No. VIII-IX (1982)

Professor Stanisław Batawia

Published 1982-10-01


  • criminology,
  • Stanislaw Batawia

How to Cite

Ostrihanska, Z. (1982). Professor Stanisław Batawia. Archives of Criminology, (VIII-IX), 7–24.


 The editor-in-chief of „Archiwum Kryminologii”, professor Stanisław Batawia, full member of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Professor of Warsaw University and of the Institute of State and Law of the Polish Academy of Sciences, died on April 21, 1980. His personality, publications and activities exerted great influence on criminology and the fight against crime in our country, and were of consequence in our attitudes towards different categories of people exhibiting deviant behavior, particularly offenders and alcoholics.

Professor Batawia was born in 1898 in Łódź. He received the degree of Doctor of Medical Sciences in 1929, and the degree of Doctor of Law in 1931. From 1929 until the outbreak of the war in 1939 he worked at Warsaw University as senior assistant of the Department of Criminology. At the same time, he worked as a physician, first in the Nervous Diseases Clinic of Warsaw University, then on Psychiatric Ward of the Hospital of the Centre for Sanitary Training, and on the Children’s Neuropsychiatry Ward of the Institute for Mental Hygiene in Warsaw. He also worked as physician-psychologist in the Stefan Batory Grammar School in Warsaw. From 1935 he was an expert in forensic psychiatry. He took part in the military operations in 1939 as a doctor; during the German occupation of Poland, in the years 1940-44, he worked in a health service centre in a village near Warsaw.

In August 1945 he was qualified as assistant professor in criminology on the basis of his thesis Niepoprawność przestępców w świetle badań nad bliźniętami kryminalnymi (Incorrigibility of Offenders in the Light of Studies of Delinquent Twins), which he had presented to the Board of the Faculty of Law, Warsaw University, as early as in 1939. In 1946 he was made associate professor at Lódź University where he was also the Head of the newly-organized Department of Criminology. At the same time he lectured on criminology and forensic psychiatry at Warsaw University. In 1949 he was transferred to the Department of Criminology of Warsaw University. In 1958 he received the degree of Professor. From 1953 he also conducted (apart from his activities at the University) criminological studies in the Department of Criminology of the Institute of Legal Sciences at the Polish Academy of Sciences. He was also closely connected with the Department and its works after his retirement in 1969, acting as consultant of its proceedings up until the last days of his life. In 1965 he was appointed correspondent member, and in 1969 full member of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Apart from his work in the field of criminology, Professor Batawia was also active in the field of psychiatry and studies on alcoholism. In the years 1951-54 he was national specialist of the Ministry of Health in the field of forensic psychiatry, and in the years 1954-62 a consultant of the Forensic Psychiatry Ward at the Psychoneurological Institute; he also collaborated with the Scientific Research Centre of Social Anti-alcoholism Committee from the beginning of its existence. He was a member of the Team of Specialists of the Permanent Commission of the Council of Ministers for Fighting Alcoholism. He participated as an expert in the work of Parliamentary Commissions on the Law against Alcoholism and the draft of the law on the prevention and combating of juvenile delinquency, and in other legislative works connected with the subject of criminology and psychiatry.

The International Criminological Society appointed Stanisław Batawia its representative in Poland. He was also the Polish correspondent of the Committee in Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders of the United Nations Secretariate. The entire scientific activity of Professor Batawia was influenced by his medical and legal education. His research work was closely connected with his educational and medical practice, and also his extensive social work.

Professor Batawia was the founder of Polish criminology. His ideas and methods exerted a great influence on the present shape of criminology in our country. He tended to practise empirical criminology where generalized statements were supported by profound evidence and hypotheses were always subject to empirical verification. He was of the opinion that the results of criminological research, enabling a thorough understanding of criminological problems in Poland, should be the basis for legislative work.

