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The Jack-Roller

A Delinquent Boy’s Own Story

Edited by Ernest W. Burgess and with a New Introduction by Howard S. Becker
The Jack-Roller tells the story of Stanley, a pseudonym Clifford Shaw gave to his informant and co-author, Michael Peter Majer. Stanley was sixteen years old when Shaw met him in 1923 and had recently been released from the Illinois State Reformatory at Pontiac, after serving a one-year sentence for burglary and jack-rolling (mugging), 

Vivid, authentic, this is the autobiography of a delinquent—his experiences, influences, attitudes, and values. The Jack-Roller helped to establish the life-history or "own story" as an important instrument of sociological research. The book remains as relevant today to the study and treatment of juvenile delinquency and maladjustment as it was when originally published in 1930.


225 pages | 5.20 x 8.00 | © 1930, 1966

Sociology: Criminology, Delinquency, Social Control

Table of Contents

I. Value of Delinquent Boy’s Own Story
II. History of Stanley’s Behavior Difficulties
III. Stanley’s Social and Cultural Background
Stanley’s Own Story
IV. Starting Down Grade
V. The Baby Bandhouse
VI. Getting Educated
VII. The Lure of the Underworld
VIII. Mingling in High Society
IX. Out, but an Outcast
X. Hitting the Road
XI. Back to My Pals
XII. The House of "Corruption"
XIII. Summary of Case and Social Treatment
Discussion. Ernest W. Burgess
Appendix I
Appendix II
I. Places of Residence, Male Juvenile Delinquents, 1926
II. Places of Residence, Adult Male Offenders, 1920

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