• Inside the Criminal Mind (Revised and Updated Edition)

  • By: Stanton Samenow
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (234 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A brilliant, no-nonsense profile of the criminal mind, newly updated to include new influences, effective methods for dealing with hardened criminals, and a call to rethink criminal justice reform from expert witness Dr. Stanton E. Samenow.

Long-held myths defining the sources of and cures for crime are shattered in this groundbreaking audiobook - and a chilling profile of today's criminal emerges. In 1984, Stanton Samenow changed the way we think about the workings of the criminal mind with a revolutionary approach to "habilitation". In 2014, armed with 40 years of additional knowledge and insight, Samenow explored the subject anew, using his vast expertise to explain the thought patterns of those who commit the crimes we were most concerned with in the new millennium, such as domestic violence, Internet victimization, and terrorism.

The fields of criminal behavior have expanded, demanding another updated version, which includes an exploration of computers as a vehicle for criminal conduct; new drugs, pharmaceutical influences, and the impact of the opioid crisis; exposure to the rawest forms of violence in video games, films, and television broadcasts; social media as an arena for illicit activities; updated genetic and biological research into whether some people are "wired" to become criminals; and new research on criminal justice reform. Throughout, we learn from Samenow's five decades of experience how truly vital it is to know who the criminal is and how he or she thinks differently. Only once equipped with that crucial understanding can we reach reasonable, compassionate, and effective solutions.

©1984, 2004 Stanton Samenow (P)2014 Listening Library

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What listeners say about Inside the Criminal Mind (Revised and Updated Edition)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great insight!

I really enjoyed this book because it offers the listener a contrasting view of the causes of criminal behavior.

For me personally, it had allowed me a better understanding of offenders that, despite many opportunities for change, they continue to make poor decisions. I recommend this book for anyone in corrections.

10 people found this helpful

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Dr. Samenow explains the persistent criminal mind

Dr. Samenow step by step explains how people can have a criminal mindset and how this mindset leads to crimes against society,defined by when one person takes from another through deceit or force. Societal crimes are committed all the time even though many are never prosecuted. This book also explains how people can live in society succesfully and appear to act good though the intention is always to put themselves at the center of focus with the hidden negative goal of using and exploiting others. This total narcissism is completely void of ethics or morals applied to their own lives , they know what is right and wrong but believe that they themselves are a law unto themselves, that they are special and entitled to take whatever they want without suffering the consequences . They believe arrogantly that they can take as they seem fit, be it your personal affects or even your life. This criminal mindset is the basic philosophy of all people who commit crimes be it stealing an old ladies purse to mass shootings. Dr. Samenow writes other books that follow and expand on the ideas in this book based upon decades of studying and researching criminals from the bluecollar who pillages a retirement fund to serial killers. This book helps ethical people to change their perspective and to understand that the criminal in not crazy, that no matter what tactic is used by the criminal to avoid responsibility their goal was always to exploit others to feed their bottomless pit of everything is about me. These criminals are always on the con and being as they have an entitlement attitude they do not believe that they bad people so they do not see why they need to change. Dr. Samenow explains that the thinking and attitude of the criminal must change before the behaviors will and that is why most criminals find no incentive to change; why should they change when most of the time their manipulations work for them. Dr. Samenow convincingly proves that from parents who coddle their abusive children to courts that give mere slaps on the hand as consequences for crimes committed , we as a society need to change on multiple fronts to change the Criminal Mind.

10 people found this helpful

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A cognitive approach to criminality

Like some others, I tended to wonder what lack of parenting contributed to delinquency. This book argues ALL criminals are responsible for their own actions and behaviors. I find this a very refreshing approach (although the "program" has been around since the 1970s). There are undoubtedly environmental, social, biochemical and value contributors, in the end, criminal behavior is about incorrect thinking. In fixing these erroneous thinking patterns, lives can be changed. As in the case study of Leroy, the journey to change is perilous, difficult, and never really ends with slow and steady progress. For those who persevere, the journey itself is its own reward. A very well done book that describes a program I am interested in learning more about.

2 people found this helpful

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Great, but sometimes flawed information

Would you try another book from Stanton Samenow and/or Mark Bramhall?

Maybe if it was more limited on its scope. I understand Samenow's approach to what causes crime, especially after decades of being exposed to criminals. However, he is quick to dismiss things out of his personal experiences when research supports those things. If he sticks to his own research and doesn't try to poorly attack others, I think I would.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

It was his (and Yokelson's) research and experiences. I would say 80% of his book was fantastic, the 20% is described in the comments below.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, but the narrator quickly became a huge distraction when quoting things inmates say. Every inmate had the same annoyed whiny voice that was quite distracting.

