Six Step Model to Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention refers to the methods that are implemented to offer short term assistance to a victim that is suffering physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral distress.  Many trauma victims are not capable of coping with the effects of the crisis on their own accord and are in dire need of psychological assistance and support. (James & Gilliland, 2013)  Clinicians must display a series of skills that enable them to successfully support their client.   This paper will review a case study found in the Journal of Individual Psychology in which the clinician utilized Gilliland’s Six Step Model of crisis intervention and proved this method successful.

In the article titled, “Integrating Crisis Theory and Individual Psychology: An Application and Case Study”, provided by the journal we are introduced to Kate, a young adult that is currently in her second year of an undergraduate program.  Kate remains focused and strives to accomplish her educational goals and remain a prime example for her younger siblings.  Kate’s mother is very involved in her life and expects Kate to complete her degree and establish a career before focusing on building a family.  Kate feels a lot of pressure from the expectations held by her parents, specifically her mother.  These expectations have made it difficult for Kate to cope with the news of being pregnant, and shortly after the miscarriage.  In fear that she is a disappointment and shaming her family she has experienced difficulty focusing on class assignments, become withdrawn from friends and family, has trouble sleeping, and extreme anxiety.

Individuals like Kate often have difficulty in adapting to new challenges and environments.  Instead they adhere to the adaptive ways of their family upbringing; causing difficulty in coping with an uncomfortable situation.   (Parikh & Morris, 2011)  Individuals become more involved in the role they play in their family unit and the rules of the family culture, rather than themselves as an individual.  Kate’s crisis has become difficult to work through on her own based on the connection that bonds her with members of her family and her individual role.  Kate very distraught with her current situation has reached out to the counselor at the university.  Luciana, the campus counselor has been supporting Kate and helping her discover new coping mechanisms that will allow her to work through the pregnancy crisis.

Luciana has utilized the six step model in order to help Kate.  Using the six step model, Luciana focuses on listening, interpreting, and responding in a systematic manner to assist Kate in order to return her to a pre-crisis psychological state.  As we have learned from James & Gilliand (2013) we know that the six step model is split into two phases; the listening phase and the action phase.  During the listening phase, Luciana defines the problem, ensures Kate’s safety, and provides support.  In defining the problem, active listening is critical.  While defining the problem, Luciana has discovered Kate’s inner most feelings are contributing to her fear of being a bad person and helps understand what the true crisis is.  In step two, the counselor focuses on ensuring the client’s safety.  Luciana makes a professional assessment to conclude Kate is in no way harmful to herself or others.  In fact, Kate is so worried about her social role with her family and friends that she would in no way want to sadden those in her social circle.  There is also no history of suicidal thoughts or plans.  She has been cleared of any physical harm.  In step three, Luciana established herself as a support system.   This stage is critical to gain the client’s trust, as the counselor remains positive without passing judgement.  By empathizing with her client, Luciana is successful in addressing hidden fears and helps avoid social rejection.  In the action phase the counselor will actively develop a plan of action through brainstorming and commitment.  By looking at the situation and the individuals that have already stepped up to provide support for Kate during the crisis, Luciana’s able to establish an ongoing support system in Kate’s social circle. Although, the two have never spoken about the miscarriage, Kate believes her mom is aware of the situation and has been comforting Kate.   Kate is terrified of how her friends will take the news that she caused the miscarriage due to her irresponsible actions.  Luciana focuses on the same fear that Kate bestowed regarding the initial news that she was pregnant.  The friends that found out about the pregnancy were supportive.  Challenging Kate to focus on alternative responses helps prepare her for a more positive and controlled situation.  In stage five, Luciana empowers Kate, by enabling her with control of how much information she will share with her social network of close friends and family in order to work through the crisis.  Finally, Kate is able to commit to a plan of action in which she will journal each day, tell a friend about the miscarriage, thank her mother for her kind actions, and email her professors to get an extension on the assignments she has missed.

The six-step model has been an effective approach to working through Kate’s personal crisis.  Kate was able to work through her fears and evaluate alternative solutions in order to remain connected and in control of her social life.  By working through each step she was able to redefine herself and find meaningful ways to cope with the shift in her environment.

In this case study provided by the Journal of Individual Psychology we have established the success of the integrated psychological approach to crisis intervention.  The six step model by Gilliland allows clinicians to redefine problem solving and coping mechanisms empowering clients to overcome a traumatic and critical situation.

