustrative rather than systematic and definitive. Yet in the records
broad outline emerges that may add some perspective and sense of
direction to the Society's history and may be of aid to consideration of
the Society's future.
Questions as to the purposes and content
of police training programs and of the problems attendant upon student
recruitment for them were obviously matters of major concern to the small
group that founded the National Association of College Police Training
Officials and the others who soon thereafter became members of it.
Inevitably, college faculties in general and those who developed curricula
for police training in particular were confronted with questions of college
entrance and degree standards as related to the aptitudes, academic qualifications,
and vocational needs of students interested in police work as career.
Early meetings in Berkeley were given over
to frequent discussions of such matters, and the attendant problems continue
to be matters of concern today, especially to members of the Society involved
in law enforcement education programs subsidized by federal funds.
For example: having in mind that police effectiveness may be bought at
too great a cost, and given the limitations of career opportunities in
town and city police forces,(16) and considering the proportion of police
person-hours devoted to necessary community services only remotely related
to crime control, is professionalization of police organizations as law
enforcement agencies universally or even generally desirable or possible?
How should police work be organized and developed in terms of the political
or governmental levels and units to be served? What should be the
essential content of police training, who should give it, and how is it
to be effectively introduced into existing police forces?
By 1946 when the organization changed its
name to the Society for the Advancement of Criminology, there seems to
have emerged consensus that the problems of crime control were both
too broad and too complex to be examined solely in terms of police tasks
and immediate police skills. This consensus became reflected in the
acceptance into membership of those whose primary interests lay outside
of the police field, particularly in corrections- movement that led ultimately
to the interdisciplinary Society of today.
As this change in membership occurred,
accompanied by differences in tasks and interests between practitioners,
such as administrators and treatment personnel, on the one hand, and academic
teachers and research personnel on the other, the long-discussed question
of what should be taught as criminology continued to be matter of
increasingly serious discussion. During the early years, when the
Society was still largely vocationally and professionally oriented, its
concern with teaching had to do primarily with the best educational content
for professionals and to what extent the training of those interested in
police work should differ from, or coincide with, that devised for correctional
In 1958, " Proposal to Study the Teaching
and Research of Criminology in the United States" was prepared by the newly
renamed "American Society of Criminology," with view to seeking
funds in its support. One of the six stated objectives in the proposal
was: "To develop means of integrating and coordinating varied academic
programs in police and corrections in terms of transfer credits, placement
of graduates , and mutual use of completed research."
More broadly, the objective of intended
study was to find and seek agreement on the proper content of academic
programs in criminology. The rationale for this and method
for achieving it are indicated by these excerpts from the proposal:
The development of
criminology programs in universities and colleges has been rapid. . . .
Each year finds new programs started and
older ones expanded.
Despite this progress general lack of (consensus) exists among persons
responsible for the development of
. . . The American Society of Criminology took cognizance of this
and other problems confronting the fields of police
It now proposes conference of key people throughout the United States,
both academicians and practitioners from the
two fields to evaluate
and to give direction for the future to programs of education and research.
. . . Our Society believes that this study is
the one way to bridge
the regrettable and frustrating gap between police and corrections and
give some direction to programs in these
Some of the more fundamental questions
about the nature, desirability, and feasibility of professionalization
in these areas had not been formally raised as matters for general and
systematic examination. Nor had there been much more than superficial
and defensive concern directed against academic colleagues who raised questions
about the content and even the justification for discipline of criminology
and its place among other, firmly established, academic fields.
But during the late 1950s and early 1960s,
as membership numbers increased and as membership numbers increased and
as sociologists became increasingly prominent in the Society's activities,
differences in viewpoints, concepts, and emphasis began to arise and affect
the direction of the Society's development. Glimmerings of this appear
here and there in the Society's documents. The 1958 "Proposal to
Study Teaching and Research" previously referred to, for example, had as
one of its stated objectives "to discuss mutual problems of academic interest
such as the improvement of academic facilities," an objective that is still
matter of concern to liberal arts oriented academicians who are disturbed
by the appointment of police and correctional administrators to college
and university faculties without the traditional faculty qualifications
or teaching experience.
The preambles of the several revisions
of the Society's constitution also reflect gradual and changing emphasis
within the Society (see Table 1).
As the Society became in the 1960s both
increasingly interdisciplinary and, to some degree, international in its
membership and it affiliations, and more oriented toward the development
of criminological theory and research rather than toward the development
of teaching programs, the basic question of what criminology is all about
and the justification for giving it separate place among academic
disciplines began to be more directly confronted and examined.
containment of this sort of inquiry is consideration of the value and significance
of the term, "criminologist."
And editorial in "Criminologica" (Vol.1,
No.3, November 1963) by Charles L. Newman refers to journal article
by Marvin Wolfgang, then vice-president of the Society, in which he explores
the meaning of the terms "criminology" and "criminologist" and concludes
that transitory occupational affinity does not make one criminologist
but that one is criminologist if one is "engaged in the pursuit of
learning, using scientific approach to the study and analysis of
the phenomena of crime and criminal behavior within the framework of professional
training, occupational role, and fiduciary reward."
The editorial then concludes by raising
Can criminology become
the meeting ground for adjunct professions concerned with the scientific
study of crime and
Can it allow the mantle of ‘criminologist' to be bestowed upon those persons
who seek affinity even though their
identity may life in the adjunct areas of law, medicine, social work, psychology,
psychiatry, and enforcement?
Preambles of the Several Revisions of
the Society's Constitution
|Excerpted from the version of a draft
of a proposed constitution as amended and adopted at the Third Annual Conference,
The term, Criminology, as used hereinafter
is defined as the study of the causes, treatment and prevention of crime,
including, but not restricted to:
a) Scientific crime detection, and
b) Crime prevention, public safety and
c) Law Enforcement administration.
d) Administration of criminal justice.
e) Traffic administration.
g) Juvenile delinquency control.
h) Related aspects of penology.
|From the Constitution adopted
The term, Criminology, as used hereinafter
is defined as all human knowledge concerning the etiology, control, treatment
and prevention of crime and delinquency, the detection of crime and enforcement
of criminal laws, the system of social defense and concerns.
|From the Constitution adopted
The term, Criminology as used hereinafter
is defined as all professional, scholarly, and scientific knowledge concerning
the etiology, control treatment and prevention of crime and enforcement
of criminal laws, the system of social defense and corrections.
|From the Constitution adopted
The term, Criminology as used hereinafter
refers to all scholarly, scientific and professional knowledge concerning
the etiology, prevention, control and treatment of crime and delinquency,
including the measurement and detection of crime, legislation, and the
practice of criminal law, the law enforcement, judicial, and corrections
This editorial brought prompt replies ,
differing in viewpoint, from respondents in academic and administrative
treatment areas. Three of these staff members in the Illinois Department
of Public Safety appeared in the next issue of "Criminologica" (Vol. 1,
No.4, February 1964). One of them, from Arthur Huffman, State Criminologist,
Webster's Dictionary, criminology is "the scientific study of crime as
social phenomenon, of criminals and of
. . . This definition is inadequate simply because it emphasizes
particular set of factors-the social-as being
the exclusion of others.
