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Morse Studies Links in Brain, Behavior and Crime
BY AISHA MOHAMMED
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FACULTY NEWS FLASH
MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
Since the advent of the “War on Drugs” in the 1970s, the U.S. has become the global leader in imprisonment. With nearly 1 out of every 100 Americans behind bars, states are scrambling to find additional beds and dollars for offenders, a fifth of whom are convicted for crimes stemming from the need to fund a drug habit.

Stephen Morse, Penn Law professor, anticipates that neuroscientists, who are currently researching the neural mechanisms of addiction and potential treatment options, can help reform the way courts treat drug offenses. Instead of imprisoning all defendants for possession and use of drugs, courts can raise the threat of jail time as “leverage” to get appropriate defendants into treatment.

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