References:

James, R. & Gilliland, K. (2013). Crisis Intervention Strategies (7th ed). Cengage Learning Inc. Obtained from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781285404714/pages/56707132

Tedrick Parikh, S. J., & Wachter Morris, C. A. (2011). Integrating Crisis Theory and Individual Psychology: An Application and Case Study. Journal Of Individual Psychology, 67(4), 364-379.

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Family in Crisis

A crisis is defined by Merriam Webster (2015), as an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life that causes trauma.  Merriam Webster continues to define crisis as a difficult or dangerous situation that needs serious attention.  The underlying characteristic of a crisis is resulting in trauma.  When something unexpected occurs it can result in traumatic reactions that affect not just the individual, but those that are in our everyday life, such as family.   James & Gilliland (2013), infer that a crisis can have “many different meanings, to different people” and the reactions can vary from people to people and event to event.   This paper will address how family can effectively deal with a family member in crisis without causing additional harm or trauma.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (2015), tens of millions Americans suffer an emotional crisis each year.  A variety of crises can affect a family, including financial, separation, and health related crises and can test the strength and steadfastness of a family.  There is nothing that is more bothersome then seeing a loved one suffering from deep emotional pain; in fact it can be extremely stressful.  In order to intervene successfully it is imperative to remain calm and remain aware of any sensitivity.  The first step to helping someone in a crisis is to identify the signs.  One of the most common signs is a drastic change in behavior.   An individual suffering an emotional crisis may also neglect personal hygiene practices, change sleep pattern; such as excessive sleeping or not sleeping well, and they may also suffer withdrawal.  Other traumatic events such as a natural disaster or a terrorist attack can result in a crisis in a much shorter period of time.  However, most often the victim’s behavior will change gradually.  It can be found most helpful to look back over the last several months and review the changes of behavior.  Much like Merriam Webster alluded, it is ever so important not to delay and address your concerns immediately.  It is better to intervene early, before your loved one’s emotional distress becomes an emergency situation; in which they cause self-inflicted harm to themselves or others.  Once you have determined your loved one is experiencing a crisis, reaching out and providing support in a non-judgmental way is the best approach in beginning the intervention.   Addressing your concerns with a large group may be stressful and cause more trauma to the individual.  It is suggested by the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (2014) to begin a light hearted conversation one on one with the victim while leading them to open up about the distress and trauma they are experiencing.  The rule of thumb is to allow the loved one to speak while you listen without interrupting, passing judgment, or blame to the victim.

Connecting with your loved one and providing support may help your family member release negative energy and help get a handle on the emotional crisis.  In order to address the inner issues of the crisis further, you can suggest professional help with a psychologist.  Offer to be involved through each step of the process if the individual requests it.  Each person is different and how they work through the emotions with a trained therapist will also vary.  Family members can explain to a reluctant trauma victim that a psychologist has specialized training that makes them an expert in understanding and treating the underlying emotional conflict.  A therapist will teach the victim techniques that will make them skillful in dealing with the challenges as they arise in order to successfully work through uncomfortable situations and avoid trauma.

Working through an emotional crisis with a family member can be extremely stressful for everyone involved in the intervention.  The affects can be overwhelming and do not discriminate.  There may be an extreme rollercoaster of emotions that affect the family including restlessness, anger, and hopelessness.   It can be difficult when the loved one in crisis decides he/she does not need any help and may accuse you of betrayal. (Mayo Clinic, 2014)  Families may be torn apart during the crisis and may suffer extreme trauma.  It is important for families to remain focused on every day responsibilities and be prepared for a negative response to the intervention, but never give up hope.

When working through a crisis families should remain united and provide emotional support to the loved one suffering.  It can be difficult, but remaining patient and direct will help everyone manage the crisis together.  It is important to care for all personal needs including: physical, emotional, and social throughout the intervention and healing process.  Healthy families keep sound minds and are able to cope better and the road to recovery will be speedily.

References:

Define Crisis. (2015, January 11). Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crisis

James, R. & Gilliland, B. (2013). Crisis Intervention Theories. (7th ed.). Cengage Learning Inc. Obtained from https://online.vitalsource.com

Statistics. (2015, April 12). Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/index.shtml#Intro

Dealing with Crisis and Traumatic Events. (2014). Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://www.aaets.org/article164.htm

Who should be on the intervention team? (2014, September 26). Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/in-depth/intervention/ART-20047451?pg=2

Criminal Law

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The United States legal system is divided in to two fundamental types of court cases: civil suits and criminal cases.  Civil suits are used to resolve disputes between private parties due to someone’s negligence and criminal cases are government’s way of determining whether an individual has committed a crime and how the individual should be punished.  This paper will review a scenario involving Officer Jones and identify four crimes and a civil action.

