TED Talks on the Criminal Justice System
In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his
grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson
shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with
a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black
male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These
issues, which are wrapped up in America's unexamined history, are
rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.
What happens before a murder? In looking for ways to reduce death penalty
cases, David R. Dow realized that a surprising number of death row inmates
had similar biographies. In this talk he proposes a bold plan, one that
prevents murders in the first place.
When she became the attorney general of New Jersey in 2007, Anne Milgram
quickly discovered a few startling facts: not only did her team not really
know who they were putting in jail, but they had no way of understanding
if their decisions were actually making the public safer. And so began
her ongoing, inspirational quest to bring data analytics and statistical
analysis to the US criminal justice system.
Scott Fraser studies how humans remember crimes — and bear witness
to them. In this powerful talk, which focuses on a deadly shooting at
sunset, he suggests that even close-up eyewitnesses to a crime can create
"memories" they could not have seen. Why? Because the brain
abhors a vacuum. Editor's note: In the original version of this talk,
Scott Fraser misspoke about available footage of Two World Trade Center
(Tower 2). The misstatement has been edited out for clarity.
Daniel Reisel studies the brains of criminal psychopaths (and mice). And
he asks a big question: Instead of warehousing these criminals, shouldn’t
we be using what we know about the brain to help them rehabilitate? Put
another way: If the brain can grow new neural pathways after an injury
… could we help the brain re-grow morality?
Damon Horowitz teaches philosophy through the Prison University Project,
bringing college-level classes to inmates of San Quentin State Prison.
In this powerful short talk, he tells the story of an encounter with right
and wrong that quickly gets personal.
The world is becoming increasingly open, and that has implications both
bright and dangerous. Marc Goodman paints a portrait of a grave future,
in which technology's rapid development could allow crime to take
a turn for the worse.
Cybercrime expert Mikko Hypponen talks us through three types of online
attack on our privacy and data — and only two are considered crimes.
"Do we blindly trust any future government? Because any right we
give away, we give away for good."
Journalist Misha Glenny spent several years in a courageous investigation
of organized crime networks worldwide, which have grown to an estimated
15% of the global economy. From the Russian mafia, to giant drug cartels,
his sources include not just intelligence and law enforcement officials
but criminal insiders.
Shaffi Mather explains why he left his first career to become a social
entrepreneur, providing life-saving transportation with his company 1298
for Ambulance. Now, he has a new idea and plans to begin a company to
fight the booming business of corruption in public service, eliminating
it one bribe at a time.
"Is it okay if I totally trash your office?" It's a question
Elyn Saks once asked her doctor, and it wasn't a joke. A legal scholar,
in 2007 Saks came forward with her own story of schizophrenia, controlled
by drugs and therapy but ever-present. In this powerful talk, she asks
us to see people with mental illness clearly, honestly and compassionately.
Philip Zimbardo knows how easy it is for nice people to turn bad. In this
talk, he shares insights and graphic unseen photos from the Abu Ghraib
trials. Then he talks about the flip side: how easy it is to be a hero,
and how we can rise to the challenge.