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Criminal - why people do bad things. Tom Gash, Institute for Government

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There are two myths about crime. In one, the criminal act is a selfish choice, and tough punishment the only solution. In the other, the system is at fault, and perpetrators will change only when society reforms. Both these narratives are wrong.

Interweaving conversations and stories of crime with findings from the latest research, Tom Gash dispels the myths that inform our views of crime, from the widespread misconception that poverty causes crime, to the belief that tough sentencing reduces it. He examines the origins of criminal behaviour, the ebb and flow of crime across the last century, and the effectiveness of various government crack-downs – and in doing so reveals that crime is both less rational and much easier to reduce than many believe.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Public Policy series.

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