Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




The adverse consequences of violence on society are tremendous. The proportion of offenders incarcerated for violent offences is large, and the cost of keeping these offenders incarcerated is startling. Understanding and treating the causal underpinnings of violent crime is of the utmost importance for individuals and society as a whole. Several factors have been identified as potential contributors to violent crime, including cognitive deficits in executive functioning (Hoaken, Allaby, & Earle, 2007). To investigate this further, 77 offenders from Fenbrook Institution, a federal facility, were tested on a battery of executive functioning measures. Offenders were found to have broad and pervasive dysfunction in their executive abilities. In addition, specific scores from the battery were found to predict the frequency and severity of past violent offending. This speaks to the possibility of a new type of correctional rehabilitation program, one that focuses on the rehabilitation of basic executive functions.



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