Essential Reads

Are We Finally Ready to Invest in People, Not Prisons?

For the addict - and for all of us - prison reform can’t come soon enough.

A Very Dark and Sad Day for Psychology

Ethical guidelines always must come first for psychologists....always!

Can Offenders Be Experts?

Burglars can show expertise like those in any other field

Recent Posts on Law and Crime

You Don’t Need to Have Racism in Your Heart to be a Racist

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in More Than Mortal
In order to combat racism people need to understand that racism can exist without deeply held racist beliefs. Racist behavior is not always the result of conscious deliberation.

Ann Rule: The Last Interview

By Cathy Scott on July 28, 2015 in Crime, She Writes
Fact-based crime writer, dead at 83, told it like it was.

Prison Art: Is It Therapy or "Therapeutic"? So What?

There is no doubt that making art in prison can be therapeutic--but is it necessarily therapy? This blog teases apart the differences between the two, all the while exploring the age-old question: so what?

Adam Lanza's First Psychotic Episode

By Peter Langman Ph.D. on July 26, 2015 in Keeping Kids Safe
We cannot understand Adam Lanza without taking into account his apparent schizophrenia.

Stories of Seclusion: Embarassed into Isolation

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 26, 2015 in How To Do Life
The price of an affair can be great indeed.

Why Sex and Violence Go Together: Insights of Other Species

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on July 24, 2015 in The Human Beast
In a recent post, I addressed links between violent crime and male sexual competition. Now, I want to ask whether animal analogies really illumine human aggression. If a young man kills an acquaintance in a Detroit bar, does this have anything to do with elephant seals battering each other to death in the breeding season?

Failing to Protect Sandra Bland

Many legal issues surrounding Ms. Sandra Bland’s arrest and death entail further investigations, including whether existed the illegal arrest and abuse of authority by the officer who stopped her for an alleged traffic violation and whether her death at a jail cell in Waller County, Texas was suicide or murder. One thing is certain that the jail authority violated the law.

Are We Finally Ready to Invest in People, Not Prisons?

For too long, he said, harsh mandatory sentencing guidelines, mostly involving drug use, have been disproportionately affecting minorities and the poor, and costing both those who are imprisoned and the society paying for that imprisonment far too much.

5 Steps To Choosing Torture: Psychologists Breaking Bad

If you think the leaders in the American Psychological Association would interpret "Do no harm" broadly enough to mean: "Do not torture people," you are wrong.

Mental Illness and Families: Realigning Laws & Science

As the mother of a 22-year old daughter diagnosed with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, I have to scratch my head. With an 11-year old son who tried to commit suicide and later, as a teenager, reported hearing voices urging him to kill, Arlene and Robert had to have known James was ill and needed treatment.

Confirmation Bias and Stigma

Confirmation bias confirms not only expectations about the percept, but also those relating to the kind of world we live in and our role in it.

Moral Panic: Who Benefits From Public Fear?

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on July 20, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
Moral panic is a situation in which public fears and state interventions exceed the objective threat posed by an individual or group who is/are claimed to be responsible for creating it. Central to the concept is an argument that public concern or fear over an alleged social problem is mutually beneficial to state officials, politicians, law enforcement and news media.

Troublesome New Research About Sexual Assault Perpetrators?

By Shawn M. Burn Ph.D. on July 19, 2015 in Presence of Mind
Recent media reports of two studies on college sexual assault perpetrators distort the findings and their implications. What do these studies really tell us about college men's willingness to sexually assault and about the focus of sexual assault prevention programming?

How Troubled Kids are like Tornadoes

A book about tornado science mirrors concerns with juveniles for whom pressure can explode into utter destruction.

A Better Way to Combat Anti-Semitic Bullying

By Izzy Kalman on July 16, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
A recent settlement of $4.5 million in the anti-Semitic anti-bullying lawsuit against the Pine Bush School District in Upstate New York is a questionable cause for rejoicing. The taxpayers will pay, the lawyers are the biggest beneficiaries, and it will probably do little to reduce bullying and anti-Semitism. My free manual can do a much better job with less effort.

The Stanford Prison Experiment Hits the Big Screen

Humans are clearly capable of greatness. But one of the best-known studies in the behavioral sciences tells us that human nature also has a dark side. A VERY dark side. And you can now see this for yourself in a theater new you …

Life After Law Enforcement

Much like the military, survival for cops depends on close relationships with fellow warriors in blue. In leaving those ranks, however, there is almost certainly a metaphorical “death in the family.” Although officers have a love-hate relationship with their jobs and it’s difficult to stay, it’s often more difficult to leave. Moving forward requires a healthy path.

Understanding a Mutant

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on July 15, 2015 in The Violent Mind
Unpacking the cultural forces that shaped the unforgivable racist violence of Dylann Roof.

Could Women Be as Violent as Men?

The Data Doctor answers a question about gender patterns in domestic violence and whether women could really be as violent as men.I also briefly comment on the Hoffman report regarding APA collusion in waterboarding and other torture post 9/11.

A Very Dark and Sad Day for Psychology

Many people trust psychologists with their emotional, behavioral, educational and relational health and well-being. They must be confident that psychologists always do the right thing and follow their ethical principles without exception. It may take some time for psychology to rebuild some of that trust after the release of the Hoffman Report on torture.

Lies, SIM Lies, and Statistics!

Simulation characters are getting more sophisticated, which is good news for investigators who want to hone their skills.

The Criminal's Highs and Lows: Not a "Mood Disorder"

Do not confuse thinking errors with an "Axis 1" mental illness

Bill Cosby: Patriarch to Predator

Separating reality from TV fiction

The Smart One or the Pretty One? Pretty Is as Pretty Does

"'She’s really pretty, but it’s like she doesn’t even know it!' people would say admiringly of certain girls. Only then can you forgive a girl for being pretty: if she’s an idiot or a liar." Maggie Mitchell

Can Offenders Be Experts?

By Claire Nee Ph.D. on July 05, 2015 in The Mind of the Perp
Can burglars be experts at what they do? This blog describes new techniques using simulations that will allow us to get inside the mind of the burglar.

Orange is the New Bleak: What the SHU Can Do to Your Brain

By Jordan Gaines Lewis on July 03, 2015 in Brain Babble
What happens to the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary when they're sent to the SHU? Not much; that's why it's so terrible.

Erotomania Haunts Female Tennis Stars

Erotomania may mean the fixed false idea that someone is in love with you, and that she is prevented from declaring her love. This could be dismissed as a relatively harmless though annoying belief, except for the fact that erotomaniacs can turn vengefully upon the love object after perceiving themselves as rejected.

What Would America's Founding Mothers Want?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on July 01, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
When the philosophical foundations of America were being set by the "Founding Fathers", where were women's voices? How can we design a world that honors and integrates the unique value of women's perceptions of what society can be? What would you personally want to see in a global discussion of what the future can be?