‘How do you identify a psychopath? What are the differences between male and female prisons? Is there a ‘crime’ gene? What will happen to Anders Breivik, killer of 77 people, when his minimum 10 years sentence is completed given Norway’s liberal prison system?’ These were all questions that students were keen to ask Dr Alice Levins when she came in to speak to Sociologists, Psychologists and those interested in careers in criminology. As part of her PhD Alice has interviewed some of the most troubled young men and women in our society, as well as sex offenders, and she gave us some insights into why people commit crime (drugs, poverty, dysfunctional home life) and whether prison actually works (yes to remove people from society but as a rehabilitation tool, then a definite no). She also surprised us with statistics such as the average sentence is only four months and that the most common crime committed by women is non-payment of a fine e.g. television licence, Council Tax, etc.
Alice’s talk provided an opportunity for students to learn more about an area which is not usually common knowledge and to whet their appetites for a career in Criminology.
Next week, we are looking forward to welcoming Dr Rachel Dobson to give a talk about her role as a Biomedical Scientist. More details can be found in our ‘Looking Ahead’ news feature or FROG.