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Benign Biological Interventions to Reduce Offending

  • Olivia ChoyEmail author
  • Farah Focquaert
  • Adrian Raine
Original Paper


A considerable body of evidence now documents, beyond reasonable doubt, biological and health risk factors for crime and violence. Nevertheless, intervention and prevention efforts with offenders have avoided biological interventions, in part due to past misuses of biological research and the challenges that biological predispositions to crime raise. This article reviews the empirical literature on two biological intervention approaches, omega-3 supplementation and transcranial direct current stimulation. Emerging research on these relatively benign interventions suggests that increased omega-3 intake through dietary intervention and prefrontal upregulation using non-invasive brain stimulation may show some initial promise in reducing antisocial behavior. The ethical issues related to mandated and offered biological interventions within the criminal justice system are discussed.


Crime Offending Intervention Ethics Omega-3 Transcranial direct current stimulation 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Bioethics Institute Ghent, Department of Philosophy and Moral SciencesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Departments of Criminology, Psychiatry, and PsychologyUniversity of Pennsylvania, Jerry Lee Center of CriminologyPhiladelphiaUSA

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