He tried to make the range of empirical studies undertaken by the Department of Criminology broad enough to include systematic gathering of statistical data on crime in Poland, macrosocial determinants of crime, prediction studies, and sociological analyses of the ecology of crime. He himself, however, concentrated his interest mostly on the problems of clinical criminology, on the etiology of crime as seen in individual cases. He thus concentrated on individual case studies, on the problems of the careers, environment and biopsychic attributes of individual offenders and persons manifesting grave behavior disturbances. However, while tackling the problems from the, point of view of clinical criminology, he by no means lost .sight of their broad social background. He emphasized even in his pre-war works the importance of the fact that offenders were mainly recruited from the least priviledged social classes. In his book Wstęp do nauki o przestępcy (An Introduction to the Study of the Offender), he carried out a keen analysis of the process of demoralization of children from such classes. „The typical theft perpetrated by a poor child is the result of all the circumstances of his upbringing and of the environmental influences which affected him from his earliest days of childhood. The divergence between the status of a young manual worker and the living conditions of these socially priviledged, of which the poor child is acutely conscious, constitutes a serious factor in the etiology of juvenile delinquency. The children are also frequently led into delinquency by peers who have repeatedly managed to steal without being apprehended and who thanks to this can afford various entertainments. The youth learn how to acquire money by illegal means from newspapers and the cinema which show offenders with a great deal of tolerance, even sympathetically, and where the victims of criminal activities are often significantly morally inferior to the offenders (...). The fact of theft alone does not in the least indicate an antisocial attitude. Had the needs of the child been adequately understood at home, had the society enabled him to enjoy the values which is almost impossible to do without at a certain stage of development, we would not have witnessed a significant majority of the thefts committed by children (...). It is only in prison and in a typical corrective institution where the individual who has infringed certain rules of the law develops criminal attitudes through remaining in a criminal environment”.

Professor Batawia declared himself against those criminologists who concentrated on sociological or psychological problems only, as this could lead to one-sided conclusions. Although he was a psychiatrist himself, he criticized the one-sidedness of research work caused before the war by the monopolization of criminological studies by psychiatrists. Criminology is an interdisciplinary science; what is therefore necessary is a comprehensive approach to the studies of crime and offenders. A research group engaged in such studies should include a lawyer as well as a sociologist, psychiatrist and psychologist; (this view is well illustrated by the choice of staff at the Department of Criminology, amongst which representatives of all the branches mentioned above are to be found).

The notion of interdisciplinary character of criminology is also evident in the themes and concepts of Professor Batawia’s researches, in the methods applied by him, in the elaboration of the results and in the consequent conclusions which take into account the entire complexity of the problems discussed.

In his book published in 1939, Professor Batawia severly criticised the one-sidedness of theoretical approach. He radically disposed of the arguments of the anthropological school in criminology. The book ended with, the following words: „The problem of chronic criminality can only be solved by means of social reform and reforms of criminal policy. Don’t let us make biology responsible for sociological phenomena”. He also stated before that crime was a social phenomenon par excellence, and thus an offender could not be considered apart from his social background. He expressed his „criticism towards the authors who wanted to reduce various attributes of an offender to the common denominator of pathology”. He particularly criticised the notion of psychopathy as vague and very unprecise, falsely identified in certain works with social harmfulness and asocial or antisocial behavior. At the same time he attached great importance to the problems of psychopathology, which allow to understand deviant behavior of offenders with personality disorders. He considered it necessary to take into account the psychiatric perspective to assume a proper attitude towards a number of essential criminological problems, in particular to that of recidivism.

Professor Batawia considered it inappropriate to base criminological studies on very general concept of „offender”, which denotes different individuals „who were given the common name only because ' they had been united by the most general qualification of the Penal Code”. The offenders are by no means an homogenous category of persons whose behavior could be explained by one adequate theory. Criminology should seek etiological explanations concerning different categories of offenders. This principle was strictly observed in his studies. It resulted not only from his scientific experience and opinions, but also from his entire attitude towards man, in particular towards the offender: he assumed the need for an individual approach and treatment, for considering various individual problems of the examined persons, as those problems never repeated themselves „in the whole of their pattern in other cases, even in the most similar ones”.