In this case the victim approaches the officer with a blood stained shirt and lacerations to her lip and provides details of a crime that did not occur.  In an attempt to protect her husband for the crime he committed against her, she commits perjury and conjures up a story of a crime that never took place.  She states that she was robbed and beaten by a man wearing a ski mask and provides a rough description of the suspect wearing white pants and a dark shirt.  Under Florida Statute 837.05 (2015) falsifying a police report to a law enforcement officer is a criminal act and is classified as a first degree misdemeanor.  This white collar crime is considered an obstruction of justice and is punishable by law as defined in Florida Statute 775.083 (2015) with penalties of up to one year incarceration or twelve months’ probation, and a $1,000 fine.  The burden to prove the offense of false police report lies on the prosecution.  In order to prosecute the following four elements must be established:

  • The individual being accused willfully gave false information about an alleged crime.
  • The individual making the false police report knew no such crime had been committed.
  • The information was given directly to a law enforcement officer.
  • The individual knew they were providing the information for the false police report to a law enforcement officer.

The women in this scenario willfully approached the uniformed officer and provided details of a crime she knew did not occur, thus she can be convicted in the state of Florida for falsifying a police report.

The second crime that is observed in this scenario is resisting a law enforcement officer.  In the state of Florida this crime is divided into two categories, resisting a law enforcement officer with violence and resisting a law enforcement officer without violence.  In this case the officer pegged a man that matched the description that the victim provided during her report.  The officer approached the potential suspect and commanded him to stop identifying himself as a police officer.  The suspect did not adhere to the officer’s command and continued to walk away.  The individual is considered to be obstructing justice and is resisting and officer without violence according to Florida Statute 843.02 (2015), which states:

“Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer or other person legally authorized to execute process, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.”

In many criminal cases, resisting an officer without violence is used as an added offense to supplement other charges the suspect may be prosecuted with in order to secure a conviction.  Resisting an officer is an allegation that can be proven solely based on the officer’s testimony in court.   In addition to these charges, the officer can charge the suspect for possession with intent to sell, as the suspect was apprehended with a baggie of cocaine and a cell phone on his person.  We will discuss the crime of possession with intent to sell in depth in the next section of this paper.  Resisting an officer is considered a first degree misdemeanor and is punishable by law as defined in Florida Statute 775.083 (2015) with penalties of up to one year incarceration and a $1,000 fine.    Many first time offenders will also receive a permanent blemish on their record of the conviction for resisting an officer without violence.  When taken to trial, prosecutors must establish the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict the individual of the crime:

  • The suspect resisted or opposed the police officer.
  • The officer was engaged in executing the legal process.
  • The officer was legally authorized to execute.
  • The suspect knew at the time that the individual executing the process was an officer of the law.

The suspect in this case resisted the police officer when he ignored the officer’s instruction to stop and continued to walk away.  The individual was fully aware that he was being stopped by a police officer and the officer was executing the law.  Due to these elements he can be convicted of resisting a law enforcement officer in the state of Florida.

When the suspect was apprehended he was found with a baggie of cocaine and a cell phone.  Under Florida Statute 893.13 (2015), it is considered unlawful for an individual to sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess a controlled substance, such as cocaine (cannabis).  Possession of cannabis with intent to deliver or sell is classified as a second degree felony and the offender can be penalized with five to fifteen years’ incarceration, depending on the facts of the case.  In order to prosecute the offender it is imperative to establish the following elements of the crime:

  • The suspect possessed a certain controlled substance with intent to sell.
  • The substance found on the suspect is a controlled substance as defined by Florida law.
  • The defendant displays knowledge of the substance.

The defendant must display intent to sell which can be determined based on evidence found on the person at the time of arrest.  Officer Jones documented that he found a baggie of cocaine and a cell phone which can be assessed that the suspect was using the phone to contact the buyer.  In this scenario the suspect displayed knowledge of the controlled substance and had intent to sell or deliver the cocaine, thus he can be prosecuted and punished to the extent of Florida law.

During further investigation of this case, detectives exposed the victim and recognized that the injuries she suffered were as a result of domestic battery received by her husband.  In the state of Florida it is considered a criminal act to physical harm a family or household member.  Florida statute 741.28 (2015) defines domestic battery as, “any actual and intentional touching or striking of another person without consent, or the intentional causing of harm to another person, when the person struck is a family of household member.”  Under this statute the victim is protected; as she is the wife of the man that struck her and caused the lacerations of her lip.   Domestic battery is considered a first degree misdemeanor and is punishable with penalties including incarceration for up to one year and a $1,000 fine.  The offender will also be required to complete a 26 week Batterer’s Intervention Program, community service, loss of civil liberties, and an injunction order.  In this case the victim will file a proper police report and will work with the State’s Attorney Office to convict the husband of the charges.  All that is needed is a testimony, intent to harm, and proof of the alleged violence and threat to harm the victim.