A criminologist may
more properly be defined as professionally trained person engaged
of crime and criminals; such as study allowing for the exogenous
factors-environmental, social and cultural-as
well as such endogamous
factors as temperament, character and intelligence, and including
third element, resistance . . .
may be engaged in the field of criminology and penology at the level of
diagnosis, classification, and intramural
and extramural treatment
at the level of rehabilitation and at the teaching, writing, and research
levels. Those engaged in criminaligistics
and criminal correction
at the level of detection, apprehension, conviction, etc., are technicians
skilled in technical details. While they
should be looked
upon as technical experts they do not appear to be qualified to be termed
Harold Frum, a sociologist, wrote, in part:
behavior is phase of social-psychological behavior and crime is an
integral part of the culture complex, the
of criminology would appear to be basically social and psychological
science focusing upon the phenomenon of
criminal behavior. As science it is concerned with the development
of body of verified knowledge . . . As
it should develop standards of training and performance consistent with
those in older professions.
In the thinking of
this writer, psychiatrist is not criminologist simply because
he examines criminals. Neither is psychologist . . .
because his patients
are law breakers, nor sociologist because he is conducting
research project having to do with delinquency and
A practitioner in corrections is not criminologist merely because
he is dealing with criminals, but he may be regarded as
technician . . .
In summary . . .
the term "criminologist," if it is to have any professional and scientific
meaning, should be applied only to persons trained
of criminal behavior who meet standards of professional competence and
whose major focus of occupational interest is the
phenomenon of crime.
In the next issue of "Criminologica" (Vol.
2, No. 1, May 1964) appeared letter from Barbara Kay, who concluded
her comment on the matter of definitions by saying:
Any study of criminal
behavior and the resultant crime problem by professional sociologists,
psychologists, social workers, lawyers,
comparable others must be an application of knowledge from the disciplines
to which the professional is affiliated.
there is no such thing as "criminologist" nor discipline known
legitimately as "criminology."
In similar vein, Walter Drew, sociologist
with the Illinois Department of Public Safety (Criminologica," Vol.2, No.2,
August 1964), after discussing the lack of agreement about the terms "criminology"
In the United States
research of an academic or clinical orientation has hardly focused directly
on crime at all. It has traditionally and
emphasized the individual and criminal behavior . . . . It seems we might
refer to criminology only when qualifying terms
are used or when
we intend to refer to very broad area of inquiry and practice.
Better yet, the term should be avoided . . .
In major article ("Criminologica," Vol.5,
No.3, November 1967), Manuel Lopez-Ray decried the all-embracing empire-building
concept of criminology represented by those who consider that criminology
should not confine itself to the study of crime, as legally defined, but
also deal with anti-social behavior, whether or not it is legally crime
and who include in criminology not only "the causes of crime and its different
forms of manifestation and corresponding topologies but also considerable
part of the systems organized to combat crime, including the implementation
of penal sanctions."
The relation of criminology to other fields
may also be reviewed from the standpoint of these disciplines. In
letter written in 1959 to Marcel Frym, then president of the Society, Vernon
Fox called attention to change that began about 1915 in the hitherto close
relation of social work to corrections, amounting to what Fox referred
to as "divorce." This came about because correctional case-loads
were too heavy, the field of corrections low in prestige, and the clients
not ready for help.
But more recently, with degree of
professionalization appearing in the correctional field at the level of
administrational and treatment, those in social work seem to feel that
corrections requires the competencies of personnel with social work degrees.
By 1963 most graduate schools of social work were offering at least one
course that dealt directly with some aspect of correctional work or that
had substantial application to corrections. The catalogs of the 59
schools of social work that were members of the American Association of
Schools of Social Work at that time indicate that 12 had no courses specifically
directed towards the treatment of criminal and delinquent behavior, 13
had one general course that included specific application to the treatment
of offenders, five had one course specifically directed towards the treatment
of offenders, and 29 had two or more courses.
There is, in some schools of social work,
an acceptance of the position already suggested by members of the Society
who have some doubt as to whether there is, or is likely to be, valid and
recognizably distinct discipline signified by the term "criminology."
As the administrator of one graduate school of social work put it (Morris,
1963), we try
to develop professional
workers whose competence in one of the social work methods (casework, group
work, community organization)
can be applied in
any field to which that method is appropriate. Thus we do not plan
to train "correctional social workers" but social
workers who will
be able to use their professional skills in the correctional and other
The interest of social workers in the correctional
field has led in some states to legislation and efforts to gain the passage
of legislation designed to eliminate from the correctional field those
who do not have social work degrees. One response to this effort
was expressed by former Society president William Dienstein who, replying
to Fox's letter on March 8, 1959, wrote:
I feel that
the situation you describe needs clarification because of the tendency
for academic areas to claim exclusive jurisdiction for
In California we
have tried to whip the problem by using qualification clause in the
State Personnel Board fliers announcing correctional
specifications include something like this: "graduates of college or university
who have majored in criminology,
work, psychology, social science, or related areas."
The philosophy is
that if the applicant can make it through college and has majored in an
area that has given him knowledge and insight
into social and
personal aspects of our culture, the hiring agency can teach its particular
rather easily. This removed the
impetus for empire
building . . .
My opinion is that
if we keep on over-specializing we are going to have society of cultural
ignoramuses; specialists who know how to do it
but little or nothing
about why and consequences; who know much about minute aspect of
some filed as determined by some group and
are ignorant of
the purposes and functions of their specialty in relation to the purposes
and functions of the whole society.
Dienstein's emphasis on education directed
towards understanding of what is fundamental to human experience rather
than towards the teaching of how-to-do-it courses, does indeed reflect
the general direction of the Society's commitment. This has not only
had selective effect upon renewal of memberships but it also has
some relation to differences of opinion as to the relevance of the
Society's activities to current issues such as appointments of U.S. Supreme
Court justices, legislation related to financial support for programs of
law enforcement and criminal justice, goals and standards in criminal justice,
behavioral modification programs in corrections, prisoners' unions, and
the possible infringement upon the rights of offenders by shifts from punitive
to intended rehabilitative procedures especially when such shifts put those
being treated outside the criminal justice system. Indeed the Society's
concern has, on occasion, extended controversially to other civil rights
issues not necessarily directly concerned with matters criminological.
Most recently, for example (Minutes of the ASC Executive Board, February
16-17, 1974), suggestion that the ASC endorse the AAAS stand on the
treatment of Russian scientists led to the passage of motion that
the ASC support the AAAS statement which censures all societies that curtail
freedom of speech, provided the AAAS statement does not specify any one
nation in particular.
Members of professional societies naturally
share the common human desire to take action against what appear to be
social wrongs and injustices. The membership of the ASC inevitably
encompasses range of views and depths of feeling about matters related
to their professional interests on which their professional knowledge is,
however, inadequate to provide predictive capabilities except at levels
of probability too general to be immediately applicable. conflict
therefore arises between those who would, nevertheless, use the weight
of an organized professional group to effect desire political or civic
end and others who would make sharper distinction between their professional
responsibilities and those they accept as members of civic or political
The line between furthering scholarly analysis
and understanding of the phenomenon of crime and its treatment as the primary
interest of the Society, and the defensible concern of the more activist
members with the relevance of the Society's interests, is not necessarily
sharply drawn. Perhaps it is only at the polar extremes that such
difference in emphasis becomes divisive. An example of an effective
approachment between these interests occurred at the 1968 joint meeting
with the American Orthopsychiatric Association in Chicago. In
"Presidential Communication" ("Criminologica," Vol. 6, No.2,
August 1968) Gerhard O.W. Mueller reported that
A thousand people
sitting, standing and squatting, crowded into the meeting room set side
for the panel of the American Society of
They had gathered to learn about the "Mental Health Implications of the
President's Commission Report on Crime."