In clinical research, according to Professor Batawia, the problems under examinations should be approached genetically and not statically; one should go back in one’s studies, not confining oneself to the facts revealed during the investigation, „Only a genetic point of view can reveal a real face of an offender and show the actual background of thousand of common offences, committed most frequently by people whose life conditions have led them to crime and then connected them with it strongly, and who, offenders as they were, did not cease to be individuals similar to others from the same social environment”.

The studies conducted by Professor Batawia tended not only to reveal the determinants of antisocial attitudes of the examined persons which had occured since their childhood. Also their subsequent social development and further fate were followed covering the period of many years (10 and more). Such longitudinal studies, introduced by Professor Batawia into Polish criminology, enabled the proper estimation of the persistence of criminal careers and of the efficiency of the measures taken against the offenders.

The methodological attitude of Professor Batawia was characterized by great criticism. He himself formulated the conclusions of his studies with extreme caution, criticising severly inconsiderate generalizations in some criminological studies as well as improper methods employed in others.

He was of the opinion that „when beginning an investigation, one should forget in a way that it is an offender who is to be examined, and try to study him quite apart from the delinquent act itself, and thus to prevent the crime from influencing one’s judgment”. He considered it wrong to restrict the studies to offenders in prisons and corrective institutions only (as it was often the case in the early criminological studies), and postulated the examination of an offender in his own natural environment; in the case of prisoners, he advised particular prudence in generalization of the results on other categories of offenders.

In criminological research, Professor Batawia attached great importance to the method of obtaining information and to its critical appraisal. He pointed out the great - and often underestimated - importance of the reliability and validity of information from which the results are to be obtained. It is of particular importance in the case of information gathered through the interviews. Professor Batawia considered it advisable to verify the data as far as possible by the means of information obtained from various sources. The studies he conducted were never restricted to interviewing the offenders alone: also interviews with their families were carried on, as well as the use was made of data from their criminal records, from court and prison files, and, if necessary, opinions were obtained from schools and employers, as well as data from sobering-up stations and medical and psychological records. In the case of any discrepancies of information from various sources, it rested with the researcher to decide which to consider valid, as it was he who took care of the whole of the study and was in personal contact with the examined person. In criminological studies, according, to Professor Batawia, the data should be gathered by persons properly prepared to the task, that is those who know the problem to be investigated, have been instructed as to the actual study (that is, as to its object, methods and the notional apparatus), who have the easiness of coming into contact with the examined persons and of interviewing them. He himself gave an example of such skills, experience and infallible intuition which allow one to perceive the problems most vital for the given individual; he also gave an example of an attitude of kindness and confidence in man which induces even social outcasts and rebels to frank statements.

The scientific worker who is to conduct an empirical research study in the field of criminology, should - according to Professor Batawia - not only be the author of the project of the study, its manager and organizer, but should also participate in it personally. It is only an active personal participation that lets one perceive the whole of the vital problems connected with the given issue. He himself acted in this way, taking part personally in the majority of the studies conducted by the Department of Criminology, going, sometimes in spite of his bad state of health, to juvenile delinquent institutions or to prisons and carrying on personally the psychiatric examination of offenders. Besides, personal participation, the contact with the person under observation, and interest in his problems were indispensable to the Professor himself, too, as his outlook on life was first of all that of a clinician. The research was for him never the collecting of scientific data alone: he induced in it the elements of psychotherapy and, if necessary, of actual assistance. One could learn a great deal assisting the psychiatric examination conducted by him.

Personal participation in the study served still another purpose: that of training of scientific researchers in the field of criminology. The conception of training of scientific staff, as realized by Professor Batawia, assumed the teaching of methods of research through active participation in the study, through attendance to examinations carried out by the Professor himself, through group discussions on the results of individual investigations and on the theoretical problems related to them. In instructing his personnel, Professor Batawia was exacting, conscientious as to the reliability, precision and detailed recording of the data they gathered, as well as to the exact formulation of results. It was a hard school, and yet the students were always cheered up by the Professor’s great kindness towards them, his warm interest in their problems, and his readiness to assist them.

