- Published: June 5, 2015
In Saudi Arabia, psychological disorders are often understood as the results of a person finding himself somehow outside the traditional circle of family and community. Most of the counseling that the inmates receive is focused on helping them to develop more healthful family relationships. “We use Western psychiatric techniques together with Islamic techniques,” T. M. Otayan, the center’s staff psychologist, says, referring to the intensive religion classes. A number of the inmates have received diagnoses of antisocial personality disorder, he adds, but he claims serious mental illness among the former jihadists is rare.Essentially, the center is trying to reintegrate these men back into society. This is an interesting initiative to monitor, because if it is successful it would have far-reaching effects. It is also interesting to note how other countries structure their criminal legal system. Initiatives such as this could also become far more effective as the lessons and technologies of neuroscience become more widely available. This topic touches on the sensitive topic of morality. Often, in discussions about morality and the law, people tend to base their discussions on what their culture and society values as moral. However, the research conducted on morality and behavior applies to all human beings and it will be interesting to see how different ideologies and societies come to terms with new advances in neuroscience.