A very distinguished
group of panelists under the chairmanship of our past president, Dona MacNamara,
critically analyzed every part of
the report which
might be expected to have some mental health implications. Daniel
Glaser, one of the nation's foremost criminologists
member of the President's Commission as well as the Society, explained
the workings of the Commission emphasizing
the "crash program"
aspects of the modus operandi. He then detailed the report's thrust
on corrections and its emphasis on ongoing
programs for work
release, part-time detention and other correctional methods which have
broken with the stereotype of the old walled
These developments, according to Glaser, have paralleled similar development
in the mental health field.
The subsequent speakers
seemed less sympathetic to the President's Commission report, making it
quite clear that in their areas of
health was covered only by implication. Edward Sagarin, with
brilliant paper on the juvenile delinquency part of the
report, and Clyde B. Vedder, with an equally brilliant paper on probation
and parole, were extremely critical of
what they called
the platitudes in the President's Commission report on those topics.
Paul H. Gebhard, Director of the Institute of Sex
Research at Indiana
University, reported on his Institute's findings on sex offenders which
had been made available to the President's
Clarence C. Sherwood analyzed current national developments regarding short-term
penal institutions and Lawrence W.
Pierce spoke on
drug addiction for which topic he had been a consultant to the President's
Commission. Some highly challenging
comments of forensic
psychology and psychiatry were made by Fritz Redl.
Your president, as
co-chairman, concluded the meeting with comments on the absence of
a volume on the law crime itself, supposedly
the central theme
of the inquiry of the President's Commission. It is not of paramount
significance that the nation question its own values
and goals with regard
to what is and what ought to be subjected to the penal sanction?
What are the mental health implications of penal
system which, through
its ill-conceived selection of punishable behavior, has all the capacity
of arousing neurosis, psychosis and
national scale? . . .
The largest audience
which had ever gathered for meeting of the American Society of Criminology
and which had followed the speeches
for three hours
with fascination, thanked the panelists with standing ovation . . .
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY
There is no question that the American
Society of Criminology is viable Society that has grown in numbers,
in professional breadth and stature, and in its visibility, reach, and
acceptance as professional organization. Starting in 1941 with
handful of enthusiastic professional associates in police science and administration,
in limited geographical area, it had come, by 1960, to have
valid membership approaching 200 from 14 or more states throughout the
country and from several professional criminological specialties.
By 1970 the membership was well over 300 and by 1972 the recorded, dues-paying
membership was over 500. Currently, as of July 1974, the paid membership
list stands at 794.
Commenting on this, Edward Sagarin, the
1974 president of the ASC wrote:
At the first
executive meeting following my taking office, I set goal of 1,000
by November 1974. If we do not reach it we will be
. . . In seeking to increase the membership we have in mind not only and
effort to bring into the organization
involved in teaching, research, and allied areas of criminology but we
are confronted with the fact that
a larger organization
has capabilities and financial resources that smaller one does not
By the 1960s women had begun to join what
was, originally, totally male organization and to play significant
role in its activities. In may, 1965, Dorothy Tompkins became an
associate editor of "Criminologica," and in that same year articles by
women began to appear in the publication, and women began to read papers
at the annual meetings of the Society. Christine Schultz and Barbara
Price have held the post of Secretary of the Society. Currently 121
(15.2%) of the members of the ASC are women. One of these, June Morrison,
is the 1974 president of the Western Division of the Society.
When the American Society of Criminology
was formally incorporated under that title in August 1958, it was already
well on its way to becoming national, interdisciplinary Society in
terms of the geographical distribution of its members, the range of their
professional competencies, and the nature of the Society's concerns and
activities. By the mid-1960s it had firmly established the foundations
of continuing and developing program of professional publications,
the breadth and professional quality of its conference programs had become
professionally recognized, and it had developed satisfying affiliations
and cooperative ventures with related professional societies so essential
to an interdisciplinary organization. Out of its membership Newsletters
and the embryonic, 6-page Vol. 1, No. 1 of "Criminologica" has come the
Society's substantial, first-rate quarterly Criminology: An Interdisciplinary
Journal with current circulation of approximately 1,800, of which 900 are
institutional subscriptions and 900 are from individuals.
The Society's greater numbers and diversity
of members provide both stimulation and opportunities. Inevitably
these are accompanied by need for adjustments. In part, in
response to the eastward shift of the geographical center of the Society's
membership, and possibly also because of the corporate legal and administrative
obligations and limitations upon the newly incorporated national Society,
the Regional Divisions that had been earlier provided for through the device
of Regional Vice Presidents, with regional executive powers, became inactive.
However, partly because of the expense of attending distant meetings, and
possibly because of degree of resistance to centralization of administrative
authority in the East, the Western Division was reactivated in 1972-1973
by ASC members chiefly in California and Arizona who, in May 1974, held
well-attended conference at San Jose (a site most appropriately selected
in view of the early history of the Society) and there elected Divisional
officers with June Morrison as President.
Issues lose their relative importance and
fade either because some positive workable adjustment has been made or
active and open attempts to resolve them prove not sufficiently fruitful
to enlist great effort to deal with them. They tend not to be resolvable
in any final sense and they are likely to recur sporadically under differing
conditions. Within the ASC, one of these is the teaching of criminology
which as again become matter of general concern.
At the time of the origin of NACPTO, that
parent Society's primary interest was in the police science and police
administration curriculum. As the Society broadened its
name and the scope of its interests to cover the total field of criminology,
formal proposal for the study of the appropriate range and content of the
criminology curriculum and for funding such study was drawn up (In
the "Problems and Issues" section above, see the discussion of the 1958
"Proposal to Study the Teaching and Research of Criminology in the United
States"). At the Caracas meetings in 1972 the teaching of criminology
was among the subjects of formal consideration and the papers presented
on that topic have been published (see the "Other Society Publications"
Since then, in letter to Executive
Board members (March 11, 1974), Edward Sagarin, the president of the Society,
has posed question as to "the desirability of engaging in study of
the nature, scope, achievements, shortcomings, and other aspects of teaching
and training in Criminology, with the end in view of adopting guidelines
that will be circulated among students, administrators, accrediting associations,
and other interested in this area."
This query was accompanied by another on
"the desirability of engaging in study of the ethics of criminologica
research, with the end in view of adopting ethical guidelines . . ."
The replies from some ten Board members
to the query about the teaching of criminology indicated general but qualified
and not unanimous approval. The response to the question about studying
the ethics of criminological research uncovered lively interest in
troublesome matter that has long been of concern to behavioral scientists
in general. It brought, among other comments, suggestion that
in view of the growing tendency in the criminal justice system to rely
on centralized computer banks, the Society might wish to consider the problems
related to the individual's right to privacy, the accuracy of data files,
the limits of access to such files, and related matters.
A much less dramatic and urgent question
is posed for the Society by its sense of need for an understanding of its
own history and its decision to commission its writing. An organization,
understandably directing its interests and resources towards the demands
of today and the fast changing challenges of tomorrow, may easily neglect
to make provision for the contribution perspective on its past might
bring to future decision making. When John Kenney was ending his
term as president of the Society in February 1959, he wrote, "You'll find
my dates as gleaned from the inadequate files we have on terms of office
of the Presidents . . . For all our training re ‘the facts to be documented',
we've failed miserably."
