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5 TED Talks Every Criminal Justice Major Should Watch

 

If you’re studying criminal justice – or are already working in the field – you might want to check out these TED Talks for some insight and inspiration.

Saint-Leo-University-OnlineYou’re doing all you can to prepare for a future in the criminal justice filed. You’re working hard in your online criminal justice degree program studying law enforcement, corrections and the courts. You peruse weekly crime reports and follow the national conversation on homeland security.  You tap into related blogs and websites.

Think you’re ready?

You may be, but you might want to listen to these five TED talks for a little added insight and inspiration. Chances are you’ll take away a thing or two that will stick with you for a long time.     


1. Why Smart Statistics Are The Key To Fighting Crime

Anne Milgram knows a thing or two about crime – she worked as a criminal prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office and at the U.S. Department of Justice.

In 2007, when Milgram was appointed New Jersey’s Attorney General, she quickly discovered a system that relied too often on instinct and insight, rather than reams of available data, to make important decisions about criminals and public safety.  That realization was the beginning of an ongoing quest to bring data and analytics to the U.S. criminal justice system, to help make streets safer, reduce prison costs and make the system fairer and more just.

It’s a vision she calls “moneyballing criminal justice.”

(12:41)

 

2. The Fiction Of Memory

Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist who studies false memories, tells the story of a man arrested and jailed for a rape he didn’t commit.  In this informative talk, Loftus shares startling stories and statistics, and discusses compelling research on what makes people remember things that didn’t happen or remember them differently from the way they really were.  

(17:36)

 

3. How To Make Work-Life Balance Work 

Nigel Marsh, Regional group CEO of Young and Rubican Brands for Australia and New Zealand, believes too many people work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to buy things they don’t need. In this inspirational talk, Marsh humorously lays out his vision of a perfectly balanced day and encourages listeners to take charge of their work-life balance – finding ways to effectively carve out time for family, personal interests and work.

(10:05)

 

4. Why Eyewitnesses Get It Wrong

Scott Frasier knows the accuracy of eyewitness testimony can mean the difference between life and death for someone convicted of a crime. A forensic psychologist and expert witness, Fraser researches what’s real and what’s selective when it comes to crime and human memory. In this fascinating talk, Fraser tells the story of a deadly shooting that put an innocent man in jail, and the dramatic re-enactment of the crime 20 years later that helped set him free. Even close-up eyewitnesses to a crime, Fraser cautions, can create “memories” they could not have possibly seen.

(20:50)

 

5.  The Dangers Of “Willful Blindness”

Research suggests that 85% of people, when they know something is wrong, turn a blind eye. In this powerful talk, Margaret Heffernan, the former CEO of five businesses, tells the story of Gayla Benefield, an ordinary person who uncovered a terrible secret about her hometown that meant its mortality rate was 80 times higher than anywhere else in the United States.  And despite hard facts and compelling evidence, no one wanted to hear what Benefield had to say. Heffernan talks about the dangers of “willful blindness,” shares some stunning examples and salutes the whistle-blowers – ordinary people who care.

(14:38)

What did you think about any of these speakers? Are they any other Ted Talks you’d recommend?

Image Credit: Will Brenner on Flickr

Other posts you may be interested in:

Five Things Every Graduating Criminal Justice Student Needs To Know

Criminal Justice Careers: What's It Like To Be An FBI Agent?

Exploring Criminal Justice Careers In Federal Law Enforcement

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