As we have worked through this case we have established four criminal acts wrapped up in one scenario.  The next underlying question is whether or not civil action is displayed within this case.  A civil suit is when a plaintiff sues an individual for any caused harm.  (Hirby, 2014) Indeed, the victim that falsified the police report can be held accountable for civil action and sued by the man that was shot by the officer.  The man’s injuries were inquired due to the false police report.  He can sue for damages, medical costs, defamation of character, and legal costs.  It also helps that the victim is charged in a criminal act of falsifying a police report.

Criminal law and civil law are two very broad and separate courts of law in the judicial system.  In the scenario provided we identified four crimes that can be executed and punished in a court of law through the state government.  We have also identified a civil action in which the lies and negligence of one individual caused harm onto another.  In providing the elements of the action we are able to prosecute to the extent of the Florida law in criminal or civil courts.

References:

837.05 False reports to law enforcement authorities. (2015, June 1). Retrieved June 25, 2015, from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0800-0899/0837/Sections/0837.05.html

775.083 Fines. (2015, June 1). Retrieved June 25, 2015, from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0775/Sections/0775.083.html

843.02 Resisting officer without violence to his or her person. (2015, May 26). Retrieved June 25, 2015, from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0800-0899/0843/Sections/0843.02.html

893.13 Prohibited acts; penalties.—. (2015, May 26). Retrieved June 29, 2015, from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0800-0899/0893/Sections/0893.13.html

741.28 Domestic violence; definitions.—As used in ss. 741.28-741.31. (2015, May 26). Retrieved June 26, 2015, from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0741/Sections/0741.28.html
Hirby, J. (2014, March 5). What Is Civil Court? Retrieved June 28, 2015, from http://thelawdictionary.org/article/what-is-civil-court/

Criminological Theories

Crime is a very complex phenomenon that has fascinated psychologists for centuries.  In an attempt to explain why individuals follow a deviant and corrupted path experts refer to various theories that can be intertwined and provide insight into the criminal mind.  Theorists believe criminal activity can be linked to one’s genetics, social ties or upbringing, and our deep subconscious.  This paper will review the biological, sociological, and psychological theories of crime causation and describe how it affects human behavior and actions.

A common assumption of biological theories of crime, are that genetics and physical traits play a leading role in one initiating deviant behavior.  In the earlier years of the biological theories, it was suggested that criminal traits were hereditary and passed down from parent to child.  In 1876 Lombroso, an Italian physician claimed criminals are born and were identified with certain physical traits or abnormalities, such as large ears, flattened nose, odd shaped skull, and insensitivity to pain. (Ford, 2013) Individuals with these traits could not resist bad behavior that lead to criminal activity.  In the early 1900’s Sheldon, an American psychologist expanded on Lombroso’s study and concluded that the size and shape of the human body can lead one to deviance.  Specifically, an individual whom is muscular and athletic or portrays an hourglass figure.  There is also the theory that suggests criminals have an extra Y chromosome, giving them an XYY chromosome makeup that possess them to commit crimes. In an attempt to study the relationship between hereditary and crime further, psychologists conducted studies of children that were adopted at a very young age that had no contact with their biological parents and the correlation of criminal activity.  The study included children with criminal biological parents and non-criminal biological parents.  Schulsinger conducted this study in the early 70’s and concluded that only 3.9% of the children with criminal biological parents displayed criminal traits and tendencies, compared to 1.4% of children that had non-criminal biological parents.  (Walters & White, 1989)  In 2007,

Abdelmalek Bayout, an Algerian citizen, who was living in Italy admitted to murder of another citizen.  After in depth testing it was suggested that abnormalities of the brain in which five genes were hosted that contained violent tendencies that led Bayout to murder.  (Feresin, 2009)  The biological theories have come under much scrutiny, as they hold no predictive qualities, because many individuals with attributes that are considered criminal traits do not actually become criminals in life.