Of course this history, any history, has
serious limitations. Inevitably it will suffer from the inadequacy
of words to capture the substance and flavor of past events. As Francis
Bacon remarked some years ago, "It cannot be that axioms established by
argumentation shall suffice for the discovery of new works since the subtlety
of nature is many times the subtlety of argument." So this history
can do little more than suggest the activities and spirit of human
social organization over period of 33 years. But if words are
an inadequate substitute for the reality they symbolize, they may at least
draw topographic map that will with reasonable confidence indicate
the nature and direction of the Society's movement. Certainly the
may provide setting and perspective against which the conditions,
probabilities, and values of the Society's future objectives may be better
assessed. There is even the possibility that what is known to have
happened may help to provide for the avoidance of future mistakes and,
even more positively, suggest and encourage constructive new objectives
It may well be, then, that the Society
would wish to provide ways to bring, under planned consideration, the question
of whether the Society's activities, interests, and movements are worth
recording in more consistent, systematic, and interpretive fashion than
is usually done, and, if so, how this can best be effected under the difficult
conditions of communication and record keeping that usually beset professional
societies with changing, non salaried staffs.
Finally, there still remains the untouched
question of how the American Society of Criminology can best play the useful
role envisaged for it. The assumption seems to be that if is because
the Society is interdisciplinary that it has greater potential for achievements
of quality and importance than it might otherwise have. But this
raises the, as yet, undebated issue of what it means to be an interdisciplinary
society. Is it because members trained in different disciplines apply
them to particular aspects and special areas of criminology (behavior modification,
criminal jurisprudence, systems analysis of criminal justice agencies and
procedures, and so on)? Or is it because they bring their respective
special knowledge and approaches to bear collaboratively on common
problem? Or is it that they interact with one another in an effort
to develop an improved body of concepts and principles derived from and
shaped by process of interdisciplinary exchange and assimilation?
Or is it all of these in some appropriate proportion? Perhaps the
Society's interest in this issue may have some significant bearing upon
What that future might be has been nowhere
better expressed than by former president Gerhard O.W. Muller in his "Presidential
Communication" previously referred to.(18) It concludes with
statement of the legitimate and useful role of the Society which seems
to be supported by all of the major activities in which the Society has
now come to be engaged:
The officers of the
American Society of Criminology are convinced of the mission of the Society.
This mission is not the popularization of
theories of crime
and criminal justice but, rather, the transmission of professional information
to colleagues in all contributing
transmission of their ideas into the mainstream of criminological development,
and the direction of valid criminological
theories into governmental
practices . . .
Whether there is
or is not a national program for crime definition and crime control,
national society of the nation's thinkers researchers
in criminology has an important role to play. This role should be
positive, constructive and productive. But it also
must be critical,
aloof, and independent. We appreciate the fact that government must
cater to the immediate tasks of minimizing
dangers to individuals
and the common weal. But we refuse to be bound in our plans
and ambitions by the political exigencies of the
shall aim at a better, freer, more secure future for all men.
1. Report of the First
Meeting of the National Association of College Police Training Officials.
2. Ibid., summarized
3. Personal correspondence.
4. Conversation with
5. Personal correspondence
William Wiltberger. In fact the American Association of Police Professors
was established in 1966. It later became the International Association
of Police Professors and now continues as the Academy of Criminal Justice
6. Liberal-arts-type courses
in criminology, non vocational in orientation, were given in few
colleges and universities here and there throughout the country by the
early 1920s. The first college text in criminology, by Maurice Parmelee,
was published in 1918. A study of sociology offerings in 607
of the 928 four-year colleges listed in the major directories of educational
institutions in the United States in 1940 and 1941 showed criminology to
be fifth among sociology courses in the frequency of offerings.
See Kennedy and Kennedy (1942). The Criminology Section of the American
Sociological Association was established in 1943. During the 1946-1950
period, majors in police administration were being offered at the University
of Southern California and at Michigan State University, as well as at
number of state colleges. Well developed police offerings could
be found elsewhere, notably at Northwestern University and Purdue.
7. Letter from Gault to President
John Kenney, January 14, 1959.
8. See listing of awards and
recipients, pp. 146-147.
9. In the course of its periodic
reviews of University programs the Academic Senate at Berkeley recently
recommended that the University's offering in Criminology be improved and
broadened; Committee, including representatives of both the faculty
of the School of Criminology and other academic departments, was established
to study how this might best be done and to make recommendations as to
the scope and administrative direction of such strengthened program.
The Chancellor is on record as favoring this objective. Whether the
School of Criminology will continue as separate administrative center
for the University's criminology offering is, itself, legitimate
matter for consideration by the Committee. Meanwhile the School of
Criminology is commented to continuation for at least two more years.
(Summary of conversation with Provost George Maslach, August, 1974.)
10. The Society plans to hold its
Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, in November 1975. In 1976, the
bicentennial year of American independence, and the centennial of
August Vollmer's birth, the Society will again return to the West at Tucson,
Arizona, for its Annual Meeting.
11. Starting with the 1974 meeting
in Chicago, Sociological Abstracts plans to publish special issue
containing abstracts of all papers presented here.
12. Edwin Sutherland (1883-1950)
was never member of the American Society of Criminology. He
died before the ASC was incorporated and when, as the Society for the Advancement
of Criminology, its membership was small and its meetings were held on
the West Coast. Sutherland is professionally recognized as one of
the most distinguished pioneer academic criminologists of America; he is
noted not only for his contributions to criminological theory and research
but also for the analytical competency and the rigorous scholarship that
marked both his writing and his teaching. In an appreciation of Sutherland,
his faculty colleague, Jerome Hall (1950) wrote:
The integrity of the man shone through everything he did, and never
more typically than in his refusal to be associated
with certain measures that, from time to time, received wide publicity
in the newspapers. He remained aloof, for example,
from the agitation concerning sex offender laws. Instead of joining
it he pursued his research on that problem and
published his results.
13. There is some doubt as to the
exact time of establishment of the Sutherland and Bloch awards. Verification
through documents had not been possible but circumstantial evidence supports
the dates given.
14. Among the elected and appointed
officials and committee members from different geographical areas, serving
comparatively short terms of office, in professional organization
lacking full-time salaried staff working from central office where
files can be maintained, it is normal that there be certain lack
of continuity and some degree of ignorance about prior organizational
activities and decisions. One consequence of degree of discontinuity
in the ASC's procedures is the appearance of measure of
creativity among the successive Awards Committees of the Society.
Early Vollmer Award recipients were indeed selected , as the stated
purpose of that award required, for their outstanding research administrative
achievements and public services in the fields of law enforcement, corrections,
and criminal justice. The Sutherland Award, designed to recognize
outstanding contributions to criminological theory, has apparently been
extended to include, also, significant scholarly contributions to
criminology and criminal justice more broadly. The roster of those
who have received these two awards certainly names persons whose achievements
merit recognition. The specific meanings of the awards, however,
have become blurred. The intended significance of the more recently
established Herber Bloch and Sellin-Glueck Awards, has, so far, been retained.
15. Identifying affiliations as of
the time of the award.
16. Only about 70 such police forces
in the entire country--less than 2% of the total--number as many as 200
persons. Eight states have no city force that large.
Most town and city police forces number fewer than 50 members.
17. Personal correspondence with
18. "Criminologica," Vol.6, No. 2,
HALL, J. (1950) "An appreciation of Edwin
H. Sutherland, 1883-1950." Criminology and Police Science 41, 4
KENNEDY, R. And R. J. KENNEDY (1942) "Sociology
in American Colleges." Amer. Soc. Rev. 7:661.
