For Adler's thinking about the private logic of criminals, early childhood influences, and treatment recommendations, read "Crime and Related Disorders (Chapter 17) in THE INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY OF ALFRED ADLER, edited by Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher. Edward Hoffman, in his new biography of Adler, THE DRIVE FOR SELF: ALFRED ADLER AND THE FOUNDING OF INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY, offers some brief comments.
(Quoting Hoffman, p. 241)
"...Adler described most criminals, regardless of socioeconomic background, as dominated by a sense of inferiority and a lack of social feeling. Ultimately, he emphasized, they are cowards with "a cheap superiority complex," overcoming their victims through darkness, surprise, formidable weaponry, or sheer numbers.
Quite optimistically, Adler asserted that his approach could "change every single criminal," but acknowledged that such a goal was unrealistic, especially since "we find that in hard times, the number of criminals always increases." Rather, Adler offered several concrete recommendations for preventing a further escalation of crime. These included establishing programs to eliminate unemployment through job training, reducing the ostentatious display of wealth that "can act as a challenge to the criminal," and instituting group sessions with prison inmates to heighten their self esteem and social feeling. Interestingly, Adler also suggested that the mass media "not mention the names of criminals or give them so much publicity," and commented that, "We should not imagine that criminals can be terrified by the thought of capital punishment, [which] sometimes only adds to the excitement of the game."
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