Netherlands to treat aggressive felons with food supplements

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The Ministry of Security and Justice will begin using combinations of vitamin mineral supplements in the hopes of reducing aggression in convicted criminals. The ministry says the program has not been undertaken anywhere in the world, and is based on research suggesting additional fatty acids and food supplements can lead to a drop in exhibited aggressive behaviour, according to the Volkskrant.

“We are the first country to step out of the laboratory and into practice,” Ap Zaalberg of the ministry’s scientific research center told the paper. Zaalberg studied the topic for his doctoral research, and showed a 34 percent fall in aggressive incidents among those inmates who participated in his scientific experiment.

The study is to begin next year. Zaalberg hopes it will also help curb violence and abusive behavior at correctional facilities, where a fourth of prisoners report abuse.

Five adult prisons and two juvenile detention centers will participate. It will coincide with a similar Leiden study to determine if long-term psychiatric patients can be treated in a similar manner.