MORRIS, A. (1963) "What's new in education
for correctional work?" Correctional Research, Bull.13 (November).
University of California Bulletin (1950)
"Announcement of the School of Criminology." Volume 45, 1 (July 1):8.
Annual Meetings of the American
Society of Criminology
and its Parent Organizations with
Lists of Presidents and Secretaries
No record of
Fresno St. College
Fresno St. College
Fresno St. College
Deputy Chief, L.A.
College of Sequoias
Univ.of Southern Cal.
Univ.of Southern Cal.
Univ.of Southern Cal.
Univ.of Southern Cal.
N.Y.Inst. of Criminology
N.Y.Inst. of Criminology
N.Y.Inst. of Criminology
N.Y.Inst. of Criminology
Ohio State Univ.
Ohio State Univ.
Ohio State Univ.
Univ. of Pennslyvania
Ohio State Univ.
Penn. State Univ.
City College of N.Y.
V. Anderson Leonard
G. Douglas Gourie
NOTE: Although Annual Meetings are
presently held in November, they have in the past been held in January,
February, April, August, and December. Because presidents take office
immediately after the official close of the Annual Meeting, their terms
of office run over parts of two years, more if they are reelected.
The president's presiding meeting now comes at the end of his year in office.
ASC and Women: One Generation Without, One Generation With"
(The Criminologist, May/June 1997,
pp. 1, 3-5)
by Freda Adler
(Freda Adler serves as a Professor in the
School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. Professor Adler
served as the President of the American Society of Criminology from 1994
-1995. An earlier version of the article was presented at the plenary
session, "25 Years of Women in Criminology," at the 1996 ASC Annual Meetings)
During the years 1932 to 1939, a group
of graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley, who were
taking courses with August Vollmer, used to get together informally to
discuss police administration at the college level. They called themselves
the V-Men (Vollmer-Men) and wore lapel buttons with the V etched in the
center. The idea for a professional organization began to jell.
On the morning of December 30, 1941, eight men met at the home of August
Vollmer in Berkeley. They all taught college courses in Police Science
and Administration. Their purpose was to improve police training
curricula. The meeting turned into a marathon that ran from 10 am
until one o'clock in the morning the next day. They organized under
the same name, The National Association of College Police Training Officials.
In 1946 the organization Society for the Advancement of Criminology.
The scope, policy and membership had changed. There were now 40 members,
all male. On March 30, 1957, the Executive Committee held an all-day
meeting to discuss major concerns. There were ten issues: appointment
of a representative to AAAS, naming the chair of the Publications Committee,
making recommendations for the Society's Newsletter, surveying the objectives
of institutions having criminology programs, updating and distributing
the "Directory of Colleges and Universities Offering Criminology Programs,"
course content, the possibility of Florida State publishing a journal,
communication with editors of various journals, soliciting suggestions
and comments from the membership with reference to the name of the Society
and revision of its constitution ("American Society of Criminology" was
one of three --- the other were the "American Criminological Association"
and the "American Criminological Society,") and, lastly, the approval and
presentation to the members of the redrafted constitution. At the
very same time the Membership Directory of 1957 lists 64 persons, all male.
Broadening membership to females was not on the agenda.
The Society of the Advancement of Criminology
changed its name officially to the American Society of Criminology on August
7, 1958. The report of the Membership Committee on that year stated,
"We are pleased to inform you that the membership drive for the 1958 is
approaching its peak. Since its inception early in the year, we have
nearly doubled our membership rolls."
Still, there were no women members.
Yet concern was continually expressed over extending the geographical range
of the membership. On this issue there was success. In 1959
the first annual meeting ever convened outside of California took place
in Chicago. Annual meetings moved East to New York, Philadelphia,
and even SanJuan, Puerto Rico; North to Montreal and Toronto; and as far
South as Caracas, Venezuela. The Society was officially designated
an affiliate of the International Society of Criminology, and was represented
in European meetings. Liaisons were made with other organizations,
too, among them the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the
American Correctional Association. By 1960, there were 200 members
from 14 states representing several professional criminological specialties.
Still, there were no women members.
Attempts to sustain a Society publication
were unsuccessful until 1963. In May of that year Volume I, Number
1 of Criminologica: Newsletter of the American Society of Criminology appeared,
edited by Charles Newman. The name of the publication was changed
in May 1970 to Criminology: An Interdisciplinary Journal (Volume8, Number1).
The masthead noted for the first time that it was "The Official Publication
of the American Society of Criminiology." Since its inception, the
journal has had twelve male editors, one male contributing editors, and
on female contributing editor (Dorothy Tompkins). The Criminologist,
first published in 1976, has had seven men and one woman (Miriam Delone)
serving as editors.
It was not until the 1960s that a few women
began to join what had been a totally male organization. In the late
1960s and early 1970s, Christine Schultz and Barbara Price held the post
of Secretary. Sarah Hall accepted the position of Administrator in
1976. Our archival records prior to 1975 are incomplete. We
do know, that there were no female members in 1960, that 11 percent of
the membership was female in 1972 (59 out of 529 members), and 15 percent
in 1975. As of October 31, 1996, 1,031 of the 2,731 members (31 percent)
Women began to attend annual meetings in
the mid-1960s, but the programs do not reflect their presence. In
November 1967, for example, the annual meeting, held at New York University,
consisted of 17 presenters, all male. Among other, we know that two
very distinguished women colleagues were in attendance: There was Eleanor
Turo Glueck, the behavioral scientist who worked with her husband, Harvard
Law Professor Sheldon Glueck. (It is interesting to note that Harvard
Law School denied Dr. Eleanor Turo Glueck a professorship, according her
merely the status of a senior research scholar , attached to the work of
her husband.) The award which our Society bestows annually honors
not only Thorsten Sellin and Sheldon Glueck, but also Eleanor Glueck.
And the second distinguished woman present was Dr. Melitta Schmideberg.
Melitta was the daughter of the psychoanalyst Melaine Klein, who was Sigmund
Freud's follower -- and later nemesis. Dr. Schmideberg is best known
as the creator of APTO, the Association for the Psychiatric Treatment of
Offenders, and its journal, now called the International Journal of Offender
Therapy and Comparative Criminology. She was responsible for introducing
into the NewYork courts the idea for diversion prior to adjudication.
What she would do is talk (some said "con") New York trial judges into
releasing offenders into her custody for treatment by any one of her 100-plus
close collaborators, especially herself. A year later the offenders
would be in court again and if no new charges had been placed, their cases
would be dismissed. (Incidentally, Melitta and her mother Melanie
Klein were feathered in the highly acclaimed off broadway play, "Melanie
Klein," just this last season.) Besides these distinguished senior
colleagues, a few young female students were in attendance, including Edith
Flynn and a couple of us from the Center for Criminal Law and Criminology
(now the Sellin Center) at the University of Pennsylvania.
As I noted, there were now women on the
1967 program. In 1975 they made up 14 percent, 22 percent in 1980,
26 percent in 1985, 30 percent in 1990, and 37 percent in 1995. At
the 1974 annual meeting, Edith Flynn, as program chair, place "critical
criminology" on the agenda for the first time -- and women were participating,
thus signaling a parallelity of concern. Altogether six,
17 percent of all Program Chairs, were women (Freda Adler, 1972; Edith
Flynn, 1974; Barbara Price, 1986; Susan White, 1989; Ruth Petersen, 1991;
and Marcia Chaiken, 1993) This figure does not include Debbie Curran who
will serve in 1997.
