Treating the Criminal Offender Brain: Can we? Should we?

September 26, 2013 | 3:30 - 5:00 PM

Nearly seven million offenders, and thus nearly seven million criminal offender brains, are under correctional supervision in the United States. To date, rehabilitation programs in the criminal justice system have drawn sparingly on brain science. But this may change. And soon.

Advances in cognitive neuroscience raise many important questions: Might we one day acquire technology to effectively treat the offender brain? What do new direct brain intervention techniques add to existing methods of behavioral modification? If we could reform even the most hardened criminals by changing their brains through safe and reliable medical procedures, so that they would become good, law-abiding and wholesome citizens, should we do so?

On Thursday, September 26, 2013, law professor Hank Greely (Stanford Law School) and psychologist Michael Caldwell (Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center; University of Wisconsin) will discuss the efficacy and ethics of neuroscience and criminal offender treatment. The discussion will be moderated by Francis Shen (Univ. of Minnesota Law School).

 The Robina in Conversation Series brings together scholars, practitioners and community members for dynamic, interactive discussions about pressing issues in criminal law and justice

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