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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by Michael Fortino, Ph.D

Repeat Offenders May Be the Result of Different Brain Composition

With consideration for the age-old adage, “nurture versus nature,” a recent study suggests that the single common characteristic shared by repeat offenders may be isolated to the structure and composition of the brain itself, suggesting “nature” may trump “nurture” as the key to identifying a future career criminal.

According to the Ministry of Justice in England and Wales, a 2006 study showed that although criminal behavior may arise in adolescence, most who may have stolen a candy bar or picked a fight on the schoolyard go on to become well-balanced, law-abiding adults. The study suggested that only about 10% continue along a path of criminality, but it is unclear if this non-conformity to social rules could be the product of a broken home, a deprived lifestyle, misguided role models, or a biological anomaly that presents itself as a striking difference in the makeup of the brain.

“These findings,” suggests Professor Essi Viding, “underscore prior research that really highlights that there are different types of young offenders—they should not all be treated the same.” Terrie Moffit, a professor at Duke University, and part of the research team behind the study, upon evaluating biological differences in brain structure, ...

Fact or Fiction, Television Crime Shows Ignore Racism and Reality

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

Both fictional and non-fictional depictions of crime and justice abound on television, film, and throughout the media, yet nearly all exist in an alternate reality ignoring racism and balance. Americans have developed a boundless appetite for such fare in our society, yet they are being fed ...

Life Sentence for Murder Overturned by New DNA Technology

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

After nearly 10 years behind bars, Lydell Grant, now 42, is on his way to being exonerated after the highest criminal appellate court in Texas vacated his conviction following its review of revised DNA evidence analyzed through newly developed proprietary software known as “TrueAllele.” 

“I ...



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