Spring 2020 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for spring 2020 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

A Deficiency Disease

Alastair W. MacLeod

136 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512804065 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume
View table of contents

Why does the prison system, with its stated objectives of reform and rehabilitation, turns three out of four first-offenders into recidivists to harass the community again and again? Alastair W. MacLeod, drawing on relevant psychiatric literature to interpret the findings of a small-scale study of criminality made with the cooperation of inmates in a Canadian penitentiary, advances the hypothesis that damaging degrees of deprivation brought about by various kinds of social isolation during critical life periods can seriously handicap the individual in learning and using the social skills essential to living a noncriminal life.

Jurists, penologists, theologians, savants, and journalists have authored an impressive library of books and articles on crime, punishment, and correction. Only more recently have psychiatrists begun to add their observations, speculative thought, and recommendations to the literature. This study has been written in a spirit of confidence shared by many psychiatrists that the complex causes of criminality can be better understood than they are now, and that this understanding can be used both to lessen the incidence of crime and to increase the effectiveness of rehabilitation practices.

Recidivism: A Deficiency Disease is derived from a series of lectures given by MacLeod in 1958 under the terms of the Isaac Ray Lectureship Award. These lectures were based on observations made during a study conducted in a Canadian Federal penitentiary early in 1955 under official auspices of the McGill University Department of Psychiatry and the Montreal Mental Hygiene Institute, and with the collaboration and support of the John Howard Society of Quebec.

Alastair W. MacLeod was a practicing psychiatrist of Montreal, Canada.

View your shopping cart | Browse Penn Press titles in | Join our mailing list