Could you see Inside the Criminal Mind being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Absolutely not.

Any additional comments?

Overall I think most of what he has discovered is absolutely fantastic in terms of research into criminal behavior. However, there are some large issues I have with this book:

He quickly and selectively dismisses many, or all other, criminology theories of crime. It is as if he has a selective and biased view towards them and doesn't quite fully understand what they, how they came to be, or that they are not meant to be 100% explanations of all or most crime. It is really hard to dismiss those theories since they have all gone through much research and study, not to mention have been replicated numerous times as well. Those did not come from some yahoo in his basement who wanted an excuse for crime, they came from highly educated and experienced people who genuinely found more than just correlations.

He also appears to trivialize certain things, such as terrorism and those who possess child pornography (suggests those who only possess child pornography be paroled and not jailed when they actually contribute to the more serious crimes being committed to get the pornography). Not really sure why he gets involved this much into the criminal justice system when he is a psychologist.

Needs to stay away from the rock star superhero psychic profiliers as references for certain information.

I think his research is fantastic if he were just staying in his lane. He should approach as just a psychologist, nothing more.

5 people found this helpful

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An sincere effort to enter a criminal mind

It is an sincere effort to understand criminal mind.The author puts all his experience to tell us about criminal mind.May be the brain functions in such a complex manner that it is difficult to decipher all its patterns.
The remedies suggested are practical and with lots of common sense.The book is read well to keep up the interest in the subject.

2 people found this helpful

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Eye Opening

Extremely helpful and up to date. I highly recommend this book to anguished parents who are trying to cope with their adult child's aberrant behavior.

6 people found this helpful

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A narrow perspective - ring your critical thinking

This is a seminal work, however, the over-application of the ideas contained within is a danger. The author uses the broad term “criminal” when he’s actually speaking of a specific kind of male violent offender with severe personality issues. The author thoroughly discounts aspects of one’s upbringing and environment that are shown very strongly through decades of research to impact behavior and criminal justice involvement. He’s a stickler for exact meanings of some terms (and not others) such as “rehabilitation” and “reintegration” that show his bias toward “the criminal.” These concepts and approaches are actually critical to reducing recidivism and crime in our communities (per research). Ignored throughout are issues related to gender and systemic racial issues in American culture that tie directly to incarceration and what is considered “criminal.” This must be read/listened to with an understanding of the narrow perspective presented (he’s lumping a lot of complexity into his idea of “the criminal”) and the lack of evidence for his claims (which seem largely anecdotal and go against a significant body of research).

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great listen

Very insightful and profound, at times seems to deal in absolutes or paint with broad strokes, but overall good resource and entertaining listen while learning.

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Very good pick up. Tons of information

There's allot to unravel here. but i reccomend you give it a read yourself. Theres allot of experience from himself and other people he's worked with both criminal and law enforcement or hospital. And this book take a deep dive from the beginning of the life of a criminal all the way up into adulthood and at the end the rare few recoveries. Highly reccomend. Even if your not Law Enforcement its a good book to pick up to learn more about the behaviour of others and their motivations from "normal" looking at a what otherwise seems to be normal but infact displays various warning signs of criminality.

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Boring and not really what I wanted

I wanted a book that read more like a manual for criminal profiling. This book was too anecdotal and really couldn't hold my attention anyway.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-29-22

No no no.

This book tries to tell you that it's all genes, no outside factors, that make you a criminal. To that, they try to justify that it's a much better approach because the criminals can't say that it's society's fault that they have to do crime, completely forgetting that with the genes approach, they can just say "oh it's in my genes, I can't help it".
Let's not forget that this also sets a dangerous precedent about what to do with criminals. One can argue that if it's all just genes, then why not find these crime genes in babies in the womb and kill them off before they even get a chance to do crime.

It's never just genes or outside factors, it's always a mix. Anyone who has studied psychology, forensic psychology or any other kind of human sciences knows that when it comes to people and their behavior, it's always a mix.

Please don't buy into this. Educate yourself on the subject and see this book as a good example of when critical thinking is thrown out the window.

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  • MJ
  • 07-24-21

Embarrassingly Bad Book

This book serves as a perfect example of pseudo science masquerading as fact. The book takes well established fundamental theories and claims to have discovered their crucial flaw. The book then proceeds to confirm and accept the basic remnants of said theories but applies totally flawed logic embarrassingly reductionist viewpoints and overwhelmingly arrogant assertions culminating in a one size fits all model or the causation of criminality.

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  • Ms Happiness
  • 05-14-21

extremely informative

brilliant breakdown of the criminal mind. makes you realise we are all criminals until we a taught valuable habits and logical thinking