The first panel ever held at the ASC on
the topic of Women and Crime took place at the 1975 annual meeting in Toronto.
I chaired that panel and Frank Scarpitti was the discussant. I will
never forget that we expected a very small group (maybe just the panelists),
but had to be given a room change to accommodate the crowd, crammed even
behind the speakers -- and out in the hall leading to the elevators.
Most, I believe, came out of curiosity. Seven papers were presented:
(1) The Female Offender in Washington, D.C. (Susan Katzenelson); Middle
Class Delinquency (Joeseph Weiss); Police Perceptions of the Female Offender
(Ira Silverman, Manuel Vega and John Accardi); The "Chivalrous" Treatment
of the Female Offender in the Arms of the Criminal Justice System: A Review
of the literature (Etta Anderson); Attitudes Toward Policewomen on Active
Patrol (Ibtihaj Arafat and Kathleen McCaherty); Styles of Doing Time in
a Co-Ed Prison: Masculine and Feminine Alternatives (Nanci Koser Wilson);
and Are Men and Women Equal in the Operation of the Criminal Justice System
in Canada (Jim Ortega.) Gender papers increased to 6 percent of all
papers presented in 1976, 13 percent in 1982, and 15 percent in 1995.
The ASC honors its own with a number of
offices and awards. By now, 7 percent of the 88 Fellows are women
(Ruth Cavan, Sue Titus Reid, Rita Simon, Anne White, Freda Adler, Meda
Chesney-Lind). Five percent of the 37 Sutherland Awards were presented
to women (Lee Robins, Joan McCord), 13 percent of the 37 August Vollmer
Awards (Eleanor Glueck, Patricia Wald, Joan Petersilla, Rebecca Dobash,
Betsy Stanko), 17 percent of the 23 Sellin-Glueck Awards (Inkeri Anttila,
Maureen Caine, Josine Junger-Tas, Ulla Bondeson), and 29 percent of the
24 Herbert Block Awards (Freda Adler, Barbara Price, Sarah Hall, Phyllis
Jo Baunach, Joan McCord, Ruth Peterson, Meda Chesney-Lind). The first
woman president, Joan McCord, was elected in 1988, followed in 1989 by
Joan Petersilia and by myself in 1994, for a total of 5 percent of all
presidents. This does not count our incoming president, Margery Zahn.
Seven women (12 percent of all Vice-Presidents) served as Vice-President.
Barbara Price was the first (1981), followed by Marguerite Warren (1982),
Joan Petersilia (1985), Edith Flynn (1986), Margaret Zahn (1990), Meda
Chesney Lind (1993), and my teammate Merry Morash (1994). Since 1965
(as far back as our records go), 4 women (12%) have served as Executive
Secretary : Christine Schultz, Barbara Price, Christy Visher and Sally
Simpson, and 28 women as Executive Counselors (Freda Adler, 1971 and 1974;
Edith Flynn, 1975; Barbara Price, 1978; Marguerite Warren, 1979; Vernetta
Young, 1980; Phyllis Jo Baunach, 1981; Marilyn Slivak, 1981; Peggy Giordano,
1982; Joan Petersilia, 1982; Diane Vaughn, 1983; Margaret Zahn, 1983; Susan
Martin, 1984; Nicole Rafter, 1985; Phyllis Jo Baunach, 1987; M. Kay Harris,
1998; Kathleen Daly, 1989; Susan Martin, 1990; Martha Myers, 1991; Ruth
Peterson, 1992; Christy Visher, 1993; Marjorie Zatz, 1994; Marsha Chaiken,
1995; Lynne Goodstein, 1996; and Carolyn Rebecca Block, 1996).
The major impetus behind the increasing
roles of women in ASC is, of course, the Division on Women and Crime.
From the late 1970s, when the Division was only and idea in the minds of
a few, to today when it is making a major contribution to the life of the
Society, it has served as a major support system for its members.
I tried to piece together the history of
the Division, with the help of those few who were around at the time.
There is agreement that it began in Atlanta in 1976, when a small group
of women met informally in a hotel room to discuss the creation of a forum
to address issues concerning women as professionals in the criminal justice
system and as researchers on gender and crime. (Among those present
were P.J. Baunach, Nanci Koser Wilson, Nicole Rafter, Chris Rasche, Barbara
Price and Betsy Stanko.) Out of this get-together grew the Women's
Caucus and, eventually , the Division on Women and Crime (DWC). After
many deliberations, a final draft of the DWC Constitution was approved
by the ASC Executive Board on November 6, 1982. An interim Executive
Board was elected for a two-year term: P.J. Baunach, Chair; Nanci Koser
Wilson, Vice Chair; Anna Kuhl, Secretary; Cathy Spatz-Widom, Christine
Rasche and Ira Silverman, Division Executive Counselors.
The first records that we have of the number
of persons attending DWC meetings is from the 1982 minutes. There
were 25 attendees. The first official elections took place in 1984.
The Executive Board was made up of P.J. Baunach, Chair; Nanci Koser Wilson,
Vice Chair; Francis Cole, Secretary; and Chris Rasche, Nicole Rafter and
Virginia Morris, Division Executive Counselors. Donna Hale and Martha
Myers were asked to serve as Division program chairs for the 1985 meeting.
By 1986 the membership had increased to 165. Chris Rasche became
Vice President and Clarice Feinman was elected Secretary (the Chair is
elected by mailed ballot during regular ASC elections). Merry Morash,
Donna Haleland Lynn Goodstein became Division Executive Counselors.
In 1987 the DWC set up its first booth in the exhibit hall.
In 1988 a new journal emerged, Women and
Criminal Justice, under the editorship of Clarice Feinman, the then Secretary
Treasurer of the Division. (Donna Hale is the present editor.)
This journal is the only periodical specifically devoted to scholarly research
and the criminal justice system as it pertains to women.
Anna Kuhl too over from P.J. Baunach in
1988 as Division Chairperson. Chris Rasche became Vice Chair and
Kathy Daly, Secretary-Treasurer. Merry Morash completed a major project
-- the compilation of syllabi for teaching courses on women and crime,
entitled "Women and Crime Curriculum Guide and Bibliography."
Meda Chesney-Lind was elected Chair of
DWC in 1989, Sue Manhan, Vice-Chair, and Virginia Morris, Secretary-Treasurer.
Carol Thompson, Angela Brown and P.J. Baunach were elected Division Executive
Counselors. There were by then 220 members.
Kaylene Richards Ekch, Angela Browne and
Lynne Goodstein became Division Executive Counselors in 1990, and in 1991
Carole Garrison was elected Chair. Membership was up to 232 and the
treasure had $3,446.00. When the Chair left for Cambodia in 1992,
Lynne Goodstein became Acting Chair. Chris Rasche was elected Vice-Chair;
Imogene Moyer, Secretary-Treasurer; and Coramae Mann, Drew Humphries, Laura
Fishman, Division Executive Counselors. Meda Chesney-Lind's book
won the Hindelang Award in that year.
In 1993 Nancy Wonders and Nancy Jurik were
elected Division Executive Counselors. The Division established two
awards: Distinguished Scholar and New Scholar. The second edition
of the teaching guide, "Teaching About Women in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Courses: A Resource Guide," compiled by Chris Rasche and Lynne Goodstein,
appeared in 1994.