Professor Batawia was connected with „Archiwum Kryminologii” in a singular way: as the editor, back in the pre-war period (since 1933) of „Archiwum Kryminologiczne”, a publication of the Department of Criminology of Warsaw University, and as the founder and editor-in-chief of „Archiwum Kryminologii” from the very beginning of its existence after the war (the first volume was published in 1960) until the present volume, appearing after his death, and yet prepared by him personally. Professor Batawia created the editorial of „Archiwum Kryminologii”, a publication to present the results of empirical studies initiated by the Department of Criminology. He also prompted the subject matter of works published in „Archiwum Kryminologii”. In the volumes published so far, the total of 41 works have been inserted.

The subject matter of the research studies conducted by Professor Batawia was broad. It included the problems of juvenile and young adult delinquency as well as that of socially maladjusted children. It also included the problem of recidivism which had not been previously much studied in Poland, the problem of mentally abnormal offenders and the question of alcoholism, as well as the phenomenon of hooligan offences which is closely related to that of alcoholism. Professor Batawia dealt also with drug addiction and toxicomania among the youth, and with the problems of forensic-psychiatric expertise.

In the years 1946-48 he examined in prisons the German war criminals convicted in Poland for crimes committed during the Nazi occupation, among them he examined Rudolf Hoess, the commandant of the concentration camp in Auschwitz. The results of these studies supplied sociological and psychological material of great importance, which enabled to understand how a socially harmless individual became one of the major war criminals under the influence of historical events, social environment and the ideology of national socialism. The discussed results are an important document, a serious warning against the dangers of the Fascist ideology. Until 1951 Professor Batawia was member of the Praesidium of the Main Commission for Studies of Nazi Crimes in Poland and the editor of 7 volumes of „Bulletin” published by the Commission, which contained records on the crimes committed by the Nazi occupants.

Many of his studies - both conducted before and after the war - were devoted to social maladjustment and delinquency of juveniles, which is a serious social problem, playing often an important part in the genesis of adult delinquency and recidivism. The social destructiveness of juvenile delinquency does not lie in the damage caused by the offences commited by the juveniles but in their social maladjustment and demoralization often accompanying their offences. A lot of children steal because their various needs have not been satisfied. When considering their thefts, one should also take into account the phase of their mental development. As it is the case with many juveniles brought before the court, they are in the period of puberty when the child’s mental balance is upset, and the lack of experience and critical judgement accompanied by openness to various influences, exuberance of impulses and birth of new needs can together - in a particular complex of social relations - contribute to the child’s committing of an offence. It is the period of entering new wider social circles: peer groups, school and even professional circles, the period of confrontation of the hitherto existing outlook on life with what one sees around. It is thus the period of arising conflicts which are usually met without understanding by the closest environment. All of this points to the importance of the keen analysis of the situation and features of a juvenile delinquent and of the educational and not penal character of the measures adopted towards him. „One must not attach any particular importance to the mere fact of occasional theft committed by a child (...). The essential problem is if and how is that theft accompanied by other symptoms of disorders in the entire behavior of that juvenile”. Those disturbances in the whole of the juvenile’s behavior (also defined as social maladjustment) require as early as possible a social interference of a protective, educational and also - if necessary – therapeutical nature. The need for early interference in the case of the category of socially deprived children, and also in the case of children brought up in the conditions which endanger their normal development, was an important conclusion of the studies of juvenile delinquency conducted by Professor Batawia. The studies pointed to the fact that juvenile delinquents were frequently brought up in socially deprived families, and that the process of their demoralization, going on for a long time before the action in court, had not met with any sensible counteraction. Particularly grave is the problem of delinquency of younger juveniles,
as it has repercussions on recidivism, and as such calls for a keen investigation. In the prevention of the process of demoralization, the school should play an important role, with the methods of work so modified that „the care of this category of children were regarded not only as a particular duty, but also as a matter of special social importance”. The school should co-operate in this field with the sufficiently extended net of psychological and educational centres which would make inquiries into the conditions of life and the personality of the child before the proper measures were adopted towards it. It is also essential to organize a large enough number of part-time boarding; schools.

