An Overview of Recent National and International Research on the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility

Kelly Orts, University of New Haven

 

What is a child? There is worldwide variation in how a "child" is defined differently from an "adult." The factors taken into consideration when creating this definition differ even further (Morgan, 2010). The varying cultures, societal norms, histories, economies, and political climates create challenges to establishing a globally accepted juvenile justice system. There is a societal understanding that children differ from adults and should, therefore, receive different and separate treatment (Morgan, 2010). Juvenile justice systems, child welfare systems, and other protective services for youth were created on the basis that children lack the maturity, rights, responsibility, and capacity of adults. The common goal in addressing youthful behavior is for systems to focus on rehabilitating and supporting the child and his or her family. With this in mind, the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) and the age of criminal majority (ACM) set the boundaries of entry into the juvenile justice system.

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On the Criminalization of Homelessness

Criminalization of Homelessness

Thomas Dutcher, University of New Haven

"It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life … and those who are in the shadows of life—the sick, the needy and the handicapped" (Vice President Humphry as cited in Platt & Library of Congress, 1989). The importance of studying the criminalization of homelessness and persons experiencing homelessness,[1] particularly through coercive care tactics, is revealed through Humphry’s words. He argues from a moralistic perspective, finding it to be the duty of the state in creating its legitimacy to protect vulnerable populations, such as persons experiencing homelessness. A Marxist interpretation of the importance of this topic would argue that capitalistic societies create "those without,” establishing perennial homelessness, and its criminalization will not change this fact (Lynch & Michalowski, 2010). From a human rights perspective, we find importance in examining how persons experiencing homelessness also perceive the police to be barriers to services they may be attempting to receive (Welsh & Abdel-Samad, 2018).

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Evolution of the Evidence-Based Movement Interviews Series #2

Evolving Evidence-Based Movement

Interview with Mark M. Lowis, LMSW, Evidence-Based Implementation Specialist

 

  1. Can you please summarize the work you do, both for Joyfields Institute and the Evidence-Based Professionals Society, and in your regular work life?

As a contact-level practitioner, I am able to provide staff training and development on evidence-based practices that involve practitioner skills for guiding dialog to promote changes in behaviors necessary for recovery of critical life functions lost to disabling symptoms and conditions.  Engagement, commitment to change, follow-through, participation, etc. are all in the choice and control of an individual.  In the State of Michigan, I am responsible to ensure that practitioners are using the most effective evidence-based practices for Adult Mental Health Services provided by the public health system.  That includes providing regional, local, and state-wide training and consulting for a variety of evidence-based practices, providing evaluation of practice, and funding opportunities for improvement through Federal and State Grant funding.

  1. Why and how did you first become interested in evidence-based approaches? What specific evidence-based approaches do you focus upon in your current work?

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Evolution of the Evidence-Based Movement Interviews Series #3

Evolution of Evidence-Based Movement

Interview with David L. Myers, PhD, University of New Haven Professor and Director of the Criminal Justice PhD Program

 

  1. Can you please summarize the work you do, both for Joyfields Institute and the Evidence-Based Professionals Society, and in your regular work life?

I provide training, consulting, and evaluation services in the area of evidence-based organizational development. In collaborating with criminal justice and human service agencies, I assist with enhancing the use of evidence-based approaches, assessing organizational culture and climate, implementing strategic and action plans, and evaluating organizational outcomes. At the University of New Haven, I am a Professor and Director of the Criminal Justice PhD Program. I teach graduate-level courses on research methods, statistics, and criminal justice policy, planning, and evaluation. My recent research has focused on community corrections, reentry, juvenile justice/delinquency, and use of evidence-based programs and practices.

  1. Why and how did you first become interested in evidence-based approaches? What specific evidence-based approaches do you focus upon in your current work?

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Evaluation Results from the Somerset County Day Reporting Center

Evaluation on day-reporting
Day Reporting Evaluation
  • David L. Myers, PhD, University of New Haven
  • Daniel R. Lee, PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Dennis M. Giever, PhD, New Mexico State University

In September 2015, Somerset County, PA, received a 3-year “Smart Supervision: Reducing Prison Populations, Saving Money, and Creating Safer Communities” grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (under the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs). The goals of this funding program, now known as the “Innovations in Supervision Initiative” (ISI), are to develop and test innovative strategies and implement evidence-based probation and parole approaches. In turn, ISI seeks to improve supervision success rates and increase community safety, by effectively addressing client risk, needs, and recidivism. Receipt of grant funding in Somerset County followed previous successful efforts directed at justice system strategic planning, cross-systems mapping, and implementation of evidence-based approaches.