In 1994 Lynne Goodstein was elected Chair;
Nicole Rafter, Vice-Chair; Joanne Belknap, Secretary-Treasurer; and Chinita
Heard, Nancy Jurik and Nancy Wonders, Division Executive Counselors.
The WC presented its first awards. The Outstanding Scholar award
went to Meda Chesney-Lind and Kathleen Daly; and Susan Miller and the recipient
of the New Scholar Award.
In 1995 Chris Rasche took over as Chair.
Susan Caulfield and Phoebe Stambaugh were Division Counselors. Coramae
Mann received the Distinguished Scholar Award and Helen Eisenberg, the
New Scholar Award. Sarah Hall was honored at the annual social hour.
The number of members had reached 300.
Chris Rasche remained Chair in 1996.
Evelyn Gilbert took over as Vice-Chair. Brenda Sims Blackwell and
Carolyn Rebecca Block were elected Division Counselors. The first
Division award for the student paper competition was presented to Liena
Gurevich of New York University.
A driving force behind the cohesiveness
of the DWC is its newsletter. Published throughout the year, it serves
to bring members together, remind them to vote (and pay their dues), call
attention to DWC-sponsored panels, update members on pending issues, allow
those not attending annual meetings to be up to date on events and decisions;
it also offers special feature stories. Nanci Koser Wilson was editor
from 1982 to 1986, Chris Rasche, 1987 to 1995, and now the editorship has
been transferred to Sue Caulfield, Susan Caringella-MacDonal and Zoann
The Division on Women and Crime serves
many functions. First, it is an organization that specifically deals
with women in the criminal justice system, as professionals working in
the system, as scholars and researchers, as offenders and as victims.
Second, it has been the driving force behind the steady progress in the
participation of women within the ASC. It is a working group (for
example, the Task Forces on Decarceration, headed by Karlene Faith, and
on Women in Academia) and it is a social group. It is a group that
networks - and, above all, mentors our student members and new professors.
I'll end on a personal note. As a
youngster, I did not know "who was who" at the meetings. At a plenary
session in 1967, while sitting attentively listening to presentations of
Ferracuti, Wolfgang, Martinson, and Mueller, among others, there was a
gentle tap on my shoulder, from behind. A woman asked me: Are you
Freda Adler? I believe you're getting your degree at Penn and that
you have three children. I like the topic you've chosen for your
dissertation. . . . "With that, the brief conversation ended. Once
outside of the auditorium, I whispered to a friend, "Who is that woman
over in the corner?" My friend smiled. "That's Eleanor Glueck."
I'll never forget how embarrassed I was that she had approached me -- and
I didn't even know who she was. I'll also never forget how great
I felt that such a senior scholar knew what a grad student was doing.
She was an inspiration and a friend for those short years before she passed
away -- I learned how much it means to a young scholar to have support
and recognition. And that is just what friendships and mentoring
in the ASC provide (Note: The 1996 Chicago meeting marked the 30th anniversary
of my membership in the ASC. Much of the information in this article
comes from written material and notes that I have saved through those years.
If my account has overlooked any significant historical items, please let
me know -- for the archives.)
"The Recent History
of the American Society of Criminology"
(The Criminologist, November 1985,
pp. 1-3, 9)
by Frank Scarpitti
(Frank Scarpitti serves as a Professor
in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of
Delaware. Professor Scarpitti served as the President of the American
Society of Criminology from 1980 -1981. This article was drawn from
remarks he delivered at the1984 ASC Annual Meetings)
We have come a long way. Today close to
1,000 of you are attending our annual meeting, choosing from among some
180 panels, seminars and plenary sessions located in a dozen different
rooms in a large hotel. You may visit the book exhibit, use the child care
facilities, socialize at several receptions, tour various local attractions,
and even shed a tear or two in the employment exchange. All of this is
now standard fare at our annual meeting. But, it seems like only yesterday
that I attended my first ASC meeting, and it was quite different. Seventeen
years ago this month, the meeting was held in one room at the N.Y.U. Law
School I think because Gerhard Mueller was able to arrange for the use
of the room without charge. Instead of the audience's moving from one session
to another, the panelists changed while the rest of us remained seated.
I'm not sure how many attended the meeting, but I'd be surprised to learn
that more than 150 criminologists participated. But, to a young criminologist,
it was exciting to hear the papers, see faces behind names I recognized,
listen to Marvin Wolfgang give the presidential address, and even sit through
the business meeting, including a lengthy treasurer's report. Only yesterday,
but since then the American Society of Criminology has undergone profound
changes and has emerged as a solid professional society, well run, servicing
its members and speaking eloquently for the discipline.
A significant portion of our growth and
development has occurred since 1976, a date that I think begins the latest
era of our history. That year, for example, saw the establishment of the
official office of the Society at the Ohio State University with the first
full-time paid employee of the ASC. Also that year, the Society's newsletter,
The Criminologist, was begun, first as a quarterly and later as a bi-monthly
publication. Just this year, the newsletter expanded once again in order
to serve the membership more effectively and efficiently, while our national
office goes on providing a Weberian stability and continuity to the associations
While our membership grew throughout the
early and mid-1970s, it peaked in 1976-1977, reflecting the growth patterns
of criminology and criminal justice academic programs and the expansion
of crime control agencies at every level of government. From an unprecedented
high of 1,758 members in 1976, we spurted to nearly 2,000 members the following
year. But, that was our last hurrah as far as numerical growth was concerned
because the following year saw our membership rolls fall back to the 1976
level and decline even further each year through 1980.
Despite the similarities and links between
the two associations, tensions remained during this period. One year, a
unique runoff election for president of the ASC took place amidst charges
that the ACJS was tampering with our elective process. According to some,
one candidate was friendlier than the other with rival organization, which
instructed it several hundred joint members to vote for the "friendly candidate".
The person so defined won the election, but was often denied full cooperation
by several members of the Executive Board who felt the ASC had been betrayed.
How? It is difficult to say. To my knowledge, no evidence has ever been
produced to substantiate the charge of tampering, nor did that particular
president relate any differently than other presidents with the ACJS. In
all likelihood, the allegation grew out of rumor, fear and disappointment,
with no basis in fact.
About this time, new leadership was emerging
in the American Society of Criminology that represented a younger generation
of criminologists. This new leadership was particularly sensitive to the
charge that our society was run by an "old boy' network" that no longer
spoke for the membership nor the interests of contemporary criminology.
These old boys, as some believed at the time, had acted as though the ASC
was their personal fiefdom, dominating its politics and preventing its
ascending into true respectability as a professional society. Armed with
this definition of the situation, accurate or not, several members of the
Executive Board began paying special attention to ways in which the so-called
old boys' power could be controlled. The first such opportunity came in
Earlier that year, a grant was awarded
by the LEAA Office of Criminal Justice Education and Training to the Academy
of Criminal Justice Sciences to explore the possibility of developing minimum
standards for criminology and criminal justice education and issued relating
to the implementation of those standards. The wise director of O.C.J.E.T.,
Price Foster, insisted that the grant be administered by advisory board
made up of four members of ACJS and four representatives of ASC. The President
of ASC agreed to this arrangement and appointed four members of our society
to represent us on what came to be called the Joint Commission on Criminology
and Criminal Justice Education and Standards.
