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Police and Mental Health Professionals Respond to Calls Together

Occasionally, those suffering from a mental illness encounter situations that prevent them from maintaining control of how their illness impacts the. Those around the person in crisis may not know how to help in these cases. When situations escalate, the best course of action is to contact a trained professional. Previously, the only reasonable option was to contact a psychiatric doctor. Today, the best option may be to call 9-1-1. A meta analysis studying police and mental health professionals co-responding to 9-1-1 calls, reported that between seven and 31 percent involved someone with a mental illness (Shapiro et al, 2015). That number is increasing in...

Theories of Crime Causation

Trait Theory Trait Theory is a “view that criminality is a product of abnormal biological or psychological traits” (Siegel. Pg. 127). Every individual has their own biological makeup and unique psychology. This theory states that people commit crimes because of certain personality traits, or a person’s character. Sociobiology supports this theory because it explains that behavioral traits are shaped by both inherited traits and the environment, biology and genetics affect how social behaviors are learned and perceived, behavior is determined by the need to ensure survival of offspring and replenishment of the gene pool. The biology, environment and ability to learn are mutually interdependent factors....

New York Attack Leads to Federal Terrorist Offense

Uzbekistan immigrant, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, from New Jersey, was charged with a terrorist offense after investigators uncovered evidence that he supplied material support to ISIS. Saipov was charged on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in a civilian courtroom instead of a military system setup which is standard for foreign terrorists. He went before Magistrate Judge Barbara C. Moses for the court proceeding. Although the court provided a Russian interpreter Saipov communicated with Judge Moses in English as she read the charges against him: “one count of providing material support to terrorists and one count of violence and destruction of a motor vehicle causing death.” In New York City...

Racial Inequalities and the Future of Solitary Confinement

Using statistics from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, K.A. Reiter was able to determine what race the prisoners and parolees are, the amount of time they were placed in solitary confinement, and how often they were released. Reiter found that every month in California 75 prisoners are released directly from solitary confinement straight to parole (Reiter 2012, n.p.). According to Reiter , there are three ways in which you will be able to leave solitary confinement: parole, snitching (i.e. debriefing) or death. Furthermore, Reiter’s research shows that in California, “Hispanics” are disproportionately more likely to spend time in the Special Housing Units (SHU),...

Isolation and suicide

Many studies on the interaction between the kind of housing an inmate is placed in and reports of suicide and self-mutilation show that there is often a coloration with solitary confinement and isolated housing (Haney 2003). When comparing those who commit suicide in the general population versus inmates placed in solitary confinement two researchers, Bonta and Gendreau, stated the following: “Inmate suicides for a 20-year period in the United States were at a rate of 17.5 per 100,000 inmates in contrast to 11 per 100,000 people in the general population”(Bonta, Gendreau 1990, p. 19). In a quantitative study done by researchers Smith, Wolford-Clevenger, Mandracchia and...

The Effects of Solitary Confinement

The effects of solitary confinement (i.e. isolation, segregation, supermax) on human beings has been debated and studied for years. Appelbaum pointed out that even though the consequences of solitary confinement are well-known the United States has increased the number of inmates placed in solitary confinement dramatically (Appelbaum 2015, n.p.). The consequences inmates placed in solitary confinement face, based on the research of many professionals in the field of psychology as well as neuroscience are the following: psychological effects, social and emotional effects, self-harm, suicide, mental illness and many other. In fact, the National Academy of Sciences in 2014 found that long term isolation or...

Theories of Ensuring Safety in Supermax Housing

Research has shown that there has never been an intended goal set for the use of supermax housing and solitary confinement, although researchers do agree that most prison officials and policy makers “justify supermaxes on the grounds that they serve to ‘control’ the ‘worst of the worst’” (Mears 2013, p. 7). As Appelbaum states in his research, “the arguments in support of solitary confinement fall into three main categories: it ensures the safety of the inmate and others, it can effect behavioral change, and it is a punishment for infractions” (Applebaum 2015, para. 5). Although many people believe that the inmates placed in solitary...

The Mental and Emotional Impact of Solitary Confinement on Inmates in...

There are 80,000 prisoners minimum that are living out their sentences in a form of isolation and confinement, as well as 25,000 prisoners in super maximum-security prisons (Mears 2013, n.p.). Solitary confinement, also called ‘segregation’, is usually defined by an inmate who spends 22-24 hours of their daily lives confined to a small cell, without sunlight, books, music or human interaction (Appelbaum 2015, n.p.). Although there is an extensive amount of research proving that the consequences of solitary confinement are profoundly negative, much of the Unites States still uses it. This is one of the major social issues of our time that is largely...

Marsy’s Law and Victim Rights

To many, it may seem that the accused have more rights than victims. After all, defendants are guaranteed a plethora of rights that are outlined in the U.S. Constitution; from initial contact with law enforcement to sentencing and appeal. Victims, on the other hand, have rights under various passed acts and State Constitutions. What role does the victim play and what rights do victims have? The role of a victim in the criminal justice process is completely voluntary and the extent of victim involvement will vary in terms of case circumstances, respective jurisdictional customs and practices, and social views and media influence that is exerted onto...

Does Free Speech Come at The Cost of Public Safety?

The First Amendment protects many forms of speech, applicable to citizens of all states under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. As case law continues to define its intent and limitations, however, it is imperative to consider that the following types of speech are not within the reach of First Amendment protections: use of words that provoke actions to harm others, the manufacture, creation and distribution of obscene materials, burning draft cards in protest against war, permitting students to print school newspaper articles that go against the guidance of school administrators, obscene natured speeches made by students at school sponsored events and students advocating...