"The path to prison starts at conception," explains Kaye McLaren , a researcher helping New Zealand investigate its crime problem. And so, she—along with the nation’s top Youth Court judge and its Children’s Commissioner—propose setting up national databases of (1) children likely to grow up to be criminals, and (2) grown-ups likely to have those children who are likely to grow up to be criminals.

"It can easily be seen as Big Brother and stigmatizing," the judge admitted, but, really, it’s only "a holistic assessment to identify those with high-risk factors and provide them with positive intervention and assistance." Right. Positive intervention against those criminal conceptions, right there in the womb. Why wait till they actually commit a crime?

Articles by Joseph Bottum

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