According to the EEOC, barring candidates based on arrest records can almost never be justified except in the rare case when the employer “evaluate[s] whether the arrest record reflects the applicant’s conduct”.
"Even where there is no direct evidence that an employer used an arrest record in an employment decision,” an employer who inquires about arrest information without giving the candidate an opportunity to explain the underlying conduct violates Title VII.
That’s because, as the EEOC acknowledges, “arrests alone are not reliable evidence that a person has actually committed a crime”.
Add to this that housing/apartment applications are increasingly requiring criminal background checks and can deny you on the basis of an arrest record, and let me know where this puts over 65m+ people.
“The number of neurolaw cases rose from 100 to 250 a year over the eight-year survey. In 2005, neuroscience appeared in 30 felony cases that did not involve homicide. That number rose to more than 100 in 2012.”—"Legal expert to Obama tells Society for Neuroscience meeting those on trial mounting ever more sophisticated defenses" via
“Nobody knows , says Lubarsky. “We’ve turned this into a circus of experimenting on prisoners,” he says. “The state is playing doctor without any regard for efficacy.”—Regarding if midazolam is appropriate for lethal injections following another propofol shortage. Death row incurs drug penalty. Experimenting on prisoners: file under unintended punishment.
“Let’s face it: the stereotypical specimen is a young white male with thick glasses, strong opinions about operating systems and a collection of Star Wars figurines. If that’s what we immediately associate with science – whether or not it’s an accurate portrayal of actual scientists – then coolifying nerdiness might be attractive for those who fit the mold, but could inadvertently steer away from science those who don’t.”—
Might a more inclusive portrayal of science – one that includes a few well-dressed and socially astute women, for example – draw more people to science than a “coolified” depiction of stereotypical nerdiness? It might. (via npr)
"Hey kids, science is neat, no matter what you look like or whatever rad hobbies you have," says funny lookin, tattooed, whiskey drinking, leather jacket wearing, lady neuroscientist who’s reportedly happy to be uncool.
“They didn’t fit the caricature of the drug addict who can’t stop once he gets a taste,” Dr. Hart said. “When they were given an alternative to crack, they made rational economic decisions.”
I want to know how this behavior compares to the behavior of gamblers, because playing slots and the lottery seems irrational from an economic point of view. It would be funny (and sad) if rational drug use is stigmatized and criminalized while irrational gambling is promoted by the state.
Interesting point. It’s about “providing attractive alternatives”, isn’t it. Very respectable work by Dr. H, highlighting social policy of problems we are content to slap a disease label on, wrap it in some stigma and jack up the penalties across the board. The options are less than desirable when you are dependent on drug related policies (which include chemical dependency facilities). It’s no surprise that this narrative comes in handy for some politicians…but also this:
“Eighty to 90 percent of people are not negatively affected by drugs, but in the scientific literature nearly 100 percent of the reports are negative,” Dr. Hart said. “There’s a skewed focus on pathology. We scientists know that we get more money if we keep telling Congress that we’re solving this terrible problem. We’ve played a less than honorable role in the war on drugs.”
“Hey jerks, the average annual cost per inmate in New York City was $167,731 last year.”—
Not only is that more expensive than a Harvard education, that number is for each of the nearly 12,287 accused detained on any given day, dwarfing the cost of California’s daily bill. Oh sure, that covers operational costs, staff, benefits, pensions, law suits, etc. Meanwhile, another rather large chuck of money goes out another window. A navy blue school bus sized tinted window:
The department [DOC] says it spends $30.3 million annually alone on transportation costs, running three bus services that usher inmates to and from court throughout the five boroughs, staff from a central parking lot to Rikers jails and visitors to and around the island. via
Anyone care enough to figure that one out? Oh, former corrections commissioner Martin Horn did. He suggested that we could just put smaller jails/detainment centers next to the courts, save a ton, but no one really cares to that absurd degree, do they? To have accused and small time offenders escorted by correction officers, from a jail to the court near by. We inform ourselves just enough to complain with a nervous side eye to how the “bad part” is creeping closer to our love seat while being evidently content blaming a collection of bureaucratic agencies who’s long running track record with communication and math, mixed with an impossible to navigate, archaic intake/processing system, can suggests not much more than a strong achievement in spanking us giddy then patting us on the head. But why turn over, this rock doesn’t seem to bother my back at all anymore.
“Rather than looking at drug addiction as a scientific and medical phenomenon, many still cast the issue in moral terms. It is perhaps not surprising that the criminal justice system has generally used retributive justice to deal with addicts, much like it traditionally did the mentally ill. The retributive stance generally extols “just deserts” and diminishes rehabilitative attempts, even when rehabilitation is guided firmly by physiological understandings of the underlying pathologies.”—
A paper from my lab director. You’d be amazed at the millions of points of drug crime data we have so far…some make sense…some counterintuitive…which is why it’s imperative to get this out to policy makers. Today, a high court admin reached out to me excited to see our results since they are 9 million dollars over budget. It all ties in.
