Dr. Matt DeLisi, professor, Department of Sociology
Severe 5%: Understanding the Criminal Justice System
Monday, September 11, 2017
8:00 p.m. in the Sun Room, Memorial Union
Decades of research from around the world have shown that roughly 5% of the criminal population is responsible for more than half of the incidence of crime, and this pathological group accounts for between 50 to 90% of the most violent crimes including murder, rape, kidnapping, and armed robbery. Drawing on his research, clinical, and practitioner experiences working with the most pathological offenders, Professor Matt DeLisi will provide another framework for assessing the U.S. criminal justice system. He will explain why the system is mostly successful, providing treatment and supervision of individuals that are relatively amenable to rehabilitation. He will also explain why the putative “failures” of the justice system are not primarily the responsibility of law enforcement, judicial, and correctional staff, but instead are the result of a host of pathological conditions that render the severe 5% impervious to punishment.
Matt DeLisi is coordinator of Criminal Justice Studies, professor in the Department of Sociology, and faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State University. Professor DeLisi’s primary research interests include criminal careers/career criminals, self-control theory, corrections, psychopathy and the molecular/behavioral genetics of antisocial behavior, and he is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and Association for Psychological Science.
Professor DeLisi is among the most prolific criminologists in the world with over 200 scholarly publications since earning his doctorate in 2000. A leading scholar in the study of pathological antisocial behavior and co-founding member of the Biosocial Criminology Research Group, Dr. DeLisi is also among the most cited criminologists of his age cohort and is reviewer for more than 80 journals and funding agencies in the fields of criminology and criminal justice, psychology, psychiatry, pediatrics, medicine and public health. His research has been featured in The New York Times, Time, Forbes, US News and World Report, Newsweek, Scientific American, Chronicle of Higher Education, Psychiatric News, Science Daily, Medical News Today, Science Codex, Washington Post and many other media and science outlets.
LAS Dean’s Lecture Series
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Lecture Series highlights faculty excellence in learning, discovery, and engagement. The dean invites LAS faculty of international preeminence to present lectures from their own areas of expertise on topics of interest to the general public, designed to stimulate high-quality, intellectual discussion among faculty, staff, students, and community members.