Evolutionary psychology and the rehabilitation of offenders: Constraints and consequences

  • Ward T
  • Durrant R
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The mainstream view in criminology and correctional psychology is that evolutionary perspectives have little to offer researchers or practitioners and may in fact lead to overly reductionist and crude responses to the complex issue of crime and its consequences. However, in our view all the major evolutionary approaches to the explanation of human behavior have something of value to contribute, with niche construction providing a particularly useful lens upon crime and its management. In this paper we analyze the concept of rehabilitation and describe the key features of effective rehabilitation. We argue that niche construction is responsive to the cognitive versatility and behavioral flexibility of human beings and can also accommodate the important role of social and cultural scaffolding in the rehabilitation process. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Evolution
  • Niche construction
  • Offender rehabilitation

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