Amir, Menahem

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AMIR, MENAHEM (1930– ), Israeli criminologist; considered one of the founding fathers of the field of criminology in Israel and specializing in rape, victimology, organized crime, police, and terror. In 1953 he graduated in sociology and education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and in 1958 he received his M.A. degree in sociology and psychology there. In 1965 he received his Ph.D. in criminology from University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. From 1966 until 1969 he served as a lecturer in criminology at the Hebrew University. In 1971–72 he was a senior lecture at Tel Aviv University, returning to the Hebrew University in 1972. From 1977 until 1982 he served as the head of the Center of Criminology at the Hebrew University. He also held this position 1983–84 and 1989–91. In 1989 he became full professor at the Hebrew University and in 1999 professor emeritus. During these years Amir also taught at universities abroad in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, and at the same time he participated in public action, such as the founding of Al-Sam, the anti-drug organization, serving as its chairman in Jerusalem. He was also a member of public committees dealing with prostitution and organized crime and chairman of the prisoner rehabilitation program. He was awarded the Human Rights Association Founders Prize, the Israeli Criminologist Association Prize, and the Ford Fund for Researches Prize. He received the Israel Prize for criminology in 2003 with a citation that pointed to his work as a rare combination of theory, empirical research, and practical application. Amir published more than 90 articles and wrote or edited eight books, including Patterns in Forcible Rape (1971); Organized Crime: Uncertainties and Dilemmas (1999) with S. Einstein; and Police Security and Democracy: Theory and Practice, 2 vols. (2001) with S. Einstein.

[Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]