You have been experimenting with various techniques in order to identify a surefire method for predicting violent behavior in delinquents. Your procedure involves brain scans, DNA testing, and blood analysis. Used with samples of incarcerated adolescents, your procedure has been able to distinguish with 75 percent accuracy between youths with a history of violence and those who are exclusively property offenders. Your research indicates that if all youths were tested with your techniques, potentially violence-prone career criminals could be easily identified for special treatment. For example, children in the local school system could be tested, and those identified as violence-prone could be carefully monitored by teachers. Those at risk for future violence could be put into special programs as a precaution. Some of your colleagues argue that this type of testing is unconstitutional because it violates the subjects’ Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. There is also the problem of error: some children may be falsely labeled as violence-prone.

Writing Assignment

Write an essay addressing the issue of predicting antisocial behavior. Address such issues as the following: Is it fair or ethical to label people as potentially criminal and violent, even though they have not yet exhibited any antisocial behavior? Do the risks of such a procedure outweigh its benefits?


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