 In the discussion on the draft of the act on fighting juvenile delinquency which was to supplement the regulations of the new Penal Code, Professor Batawia took a strong line in the question: since in our conditions juvenile courts should be the authorities having jurisdiction over juvenile delinquents, they would be protective and educational of character, and they had already gained a large output and a qualified staff in our country. He argued that the matters of so important social effects must not be transferred to social commissions, institutions yet to be organized, lacking any tradition whatever in our country, the members of which - willing as they might be - would have limited power and authority.

According to Professor Batawia, the demand for adopting educational measures and correctional treatment only should be valid regarding young adult offenders. Young adults are not as yet mature and are in the period of settling out of an outlook on life and a moral sense, as well as that of a large susceptibility to environmental influences. The sanctions adjudicated towards young adults should not be connected with the deprivation of liberty; a small category of young adults, socially demoralized to a large extent and revealing tendencies to rapid recidivism, should be treated in special institutions of rehabilitative and correctional character only. When Professor Batawia stipulated for such treatment of young adults, the Polish Penal Code did not provide for any separate measures for this category of offenders. „Until we change thoroughly our system of sanctions towards young adult offenders, our struggle against the chronic delinquency will be fated to fail” – he wrote as early as in 1937.

Professor Batawia also pointed to the fact that the work of approved schools, a weak point in the whole of the problem of juvenile delinquency, should be based on the idea that „delinquent acts should be regarded as symptoms of inability to social adaptation and deficiencies of character, and these very features should constitute the matter of interest of the tutor”. The problems caused by the youth in an approved corrective school shoul not be regarded as a mere lack of discipline or mischievous insubordination and treated as such by means of frequent punishment as the only remedial measure.

From the pre-war period, the problem of recidivism was also the subject of the Professor’s studies: juvenile, adolescent and young adult recidivists, those revealing pathological mental characteristics, and the so-called incorrigible criminals, which was a notion included in the Penal Code of 1932. Professor Batawia criticised it in his pre-war works, considering no one entitled to use the term „incorrigible offender”. In spite of the appearances of incorrigibility, the chronic offenders can - as the studies prove - cease to commit offences. Also, independently of the genesis of their first thefts and of the process of demoralization, „the subsequent delinquency and incorrigibility of such an offender is
closely related to our attiude towards the phenomenon and to the faults of the criminal and penal policy.

Professor pointed also to the fact that from the criminological point of view the notions „recidivism” and „recidivists” had a very broad denotation: an individual qualified as recidivist on the grounds of the law may prove a casual offender, and even among multiple recidivists a variety of criminal types are to be found whose tendencies are asocial rather than antisocial. Most recidivists have been socially maladjusted to a considerable degree since their childhood, have been regularly drinking excessively from their early age, often with symptoms of alcoholism already, and many of them reveal personality disorders. Thus the problem of juvenile and young adult delinquency and recidivism and an early proper intervention are essential, if still underestimated. As a prolonged isolation of recidivists proves ineffective, freedom or semi-freedom measures should be more often applied, as well as release on probation with the subsequent aftercare which would make the later readaptation easier. On account of personality of some young adult recidivists, and of their alcoholism, one should be prepared for the fact that the sanctions adjudicated may often not produce an entire change of their social attitude. An obligatory automatic increase of penalty for committing a new offence is groundless. The Code should provide for the possibility of substantial and not only formal estimation of the recidivist’s improvement. Those postulates were reflected by the introduction of Art. 61 into the new Penal Code.

