Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #418
CE Offered: BACB

Stereotypes Can Kill: Processes of Injustice in Criminal Trials

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Todd A. Ward, Ph.D.
Chair: Todd A. Ward (bSci21 Media, LLC)
JOHN HAGEDORN (University of Illinois at Chicago)
John Hagedorn is professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has conducted research on gangs and violence for the past 30 years. He has written three books and edited two books on gangs: People & Folks, A World of Gangs, The In$ane Chicago Way: The Daring Plan by Chicago Gangs to Create a Spanish Mafia, Female Gangs in America, and Gangs in the Global City. Additionally, he has written many scholarly and popular articles. He has consulted on more than 65 criminal trials, a majority concerning gang-related homicides. His website,, has the motto of “research not stereotypes.” Before earning his Ph.D. in Urban Studies, he was a civil rights and peace activist and organized against police abuse. He and his wife live in Milwaukee and have 6 children and 8 grandchildren.

Judges and juries easily accept information that is consistent with stereotypes but tend to resist information that is inconsistent with them. When groups like gangs, terrorists, or prostitutes are demonized the facts become framed in a manner that a guilty verdict or severe sentence becomes likely. Experience in dozens of gang-related trials is drawn on to confirm how stereotypes can produce processes of injustice. Language from police interrogations, prosecutor's arguments, and Hagedorn's court testimony are examined to explain how in gang-related criminal trials it is often the frames that matter not the facts. When the frames are hard, Lakoff says, the facts sometimes bounce off.

Target Audience:

Certified Behavior Analysts and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: Pending.



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