The article discusses the contribution of Adorno and Horkheimer in the issue of crime and its punishment, according to "Fragment of a theory of the criminal". First, considers the importance of discussing crime in the work of the Institute for Social Research of the Frankfurt University. Then, the "Fragment of a theory of the criminal" is analyzed in the light of the concepts of Enlightenment and of mimesis. The idea of the criminal as a sick person is considered an ideological construction, therefore typical of the bourgeoisie society, and it does not find rational justification in a monopolist society. Mimesis is considered the key concept for the understanding of the criminal as a sick person and it explains the changes faced by the penitentiary system in the post-fascist society.
crime; mimesis; frankfurt school; criminal