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Convict CriminologyInside and Out$
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Rod Earle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447323648

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447323648.001.0001

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Born in the USA: early origins of convict criminology

Born in the USA: early origins of convict criminology

(p.17) Two Born in the USA: early origins of convict criminology
Convict Criminology

Rod Earle

Policy Press

This chapter identifies and discusses the roots of convict criminology in the work of Frank Tannenbaum during the first half of the twentieth century. The chapter suggests that although Tannenbaum’s contributions to criminology are relatively well established, the relevance of their connection to various aspects of his biography are not so widely recognised. In particular, Tannenbaum’s political activism, his subsequent incarceration and ensuing contributions to penal reform are neglected, as are his studies of race and race relations. The chapter surfaces his correspondence with W. E. B. Du Bois and discusses the political context of his work. The chapter proceeds and concludes with another biographical sketch of another influential figure in the critical current of US social science with experience of imprisonment, Saul Alinskey.

Keywords:   Frank Tannenbaum, race, Du Bois, Saul Alinskey, political activism, criminology

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