When this was presented at the November
Executive Board Meeting a month later, a chorus of objections rose from
many of the Society's officers. Some were opposed to our participation
in the project, some were critical of the Board's not being involved in
such important appointments, and other complained that a full range of
criminological philosophy would not be articulated by our appointees. Incoming
president, C. Ray Jeffery, rightly concluded that the issue was larger
than mere representation on another committee and called for a special
Board meeting in New York City the following month. At that time, after
a full day of sometimes heated argument, the Executive Board replaced three
of the four original A.S.C. members of the Joint Commission. The new team
was made up exclusively of Board members given specific guidelines by the
Board as to the limits of their authority and instructed to report back
regularly for the group's feedback and further directions.
Why have I spoken of the event in such
detail? Because I believe that it marked a turning point in the recent
history of our Society. It symbolized both a new assertiveness by the Executive
Board and the emergence of new leadership in the organization. Not only
on this commission, but elsewhere within the infrastructure of ASC, a concerted
effort was now made to bring newer and often younger members into the government
of the organization. Although this particular incident did not contribute
very much to the establishment of minimum standards for criminology and
criminal justice education, it did serve the serendipitous function of
helping to transfer power to a new generation of criminologists and opening
the Society to a wider range of opinion and philosophy.
I believe that this latter condition was
also the consequence of another controversy within our Society a few years
ago. When Jim Inciardi became editor of Criminology in 1978, he was struck
by the fact that "for years, the works of radical theorists have only infrequently
appeared . . . in the traditional criminology journals". Wanting to help
rectify that situation, he decided to build a special issue of the journal
around two papers presented by Richard Quinney and Austin Turk at our 29th
Annual Meeting in November 1977. In addition to the papers by these two
distinguished conflict theorists, he solicited two essays critical of their
perspectives, and comments on all four papers by two other criminologists,
one a Marxist and the other not. Although the reactions of the Marxist
criminologist were withdrawn and did not appear, few members of the American
Society of Criminology, certainly not Inciardi, expected or were prepared
for what followed publication of that issue.
Radical criminologists reacted swiftly
and loudly, charging that the special journal issue was unbalanced, designed
to "inflame radical criminology" and "a thinly disguised excuse to attack
radical and Marxist criminologists." In addition, they charged that the
issue failed "to give even minimal presentation to the ideas of radical
scholars". According to the editor, publication "led to a library of editorials
and correspondence denouncing the papers, the journal, its editor, and
its sponsoring society. Letters of praise and condemnation were sent to
Criminology's editorial offices from four continents which, in some measure,
at least offered some testimony as to how wide the readership of the journal
The controversy simmered and sometimes
boiled throughout 1979 and was the primary topic of discussion at the business
meeting of our annual meeting in November, 1979. Several members of the
society canceled their membership, and some radical criminologists who
stayed in the association attempted to have a second special issue of the
journal devoted to what they defined as a more balanced presentation of
their position. Before this request was rejected by a vote of the membership,
however, efforts were already being made to attract radical criminologists
back to the ASC and to make our society a hospitable place for the exchange
of all ideas.
That was the serendipity growing out of
this sometimes bitter situation which we experienced in 1979 and 1980.
While radical criminology and its proponents were either ignored or denounced
within the ASC prior to this incident, society officers, concerned for
the future vitality of the organization and for its intellectual integrity,
now began making concerted efforts to heal the wounds. And, I venture to
say, they have been successful. In the past four years, criminologists
identified as radical or Marxist in orientation have participated with
renewed vigor in our society, organizing panels, presenting papers, serving
on the Executive Board and, in general, making us a truly representative
association of criminologists representing different disciplines and various
We have survived these bumps and we have
prospered. Although our recent growth in members has now slowed considerably,
we have continued to grow in more important ways: in service to our members,
in respect among professional societies, in more important ways: in service
to our members, in respect among professional societies, in tolerance of
various explanations of human behavior and in esteem among social and behavioral
scientists everywhere. Today, every major criminologist in the United States
is a member of and active participant in the American Society of Criminology.
In a word, we have matured. As a professional
society we have come of age, now being seen by others and by ourselves
as a representative and established association of scholars and practitioners.
Our identity has taken shape and crystallized, allowing even rivalry once
felt with seemingly competing groups to wane. We recognize, for example,
that we and the ACJS serve somewhat different constituencies and that we
may co-exist and cooperated with each other without fear of losing either
our membership or our principles. We have learned from our past and we
are stronger for it today.
In each of the next three years, however,
we grew once again, thanks largely to the herculean efforts of dedicated
members of the membership committee and mass mailing of membership invitations
permitted by the computerization of our national office. In spite of social,
political and economic trends and the disappearance of much federal and
state support for criminology and criminal justice research and educational
programs, it is worth noting that today's ASC membership is the same as
it was in 1976. We must be doing something right.
One thing we're apparently doing right
is attracting members to our annual meetings. Attendance doubled between
1976 and 1981, reaching a high of 1,004 in the latter year. Although we
haven't exceeded that number yet, we continue to draw in excess of 50 percent
of our membership to our annual conventions.
By the late 70s, our membership had not
only increased dramatically by was also changing in nature and interests.
Over half had joined since 1975, some 70 percent were under 45 years of
age and over one-fifth were female. With newer, younger and more heterogeneous
members, it was obvious that the 1980s would be a period of vitality and
excitement for the Society. Indeed, it stated off that way, with the first
divisions or sections of the ASC, on Women and Crime and International
Criminology, created in 1981. And, earlier this year, we accepted an invitation
to become an affiliate member of the Consortium of Social Science Associations.
Of course, one could not expect to experience
such growth without a few bumps along the way. By the late 1970s, the Academy
of Criminal Justice Sciences was also expanding rapidly and being seen
as a competitor by some members of the ASC leadership. Although the ACJS
appealed to a somewhat different constituency, it was feared that their
aggressive recruitment of members would interfere with what some saw as
the manifest destiny of the ASC. To make matters even worse, this upstart
organization even proposed that criminology and criminal justice academic
programs be accredited, and it wanted to do the accrediting. To many of
us thought this was clearly unacceptable because we did not believe that
accreditation was necessary for the integrity of the discipline and we
feared that it was being used by an apparent rival to attain political
leverage. Although we know that there is ample room for both professional
associations to thrive, at the time we felt challenged and often reacted
In addition to some 300 overlapping members
between the two associations, the differences between the ASC and the ACJS
continued to blur in the late 70s and 1980s. Originally, as association
of police educators and then criminal justice teachers primarily from junior
and four year colleges, ACJS has moved steadily toward an emphasis on research
scholarship and traditional discipline concerns. Our society, on the other
hand, while continuing to appeal to theorists and researchers of crime,
has increasingly broadened its concerns to include issues related to pedagogy
and the practical applications of criminological knowledge. In fact, the
most recent data available indicates that 40 percent of our members are
non-academics, applied criminologists of one type or another. While we
have always been an inter-disciplinary society, in recent years that has
come to mean more than just academic types from varying disciplines. More
than ever, it now means a society concerned with the professional interests
of teachers, researchers and practitioners, each with unique problems and
concerns but each benefiting from interaction and association with the
The growth of the ASC is not surprising
given the social and political even of the 60s and 70s. It is somewhat
ironic, though, that our strength and esteem have continued to expand in
the 1980s, a time when national conditions and priorities are markedly
different and when the social sciences in general are losing both support
and respect. The reasons for our current healthy status probably have to
do with such things as good management, fairness, providing service,, and
publishing a high quality journal, all of which help us continue to attract
and hold those members of the criminological community engaged in the most
important scientific work and its application. As long as we remain a professional
association supporting the very best scholarship and the free exchange
of ideas, the American Society of Criminology will continue to prosper
and achieve even greater respect.