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November 28, 2007

Who will shape the future of technocorrections?

Among lots of great new posts at Corrections Sentencing is this item noting that the Baylor College of Medicine has a new program focused on some issues that may arise in many future debates of technocorrections.  The program's webpage is at this link, and here is part of its self-description:

Baylor College of Medicine’s Initiative on Law, Brains and Behavior addresses how new discoveries in neuroscience should navigate the way we make laws, punish criminals, and develop rehabilitation.  The project brings together a unique collaboration of neurobiologists, legal scholars, ethicists, medical humanists, and policy makers, with the goal of running experiments that will result in modern, evidence-based policy.

Emerging questions at the interface of law and neuroscience include: .... Can novel technologies such as brain imaging be leveraged for rehabilitation?  How should juries assess responsibility, given that most behaviors are driven by systems of the brain that we cannot control?

In conjunction with study and development of policy, the initiative will fuel the development of new technologies for diagnosis and rehabilitation — for example, describing neural signatures that predict recidivism, and developing feedback in real-time brain imaging as a strategy for rehabilitation.

I have long expected that private industry and market forces would be the primary influences on the early development of technocorrections like GPS tracking and drug therapies (and a recent LA Times article confirmed the importance of economics).  This new project is an encouraging sign that persons with real medical knowledge might take on a leadership role in some areas of technocorrections.

November 28, 2007 at 08:00 AM | Permalink


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