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Bullying and Its Correlation with School Violence

Dr. George Froggé, Austin Peay State University

 

Abstract

This study examined bullying and its correlation with school violence.  Students at a mid-sized state university, in the southeast region of the United States, were surveyed to determine the different types of bullying they might have experienced:  face-to-face at school, by phone or text, and online through social media.  Consideration was given to the frequency of bullying type(s) and retaliatory incidents occurring because of a bullying offense.  The results indicated that face-to-face bullying at school was more prevalent than phone or text and social media bullying. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents reported knowing or witnessing a retaliatory incident due to a bullying offense.

Introduction

American schools are supposed to provide a warm, friendly, nurturing environment, so our children may learn and grow up to be responsible citizens.  Instead, some of our country’s schools have become scenes of death and destruction because of shooting incidents. School violence and safety has become an important educational issue and affects everyone in our country.  Prior research has pointed to the notion of bullying as a contributing factor for school violence (Burgess et al., 2006; Harter et al., 2003; Leary et al., 2003; Sandler & Alpert, 2000).

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Evolution of the Evidence-Based Movement Interviews Series #1

Interview with Sobem Nwoko, President, Joyfields Institute, and Founder, Evidence-Based Professionals Society

 

Please summarize the work you complete and the mission of Joyfields Institute and the Evidence-Based Professionals Society:

I have the good fortune to work with some very talented and committed individuals to understand, inform, and shape the field and other professionals on proven approaches for helping clients they work with be successful. Both companies are vehicles for doing the work. While Joyfields distributes specific evidence-based solutions for organizations and their employees through on-site and online training, programs implementation and organizational performance assessments, the EBPSociety caters to the broader community of evidence-based professionals, and produces live events designed to regularly bring them together to train, acquire professional credentials for their evidence-based expertise, and share lessons learned as they network with each other. The events include EB Pathways, with its two nested Masterclasses for Practitioners and Organizations. The Society also has an active blog and online resources the community is able to access 24/7. The Society also houses an online BETA membership that caters to the community featuring an online e-learning platform for ongoing evidence-based education (updates to come in 2020).

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Tackle the Root Causes of Juvenile Delinquency: Family-Based Early Intervention

Tackling juvenile delinquency

Tianyin Yu, University of New Haven

Executive Summary

Early onset of delinquent behavior is a predictor of chronic offending. To maximize the cost-effective benefits in fighting crime, policies need to take a proactive, multifaceted approach starting as early as the prenatal stage, with three concerns in mind – improving physical health of mother and child, improving family environment/parenting skills, and improving pre-school education. This policy brief is intended to reach the decision makers in the United States Department of Justice. Adequate funding should be set aside for family-based programs that start as early as the prenatal stage and continue across early childhood (5 years old). For cost effectiveness, programs should adopt a narrow targeting strategy and enroll populations at the highest risk: low-income, teenage mothers with no previous births.

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Mindful or Suicidal: Recommendations for Improved Mental Health among Police Officers

Mindful or suicidal

Ewa K. Zielinska, University of New Haven

Executive Summary 

Despite multiple national initiatives, the suicide rate among police officers remains constant and higher than line of duty deaths. Recent research identifies mindfulness techniques as an effective way to improve mental health, including the risk factors of depression and suicide. While a significant portion of resources and funding are allocated to ensure the safety and physical fitness of officers, including firearms training and physical fitness programs, there is a limited number of holistic programs that ensure officers’ mental health wellness. Based on current research and pioneer initiatives, this document explores the following question: What role can mindfulness practices play in reducing the risk of suicide among police officers? The document concludes with recommendations for law enforcement agencies, including implementation of evidence-based mindfulness practices and cultivation a pro-wellness work etiquette. 

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Body-Worn Cameras in State Correctional Agencies

Police and body cams

Kristi L. Greenberg, University of New Haven

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to inform and advise state correctional agencies about the known use of body worn cameras (BWCs) and how they can be utilized to address some of the major problems that are faced within correctional settings. Discussions of what is known about the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), use of force, and staff burnout are offered, along with consideration of policing research on the use of BWCs, its advantages and disadvantages, and how state correctional agencies can benefit. Policy recommendations are offered that include a phased roll out of BWCs in pilot facilities, with monitoring and evaluation plans, in conjunction with enhanced training.

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