Professor Batawia also gave attention in his works to the problem of alcoholism and regular excessive drinking, and their relation to delinquency. The relation is twofold: on the one hand, it consists in the negative role of the alcoholic’s family and the psychological problems it creates in the genesis of the process of his social maladjustment; on the other hand, it lies in the significance of excessive drinking in the etiology of some kinds of offences and in the increase of the proces of demoralization. At the same time, the most important effects of regular excessive drinking lie not in delinquency but in all the problems caused by alcoholism in everyday life and in the life of families.

Studies of juvenile delinquency, often revealing alcoholism in the families of the examined juveniles, tended to put foreward the demands metioned above. They called for an early intervention in the case of such children and their families and of extension of the protective and educational possibilities hitherto existing in our country.

The work by Professor Batawia Społeczne skutki nałogowego alkoholizmu (Social Effects of Alcoholism), published in 1951, initiated this kind of research in Polish alcohology, revealing the social aspects of alcoholics’ personality. It also exhibited the tragic situation of the families of those alkoholics who had not yet been put in hospital, though they should have been sent there long before, and who still had a clean record in spite of the fact that they kept ill-treating their wives and children and depriving their families of various goods and money in order to buy themselves alcohol. The postulate enclosed in this work aimed in two directions. One was the fight against the „common phenomenon of regular excessive drinking among hundreds of thousand of citizens, many of whom gradually turn into alcoholics”. This fight should assume the range of a broad social action, well-planned, energetic and supported by the law. It was the Professor’s persistent reasoning and his art of gaining over others to this cause, that led to the involvement of various people in social organizations and institutions, and subsequently to the resolution by the Seym of one of the best laws on combating alcoholism in the world. The second line of the Professor’s postulates (also reflected in the purview of the law) concerned alcoholics who should be treated therapeutically, and the diagnosis of alcoholism should result in compulsory treatment; thus the development of specialists health service is necessary, in particular, the establishment of a proper- number of clinics for alcoholics.

In his later works, Professor Batawia fixed his attention on the problem of particular social importance, that of excessive drinking among the youth and the need for early recognition of the outset of alcoholism which now occurs much earlier than it was the case years ago; what is more, among a certain category of young adults who early became heavy drinkers, the course of alcoholism is often rapid and severe. Professor Batawia devoted his last study to the problem of young adult alcoholics subjected to compulsory treatment, whose intensity of drinking and deviant behavior had been particularly high, both processes having begun in their early youth. The study is unique of character, as it concerns the age (up to 25) when alcoholism is extremely rarely revealed. The treatment of this category of alcoholics should also be therapeutical. Also prevention is of a special importance here, the activation of teachers and tutors of all schools in the field of identification, protection and proper guidance of the large category of children with initial symptoms of social maladjustment and those from alcoholic families. Even if regular excessive drinking is first of all determined by the social cultural factors, therapeutic medical intervention should be undertaken towards the young people who drink repeatedly and often get intoxicated (that is those who repeatedly visit detoxification centres, are apprehended as drunk by the police, have been several times convicted by the Penal Administrative Commission for offences committed in the state of intoxication). It is important to increase the number of detoxification centres where drunk people would be treated as patients in hospital; such centres would also diagnose their patients. It is also important to enlarge the number of institutions for withdrawal treatment and guidance centres for the youth, as well as to introduce the industrial health service into the system of withdrawal treatment and to synchronize the activities of various institutions dealing with alcoholics in their everyday practice. When planning such a system, one should, however, take into account the entire complexity of problems connected with alcoholism and regular excessive drinking as well as the fact that the phenomenon of regular excessive drinking, causing negative effects in those drinking themselves and in their environment, is not in the least irreversible. It is, a complicated problem, requiring prolonged research, the results of which may allow a proper evaluation of this phenomenon.