“Neuroscientific evidence is increasingly being offered in court cases. Consequently, the legal system needs neuroscientists to act as expert witnesses who can explain the limitations and interpretations of neuroscientific findings so that judges and jurors can make informed and appropriate inferences. The growing role of neuroscientists in court means that neuroscientists should be aware of important differences between the scientific and legal fields, and, especially, how scientific facts can be easily misunderstood by non-scientists, including judges and jurors.”—Neuroscientists in court
Like sands through the hourglass — back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s with the swing/swing door of the forensic psychology & law merge of linguistics, educating lawyers on psychological concepts and psychologists on legalese then translating expert witnesses to the jury — so are the days of our lives.
“This article examines and refutes the claims that neuroscientific evidence renders autonomy “quixotic” and thus supports a shift toward paternalism in medical and political decision-making. The author argues that the notion of autonomy has been mistakenly associated with the metaphysical concept of free will, and offers a political definition of autonomy to clarify how responsibility is implicitly grounded in the legal and political system: An agent acts autonomously when she/he (a) endorses decisions and acts in accord with internal motivational states, (b) shows commitment to them in the absence of undue coercion and compulsion, and (c) could as a reasonable and rational person continue to do so after a period of informed critical reflection. The author further argues that neuroscientific findings confirm the assumption that humans are fundamentally fallible social creatures and explain the mechanisms of openness to the social world, which can be and sometimes are abused. A naturalistic framework does not dispute autonomy or rights, but it does point toward means of manipulation and toward areas in which further legal protection of rights and autonomous choice is needed. The author concludes by clarifying the ideal-typical degrees of coercion (indirect, direct and total) and compulsion (mild, severe and total) that serve the purpose of qualifying reduction of autonomy and responsibility in certain cases, and elaborating the middle-ground position between the “moral” and “brain disease” model of addiction.”—Autonomy in Neuroethics: Political and Not Metaphysical. I tell ya, if we do hammer this thing out, and we must…it will be because we call it something else or change the definition over time so that makes us more comfortable.
So there’s that story, cartoon, scene or maybe I made this up about an elderly woman who is a stripper.
A guy comes into the club as she carefully wobbles out to the stage wearing a conservative, dated, red lingerie teddy and maybe a feather boa which, as you can imagine, is only highlighting her loosely hanging pale and wrinkled skin. She raises an arm or two as high as she can manage (which isn’t that high) and awkwardly syncopates her lower body while standing in place. The guy who came for a good time is confused, slightly disgusted and asks a bouncer, “What the hell is this?”
The bouncer states the obvious, she is a dancer. Seeing that the guy is even more baffled as men throw dollar bills her way, some even getting up from their seat to come give hand her a fiver…the bouncer says,”They mainly pay her to just go away”.
In a single generation, a “Letter to Nature” has gone from being where you sent one cool result you wanted published fast to where you fought for months (or years) to publish five years of work in Supplemental Figures 1-17, all for some delusional, careerist notion of quality or importance. What the fuck happened?
”—rxnm (a fav) via Reaction Norm. Let’s let the boomer babies have their candy and submit to journals lower on this completely illusionary/arbitrary rank system of journal prestige. You first. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
We seemed to have done a decent job of convincing society that psychological science is important, but this has only increased the demand for us to show how what we have discovered can be used outside the laboratory to help improve lives. Although most of us have this goal in the abstract, at times we also need to be more concrete.
For example, economists routinely inform public policy in ways psychological scientists have not, even though our insights may be equally, or even more, valuable.
“The American prison and jail systems don’t work toward rehabilitation. They are strictly there for confinement. There is nothing that takes place during your confinement that will make it more feasible for you to change your life. And folks are truly sometimes dumped on the street. Sometimes they go into halfway houses, and some halfway houses are pretty horrible themselves, as is seen in recent coverage of them in New Jersey. The way they are run is generally terrible.”—
The last time I posted one of her interviews (NYT, I think?) I wasn’t entirely pleased with her baton twirling. I told her good luck getting minds changed with out mentioning more recidivism and economic related stats since she was advocating alternative sentencing options. But I see what she’s doing now. If her celebrity influence can get the general social climate (voters) to warm up to the reality of what unintended punishments inmates experience and the long term effects actually entail, in addition to the assigned punishment, then sociopolitical pressures surrounding increasing the harshness of penalties may not have such an easy time flying though legislature - when we have no proof that they are effective (yet). I maintain a social worker speech still needs evidence based research to support it but, she’s starting a small (but important) step and I’ll welcome it.
