Criminal Minds

The Chronicle of Higher Education:

He was locked in a van in England with violent criminals, repeatedly, during his late 20s, says Adrian Raine, lifting a fork of salmon ravioli from his plate at a tony restaurant on Walnut Street. “I was at the maximum-security prison in Hull,” says the psychologist, now in his 50s, and his job involved attaching polygraph-type sensors to the prisoners’ skin to measure their agitation as he bothered them with loud sounds and flashes of light. His lab was in the back of the van, he says, “and the guards were very concerned these men would commandeer the vehicle and escape.”

Their solution? “Take my keys away and lock the doors from the outside.”

Raine, now chair of the criminology department at the University of Pennsylvania, a few blocks from the restaurant, stops eating for a moment to remember. “So there I was, in this very tiny space. And I kept watching the needles these sensors were connected to, for I imagined that the first sign these men were about to rush me would be the needles starting to swing wildly as the men got excited and prepared to attack.”

They never did. Raine always got out of the van unscathed, but the slightly built, graying Englishman has never strayed far from the company of killers, wife batterers, and psychopaths. He has spent a career trying to spot ever-earlier signs of dangerous minds—clues to bad behavior even before a criminal commits a crime.

Read the whole story: The Chronicle of Higher Education

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