|Vol. 2, No. 1 , 1996, Page 1|
More than twenty years ago Congress set up the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration within the Department of Justice, in an all-out effort to reduce crime and violence. Funding was provided to build more jails, to obtain more police and police cars, to increase street lighting, to help the disadvantaged, etc. After a few years and hundreds of millions of dollars, funding was stopped; the effort was a failure, and crime and violence continued to escalate.
Today Congress is set to do the same thing again, except this time funding is tens of billions of dollars.
It has been established that four to six percent of boys of a given age will commit over half of all the serious crime produced by all boys of that age. That four to six percent is not going to be helped by counseling, better education, or tougher laws. To assume so overlooks the fact that most of these individuals lack the innate ability to benefit because of their dyslogic, lack of insight, lack of fear, impulsivity, and inability to realize the consequences of their actions or learn from experience.
Their basic problem is not TV violence, poor parenting, poor teaching, broken homes, or poverty. There are too many good, law-abiding citizens who have grown up under these same circumstances. Such problems most certainly can contribute to crime and violence, but the basic problem in the hard-core offender is more likely to be a malfunctioning brain.
Some people fear that biological causes must be treated with radical medical interventions such as heavy psychopharmacological agents or even psycho-surgery. But research shows that measures as simple as better prenatal care, better nutrition, reduced exposure to environmental toxins, or remediation of neurochemical imbalances can be highly effective in correcting problems in behavior.
Unless the physiological functioning of the brain is included in the quest to alleviate crime and violence, we suggest that any effort will be a failure.