If only we all were so fortunate to live in a medieval fantasy land where a double fisted attitude like that would allow us to ban wrongdoers from living inside our precious & sin-free (wait we can do that) communities (and who knows sex offenses better than a politician)… where convincing emotional, scared and uninformed people that some monsters can’t be understood-ever, and they aren’t worth the time or resources that may reduce the likelihood of more victims, all while reinforcing our position and keep money (needed elsewhere) turning in frivolous circles…then why didn’t you say so? I wouldn’t be so interested to produce evidence based research to inform policy makers -and instead, I pull out my dictator sunglasses and proclaim myself too complicated & scare my way into a job at the local off-off broadway theater. Too bad Dr. Kevin Shiffman foiled our plans of gluttonous apathy:
To glibly dismiss any attempt at research and achieving greater understanding and insight reflects a bigoted, narrow-minded and thoughtless approach to this complex problem. [via]
For the fourth time now, David Eagleman, neuroscientist to the stars, asked me when I am I coming to Houston to work with him directly. My answer is, as always, as soon as I have the resources to join you I’m on da plane.
I know I project a sense of confidence on this blog, but the truth is that I am at the end of my rope, and I need the support of the community that believes in the same ideas and possibilities that I believe in.
This trip to Houston is not frivolous. It is a key component to my future career that I have been honored with, and wish desperately to fulfill.
If this can’t happen soon, it might not happen at all. Many students, struggling with debt themselves, are paid to come join this program, but I am, as always, the exception to the rule. If you know me at all, you know how difficult it is for me to ask for help. But this is the big one, it’s important.
All it would take is for every one of you to reach into your heart and give me 10 cents. It’s so simple, and dumb. And I’m embarrassed to even ask, but your support would mean so much to not only me, but to the experts that are starting to believe in me as well.
“Philosophy may someday dissolve into psychology and psychology into neurology, but since the lesson of neuro is that thoughts change brains as much as brains thoughts, the reduction may not reduce much that matters. As Montaigne wrote, we are always double in ourselves. Or, as they say on the Enterprise, it takes all kinds to run a starship.”—MINDLESS - The new neuro-skeptics. I wish more philosophers would come out of the woodwork. As you know, I haven’t agreed with anyone since 1989, and I don’t agree with parts of this article…but that’s me and there you are. Good read.
“Face-to-face diplomacy has long been the lynchpin of international politics, yet it has largely been dismissed as irrelevant in theories of cooperation and conflict—as “cheap talk” because leaders have incentives to dissemble. However, diplomats and leaders have argued for years that there is often no substitute for personally meeting a counterpart to hash out an agreement. This article argues that face-to-face diplomacy provides a signaling mechanism thatincreases the likelihood of cooperation. Face-to-face meetings allow individuals to transmit information and empathize with each other, thereby reducing uncertainty, even when they have strong incentives to distrust the other. The human brain has discrete architecture and processes devoted to parsing others’ intentions via cues in face-to-face interaction. These processes enable actors to directly access the intentions of others with a higher degree of certainty than economic and gametheoretic models of bargaining predict.”—The Force of Face-to-Face Diplomacy: Mirror Neurons and the Problem of Intentions - a good read by Marcus Holmes, Ph.D.
Science, open access and the little emperor syndrome
That’s real nice that the Harvard researchers who did the bbi with the rat tail got a little sun:
And the end goal, of course, is to establish a human-to-human brain connection [via]
…before the UW human bbi interface guys showed up just a few weeks later. Doesn’t necessarily mean neuroscience is moving fast, just that interscience communication is down, and many are happy that way.
When military research is open access, you got problems academia.
$315Mthe amount California Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing the state spend on a program that would move prisoners to private jails or county jails—a response to a court order which requires the state de-crowd its prisons. Rather than releasing the prisoners—as has been done in the past—Brown is suggesting moving them to other spaces, a costly proposition which is far from certain to pass. source
Researchers say this is like a second, un-intended punishment added onto prisoners for a couple reasons: re-acclimating to a new environment, socially: which often involves violence or the threat of, and the families that could visit may not be able to travel to the new prison and offer support. Criminologists suggest and crime data for some types of criminals support the most effective solution for crime desistance is family/friend support network. Close that off, keep it hostile, do the hokey pokey, turn yourself around and see what you get.
You: “ok smartass, so what’s the answer?” Me: Alternative sentencing and monitored residences (for some types of offenders of course) in local areas. it’s been especially effective for women offenders in both recidivism and cost efficiency. Someone, get JB on the horn.
Impulsive–compulsive disorders such as pathological gambling, hypersexuality, compulsive eating, and shopping are side effects of the dopaminergic therapy for Parkinson’s disease. With a lower prevalence, these disorders also appear in the general population. Research in the last few years has discovered that these pathological behaviors share features similar to those of substance use disorders (SUD), which has led to the term “behavioral addictions”. As in SUDs, the behaviors are marked by a compulsive drive toward and impaired control over the behavior. Furthermore, animal and medication studies, research in the Parkinson’s disease population, and neuroimaging findings indicate a common neurobiology of addictive behaviors.
If you have to take medication for a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, and as a result experience decreased impulse control, what determines the amount of blameworthiness when you steal, cheat or kill?