Why People Do Bad Things

RSA Event


Great Room Auditorium, RSA House

  • Institutional reform
  • Prisons
  • Public services


What informs our views on crime? Why do myths prevail across the political spectrum? How can we begin to understand crime for what it is – as a risk that can be managed and, more importantly, reduced?

From the wide-spread misconception that poverty causes crime to the belief that tougher prison sentences reduce it, Tom Gash marries real-life policy-making experience with research to challenge our perceptions of crime. After years of experience working at the heart of government, he argues that crime can be less rational and much easier to reduce than many people believe, and that there are small changes that can be made to achieve a dramatic decrease in wrongdoing.

In this talk at the RSA, policy adviser Tom Gash analyses how our obsession with universal rules to explain crime's causes can lead us to irreversible mistaken individual cases.


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