It was first of all the social consequences, and the practical importance of the problems, that constituted the criterion for the choice of the subjects in the studies conducted by Professor Batawia. Among them there was also the problem of „social parasitism”, much absorbing the social opinion, and the draft of the possible act to control it. Professor Batawia confronted the motion of „social parasitism”, vague and susceptible of various interpretations as it is, with the empirical data which indicate that the majority of those „shirking work” are heavy drinkers or alcoholics. Young adults less than 21 years of age shirking work but not drinking excessively often lack elementary education and professional training and are socially maladjusted; however, they must not be identified with those demoralized and committing offences. The change of their social attitudes cannot be achieved by repressive measures only. „It is indispensable to separate distinctly the tasks of socialization of such individuals from the functions of the common penalties inflicted on them for committing offences or contraventions”.

The yet another problem studied by Professor Batawia was that of drug addiction among the youth, which he considered – refering to the results of various Polish studies - a minor problem in our country. In a very heterogenous population of young people taking drugs, two categories can be distinguished: that of young adults who take drugs only once or twice, which is a majority, and that of those taking drugs regularly, who are very few. Regarding this last category of individuals who narcotize themselves regularly and thus become drug addicts, the priority of medical treatment should be obligatory.

The Professor’s works are also of great importance to forensic psychiatry. Among other things, he called attention to the necessity of including into medico-legal certification, apart from the normal state of inebriation and the state of pathological inebriation, also the motion of the so-called state of inebriation on pathological grounds, where certain features of the defendant’s personality could have significantly increased the effects of inebriation. He also studied the problem of reactive disorders often wrongly recognized by the prison staff as simulation, which actually require early diagnosis and treatment. He postulated the increase of psychiatrists’ participation in the works connected with the problems of readaptation of offenders, particularly in the diagnosis and treatment in the penitentiaries.

The results of studies and their practical conclusions presented above reveal the essential trends of the Professor’s attitude towards the measures that should be adopted to the different categories of offenders and individuals with severe deviant behavior. It resulted from his profound humanism in his attitude towards man. He pointed to the need for individualization and adoption of measures which carry no discrimination nor the isolation from the normal social group, but which tend towards the readaptation (and, if necessary, medical treatment) of the individual exposed to them. He criticised the principle of general prevention. He pointed to the inefficacy and harmfulness of imprisonment which, if possible, should be restricted. He postulated a radical revision of the assumption which constitute the base of criminal and penitentiary policy towards a considerable number of recidivists. Without such a revision, the imprisonment would only contribute to the increase of antisocial attitudes. In the works concerning various criminological problems, Professor Batawia emphasized the importance of prevention and early intervention in the case of children and young people from socially deprived environment or revealing personality disorders. He declared himself against the therapeutical nihilism as regard both alcoholics and those offenders who were recognized as incorrigible. He was of the opinion that „the beliefs about the inefficacy of any treatment of alcoholics are wrong (...), it is groundless to abandon the treatment of young adults after the first therapeutical defeats”. He considered that the negative results of the measures adopted towards the offenders „should induce one to intense activities in the field of criminal policy reform”.

He realized the difficulties connected with implementing those demands, as well as the need for the education and training of those who would properly conduct the readapting and therapeutical activities. He also realized that the problems of criminology were very complicated, and that our knowledge of various items, still insufficient, called for further laborious scientific research.

And yet, seeing the entire complexity of the problems and the sometimes distant prospects of realization of some demands, Professor Batawia was not deterred from aiming at their introduction into practice with exceptional persistence, commitment and passion; at the same time, he took into account the instructions of practical realism, reckoning with the possibilities created by present circumstances.

To the last days of his life, he considered it his duty as an educator to hand down to the others his opinions of the reforms and of practical solutions of criminological problems, which he did on various occasions: at conferences, during discussions on doctors theses and examinations qualifying for associate professor. It was alien to him to remain indifferent to the opinions, demands and activities which he considered wrong. The theoretical views which he enclosed in his works half a century ago now strike with their progressiveness, accuracy and immediate interest. Professor Batawia maintained an astounding unity of his opinions. He announced them with exceptional courage also when he was alone in his views - that is, on the turn of the 40’s and the 50’s, when Polish criminology was to suffer eradication, unjustly attacked from ideological positions. He was distinguished by his inflexibility, intransigence and his moral and civic attitude which constitute the example for all of us.