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Glueck, Sheldon


GLUECK, SHELDON (1896–1980), U.S. criminologist. Born in Warsaw, Glueck was taken to the United States in 1903. In 1925 he became an instructor in criminology at Harvard and was professor of law from 1931. A member of the advisory committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure of the U.S. Supreme Court, he was also an adviser at the Nuremberg war crimes trials after World War ii.

Glueck's work in criminology was largely accomplished with the help of his wife, eleanor glueck-touroff (1898–1972), who held research posts in criminology at Harvard from 1928 to 1953. For over 30 years they carried out unique follow-up investigations of delinquent and criminal behavior to determine the effectiveness of various forms of correctional treatment. The research resulted in several important publications including One Thousand Juvenile Delinquents (1934). Later research into the early identification of delinquency and recidivism led to the development of prognostic tables to predict post-offense behavior of criminal offenders. The Glueck system of prediction enabled them to determine which children in the first grade would probably become persistent delinquents unless there was timely and effective intervention. The predictions were based on certain factors in the social background of the children such as parental discipline, relationship with parents, and the cohesiveness of the family. Validation studies of these prediction tables generally confirmed their accuracy, and were approved by a number of eminent criminologists and social scientists.

Among their many publications were Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency (1950), in which the Glueck Social Prediction Table is described, and Predicting Delinquency and Crime (1959), which incorporates various tables of prediction for different types of criminal and delinquent behavior. They also wrote Ventures in Criminology (1964). Among Sheldon Glueck's other writings were: Mental Disorder and the Criminal Law (1925); and The Nuremberg Trial and Aggressive War (1946).

[Zvi Hermon]

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