Two faculty members have announced plans to use the University's giant IBM 7090 computer in order to study the mechanisms of the criminal mind. Sheldon Glueck, Roscoe Pound Professor of Law and his wife Eleanor, research associate in criminology, will investigate the development of criminals from the time they were juvenile delinquents.
The Gluecks, who began their studies forty years ago, have amassed large amounts of material about delinquents and non-delinquents. They plan to compare information which they gathered in the 1930's with information now being collected on the same people. One noteworthy observation which has already come to light is a marked drop among criminal repeaters at about 30 years of age. Professor Glueck believes that this could indicate some "biological" change at this time of life.
The date research will be financed over a five-year period by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and private foundations. The Gluecks will also oversee new research in Japan and in Europe in order to seek universal factors in the formation of criminals.
Glueck pointed out that "we have materials on a thousand juvenile delinquents and 500 graduates of the Massachusetts Reformatory whose careers we studied in the "thirties. The data from these studies can be compared with more recent investigation to age 32."
The data emphasizes somatotypes (body-types), psychological and psychiatric findings, early parent-child relationships, school history, and deviant behavior.
In the Glueck's most famous work, Unravelling Juvenile Delinquency, they established a Social Prediction Table in order to predict which youngsters will become delinquents. Validations of this table are expected to be published this summer. In later studies, especially those which were follow-ups of the cases in Unraveling, the Gluecks pinpointed several family and environmental factors which distinguished those boys liable to get into trouble.
They also pointed out certain traits which would ordinarily remain neutral but which in the presence of certain family factors might become deviances.