Psychopathy, Biogenetics, and the Social Construction of Serial Murder

According to Chapter Three of the book, psychopaths are not amenable to treatment “because they do not believe they need it, and if subjected to treatment, they will simply add that information to their arsenal of psychological tools they can later use to control others” (p. 98). Assuming this is true, what should prison officials do with individuals who are suspected of being psychopaths? If there are rehabilitation programs/anger management programs in a prison facility, should some individuals be excluded from these programs, if they are suspected of being psychopaths? Also, who should ultimately be the final arbitrator to decide whether or not any given incarcerated person is a psychopath? What factors should officials use to assess whether or not someone is a psychopath? Next, provide a significant discussion and reflect upon one aspect of either Chapter Three and/or the presentation, “Exploring the Biological Foundations of Serial Murder” that you found to be of interest. Next, after reading Chapter Four, consider the various sociological theories that provide insights into the phenomenon of serial murder (109-117). Which theory do you feel does the best job of explaining why some individuals become serial murderers? Be sure to fully elaborate and/or provide examples to illustrate your point. Finally, once you have answered all of the above questions, please pose an original thinking question to the class.

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