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The Future of Mental Health Treatment in the Criminal Justice System: A Restorative Approach

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It is a tragic reality that many individuals in the criminal justice system suffer from a mental illness. As a result, both mental health programs and mental health courts have been developed in response to the increasing number of individuals

It is a tragic reality that many individuals in the criminal justice system suffer from a mental illness. As a result, both mental health programs and mental health courts have been developed in response to the increasing number of individuals in the criminal justice system that are suffering from a mental illness. The first objective of this review is to discuss the background on mental illness as it relates to the criminal justice population, and to understand the common causes of incarceration amongst the mentally ill, including the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1960s, the unavailability of intermediate and long-term hospitalization in state hospitals, more formal and rigid criteria for civil commitment, a lack of adequate support systems and access to mental health treatment in the community, and the high recidivism rates by these types of offenders. Considering these causes, another objective of this review is to compare and contrast the United States' first mental health courts, including those in Broward County, Florida, King County, Washington, San Bernardino, California, and Anchorage, Alaska, by ultimately focusing on the origins of each court, the stages of intervention, methods of entry, competency evaluations, treatment approaches, and disposition of charges. From there, this review considers the differences between the courts and proceeds with a synthesis of the common and recurring themes between them, and then ends with recommendations specific to the mental health court system on practices that can be implemented or altered in order to encourage a more effective form of justice for the mentally ill, and a discussion of the policy solutions that have already been proposed to address the problem.

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2018-05

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A Clash of United States-United Kingdom Criminal Justice Systems: A Way Forward to Better Justice

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The United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have a long and complicated history, but through this they have learned an abundance of things from each other. In this paper, I will argue that the two countries still have

The United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have a long and complicated history, but through this they have learned an abundance of things from each other. In this paper, I will argue that the two countries still have much to learn from each other to this day about how to enforce the law and manage crime. An important structure that the United Kingdom helped influence the United States in was the development of their criminal justice system. Although the two country’s values differ, there are great similarities in the ways the two countries deal with crime but numerous differences as well. Looking deeper into the differences between the two systems can help future research identify new and innovative ways to combat crime and actively reduce crime rates. This paper will compare violent crime rates in the USA and UK for four years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Doing so will provide evidence regarding the degree to which the police in each country have been able to effectively enforce the law. After evaluating these differences, I will conclude with a discussion of the key items that I believe each country should take from the other to create a path forward to better justice. Our societies are constantly evolving, creating a necessity to progress our laws and aspects of the criminal justice system, and examining internal workings will only tell so much. There is never a reason to stop learning from each other, which is why this type of research is important.

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2019-05

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When Music Takes the Stand: An Examination of Rap's Influence in Court Cases

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Hip-hop’s popularity has been steadily increasing since the late 1980s, with it becoming the most streamed genre of music in 2017. This rise in popularity is matched by an increase in the number of criminal court cases which implement one

Hip-hop’s popularity has been steadily increasing since the late 1980s, with it becoming the most streamed genre of music in 2017. This rise in popularity is matched by an increase in the number of criminal court cases which implement one of hip-hop’s primary features, rap, as evidence. In order to build upon prior research regarding rap music’s implications in legal proceedings and begin to understand what impact this phenomenon might have, this study examines the function of rap music within a sample of court cases. The research was conducted using a qualitative content analysis. The sample consists of 184 criminal cases from a five-year-period selected from the LexisNexis®Academic database. From these cases, 7 principal patterns were established: (1) gang affiliation, (2) descriptions of criminal acts, (3) impermissible character evidence, (4) criminal intent, (5) threats, (6) artistic expression, and (7) inciting incidents. Each of these patterns was examined and analyzed with respect to the function of rap evidence within each case. Among these patterns, the most common was rap evidence bearing gang affiliation, and the least common was rap’s direct use in incidents which resulted in a criminal charge. Most cases, with its use as a threat being the major exception, appeared to implement rap as a supplementary piece of evidence. The analysis demonstrated that the increased usage of rap evidence in the criminal proceedings attests to the significant impact that the hip-hop genre can have a have on individual cases. This impact is defined by the function of rap evidence, and in this sense the contextual and historical significance of rap music becomes a factor in how it is utilized as a tool in the legal system.

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2018-05

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Scientific Detail and Juror Decision-Making in Capital Scenarios

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By providing vignettes with manipulated scientific evidence, this research examined if including more or less scientific detail affected decision-making in regards to the death penalty. Participants were randomly assigned one of the two manipulations (less science and more science) after

By providing vignettes with manipulated scientific evidence, this research examined if including more or less scientific detail affected decision-making in regards to the death penalty. Participants were randomly assigned one of the two manipulations (less science and more science) after reading a short scenario introducing the mock capital trial and their role as jury members. Survey respondents were told that a jury had previously found the defendant guilty and they would now deliberate the appropriate punishment. Before being exposed to the manipulation, respondents answered questions pertaining to their prior belief in the death penalty, as well as their level of support of procedural justice and science. These questions provided a baseline to compare to their sentencing decision. Participants were then asked what sentence they would impose \u2014 life in prison or death \u2014 and how the fMRI evidence presented by an expert witness for the defense affected their decision. Both quantitative and qualitative measures were used to identify how the level of scientific detail affected their decision. Our intended predictor variable (level of scientific detail) did not affect juror decision-making. In fact, the qualitative results revealed a variety of interpretations of the scientific evidence used both in favor of death and in favor of life. When looking at what did predict juror decision-making, gender, prior belief in the death penalty, and political ideology all were significant predictors. As in previous literature, the fMRI evidence in our study had mixed results with regards to implementation of the death penalty. This held true in both of our manipulations, showing that despite the level of detail in evidence intended for mitigation, jurors with preconceived notions may still disregard the evidence, and some jurors may even view it is aggravating and thus increase the likelihood of a death sentence for a defendant with such brain abnormalities.

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2016-12