Here’s an excerpt from Adrain Raine’s The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime in which he speculates about the future implementation of the LOMBROSO program in the 2030s:
“It’s 2034. The past decades have seen enormous efforts spent on reducing crime through social programs to increase equality. But it’s not working. The internet, which so effectively democratized knowledge, has inadvertently resulted in a much smarter breed of crooks who, though failures at school, have succeeded in home-schooling themselves on ways to evade the surveillance of the global CCTV. Clearance rates for homicide have moved from a national high of 65 percent in 2010 to 38 percent in 2034 – arrests of suspects were dropping precariously. Serial killings are on the rise. Prisons are not just full to capacity, they are bursting at the seams. Back in 2012, the United States made up 5 percent of the world’s population but was incarcerating 24 percent of the world’s prisoners. That number has grown to 31 percent. Police are working around the clock on overloaded portfolios of unresolved cases.”
Freedom has failed.
In the year 2034, violent crime has exploded, clearance rates have dropped, and prisons are bursting at the seams. Countless billions of dollars have been squandered since the 1960s on social programs to increase equality.
“The public is growing enraged at decades of failure and the increasingly intolerable condition of living under stifling and ineffective public surveillance. People are fed up with the long legacy of rehabilitative efforts, and alarmed at well-publicized accounts of furloughed criminals committing fresh crimes. But its more than that. The economic cost of crime is now astronomical. Back in 2010, the cost of homicide in the United States was estimated at over $300 billion – more than the combined budgets of the Departments of Education, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Homeland Security. Way back in 1999, it was estimated to consume 11.9 percent of GDP, but in 2034 it is gobbling up 21.8 percent. The more crime got out of control, the less the government could spend on education, health, and housing – and that just fed into more and more crime.”
The devastating social and economic consequences of the Black Undertow on America’s major cities reaches a tipping point:
“The tipping point came in 2033, when one “low-risk” mentally ill offender was released early on supposedly supervised medication to help relieve the massive prison overcrowding. Through an administrative oversight his dangerousness assessment report had been mixed up with that of another offender. He was high-risk – not low-risk. Just two weeks after his release, he held up a store in Washington, D.C., during which a woman was killed in the cross fire between the ex-con and the police. By sheer bad luck the victim was the U.S. Attorney General’s daughter.”
A robbery by a low-risk offender in Washington, DC? Who would do such a thing?
“This incident, combined with mounting economic and public concern, now leads the government to launch the LOMBROSO program – Legal Offensive on Murder: Brain Research Operation for Screening of Offenders.” The logic behind LOMBROSO is surprisingly simple. Back at the turn of the century, in 2006, it was known that 22 percent of all those arrested for murder were probationers and parolees – those who had been released from prison. Criminologists in 2009 had then used early-machine learning statistical techniques to predict which parolees would go on to commit homicide. They had only basic demographic and prior crime data to work with then, and yet they were still able to correctly classify 43 percent as likely to be charged with homicide only two years after their release. Of course there were was still the false positive problem – those who were predicted to commit homicide but did not. But a replication study with a longer follow up period provided better results. By the 2020s, interdisciplinary neurocriminologists, statisticians, and social scientists improved the predictive power of this model by adding brain, genetic, and psychological risk factors into the equation. By the early 2030s they took it a step further by developing algorithms for violence in the community at large. Then, in 2034, the LOMBROSO program was put into place. It was a chance for a failing government to reverse its declining popularity in the polls.”
Science and technology has advanced to the point where potential murderers and criminals can be identified with a high degree of accuracy.
“Under LOMBROSO, all males in society aged eighteen and over have to register at their local hospital for a quick brain scan and DNA testing. One simple finger prick for one drop of blood that takes ten seconds. Then a five-minute brain scan for the “Fundamental Five Functions”: First, a structural scan provides the brain’s anatomy. Second, a functional scan shows resting brain activity. Third, enhanced diffusion-tensor imaging is taken to assess the integrity of the white-fiber system in the brain, assessing intricate brain connectivity. Fourth is a reading of the brain’s neurochemistry that has been developed from magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Fifth and finally, the cellular structural scan assesses expression of 23,000 different genes at the cellular level. The computerization of all medical, school, psychological, census, and neighborhood data makes it easy to combine these traditional variables alongside the vast amount of DNA and brain data to form an all-encompassing bio-social data set.”
What happens to the potential murderers who are screened under the LOMBROSO program?
“The program works like this: those who test positive – the LPs – are held in indefinite detention. In light of the administrative lapse that originally sparked LOMBROSO when test results were mixed up, LPs are given the legal right to challenge the findings and be retested by an independent authority. The detention centers are highly secure, but are not the harsh holding bays of decades gone by. They are equipped as a home away from home. Conjugal visits are allowed on weekends, albeit under surveillance that is a bit too close to comfort for the partners concerned. There are full recreational and educational services. They are allowed to vote. The LPs have full communication access to their family and even friends – after appropriate security checks for those concerned. It sounds quite cushy, but remember that the LPs have not actually committed a crime. Perhaps the main drawback is who they live with, housed as they are in facilities with other LPs – time bombs waiting to explode.”
The LPs – Lombroso Positives – are segregated in indefinite detention centers like Guantanamo Bay far away from the law-abiding population.