NPR Science Correspondent Alix Spiegel tells the story of Robert Dixon, who’s in a maximum security prison in Vacaville California and is unlikely to ever get parole because of his score on the psychopath test. The test also is called “the checklist” or, more formally, the PCL-R, which stands for “Psychopathy Check List—Revised.” Alix tells the story of its creation and reports that the man who created the test, Bob Hare, is concerned at how it’s being used today in the criminal justice system. A version of this story aired on NPR’s All Things Considered. (28 minutes)
this is a link to the audio. full transcipt of the show here.
this is an interesting little case study on the politics behind the categorisation of personality disorders, their use in controlling a marginalised population (in this case, prisoners), and the move in recent decades towards a model of criminal justice based on pathologising the criminal and away from sociological explanations for crime.
note: contains a description of a murder with a gun and some discussion around physical and sexual violence.