Kobrin, Solomon

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KOBRIN, SOLOMON (1910–1996), U.S. criminologist. Born in Chicago, Kobrin received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (usc). He pioneered ecological studies of juvenile delinquency at the Chicago Institute for Juvenile Research and contributed significantly to the development of modern theories on delinquency and rehabilitation. His research focused on the sociology of street gangs; the study of deviant behavior; and methods to evaluate programs for crime control, delinquency prevention, and juvenile justice.

During the 1940s he helped to organize an innovative project at the Illinois Institute for Juvenile Research that worked to mobilize community residents to provide recreational and other constructive activities for youths in Chicago neighborhoods with high delinquency rates. Kobrin headed the institute's Division of Social Systems Analysis. He later served as a member of the President's Committee on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice (1955–56).

In 1967 he joined the sociology faculty of usc's College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. He also worked as a senior research associate at USC's Social Science Research Institute. In the 1970s he was a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. He served on an advisory board to evaluate addict-treatment centers for the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity (1971); was a consultant to the California Council on Criminal Justice (1972); and chaired the hew Task Force on Youth Development and Delinquency Prevention Administration (1973).

After he retired from teaching and received emeritus status in 1975, he continued his research activities at the institute. In 1977, he received the American Society of Criminology's Edwin H. Sutherland Award for his outstanding research achievements.

He was president of the Illinois Academy of Criminology (1958) and the California Association for Criminal Justice Research (1975).

Kobrin wrote several influential books on delinquency prevention and crime control, including Interaction between Neighborhood Change and Criminal Activity (with L. Schuerman, 1988) and Community Treatment of Juvenile Offenders (with M. Klein, 1983).

[Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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