The sociological theories justify criminal behavior while focusing primarily on social influences, such as culture, peers, environment, and upbringing when considering the cause of deviant and criminal acts.  Robert Agnew, a social theorist suggested individuals act out in response to a social frustration, commonly known as the strain theory.  They may engage in bad behavior to reduce the stress they are experiencing, such as commit a robbery to ease the stress of financial difficulty or become violent in order to work through suffered harassment.    Individuals also, learn to engage in criminal acts from their social network and peer influences.  Through social learning the crime becomes a desirable act and is justifiable based on the beliefs of the group. Young people are easily exposed to criminal behavior through gang initiations and other close knit groups that have learned no boundaries or respect for the law.  A juvenile may also engage in criminal acts based on observations from a group, media, or even a video game.  Young people are more likely to engage in criminal acts if they are likely to receive a reinforcement, such as social status, financial reward, or increased pleasure.  Negative reinforcement, such as a threat or punishment is also a driven factor that leads to deviant behavior.  In most cases the individual is seeking out approval or attention in some manner from peers, family, or teachers.

Sociological theories also allude that an individual that has been the victim or witness to crimes including, but not limited to neglect, child abuse, alcoholism, or selling drugs are more likely the criminal behavior at some point in their life.  The ability to decipher what is right or wrong has been tainted and the criminal life becomes a norm within the culture and society of the individual.  (Byrne, 2011)  Albert Bandura conducted a social learning study, famously known as the Bobo doll experiment.  He monitored the response of children as the observed a video of a model aggressively interacting with the same doll.  In the video the model hit the doll, beat it with a hammer, kicked it, and shouted erroneous phrases. (Lee, 2013) When the children were invited to the play room without receiving further instruction they began to reenact the same aggressive behavior towards the doll that was observed in the video.  This study supports observational and social learning, which contributes to bad behavior being learned and accepted by the individual.  As goes the old saying, “garbage in, garbage out.”  Ted Bundy, an American serial killer is a prime example for biological theory of crime causation.  As a young child he clung to his grandfather, a man who was a bigot with strong racist beliefs, abused and beat his wife, tortured cats, and was aggressive towards Bundy’s aunt as a young girl.  Ted’s grandfather acted out with violent rage.   Ted Bundy exhibited similar traits at a very young age in life and it was believed that the violent tendencies were learned from his grandfather.  He was disconnected from a parent child bond with his mother as he grew up thinking his mom was his sister.  He was anti-social and suffered a lack of control of his rage.  (Bio, 2013)  Psychological theories of crime causation emphasize the developments from childhood to adulthood of personality traits and defects that contribute to criminal acts. In order to explain criminal behavior, analysts have connected crime to personality traits and have reverted to labeling.  We look for certain characteristics in one’s personality, such as anti-social defects and associate those characteristics with deviance or psychotic behavior.  The level of intelligence can also play a role in the criminal mind, but is considered a negative correlation and is not a reliable factor.  Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believed violent behavior was “the product of “unconscious” forces operating within a person’s mind.” (Ministry of Children and Youth Services, 2010)  Freud claimed that all human beings are born with natural instincts with the desire to satisfy their need for food, shelter, and pleasure.  These instincts are what drive us and are house deep within our unconscious.  It is because of these natural instincts to survive and meet our needs that he believes all humans have criminal tendencies.  Humans will do what they must to survive, without thinking of the altercations.  Freud’s theory suggests there are three levels to our unconscious and they are grouped as the ID, Ego and Superego.  Our Id is the biological, inherited, and unconscious source for our sexual drives and irrational impulses.  The Ego is influenced by non-biological extremities both social and family related that has brought on the basic developmental functions.    A child that has not had the opportunity to socialize starting at a young age may develop a personality disturbance which will cause him or her to have strong antisocial impulses.  They have trouble connecting with other kids their age and the awkwardness and feeling of being unaccepted directs the child to act out in negative ways that are not deemed a social norm or lawful.  Parental involvement is also considered to impact the development of a child mentally and socially.  A child that is disconnected from a parent may have trouble connecting with the world around them and leave them with no regard for the law; where as a child that has been nurtured and loved will grow up to be a caring and respectful citizen.  In a recent case reported by ABA Journal (Hansen, 2006), Dennis Rader, a well-respected man and a deacon at his church is also a well-known serial killer in Wichita Kansas in which he killed ten people.  His serial killer desires were deeply imbedded unconsciously and were triggered when he was denied a law enforcement officer position.  His aggression and extreme impulsive desires controlled his unconscious and forced him into a sadistic and heinous world.

Theorists are driven to understand the causation of crime in individuals.  Having a better understanding and the ability to justify the deviant desires will give criminal justice professional the opportunity to rehabilitate criminals and reduce crime.  The behavioral, social, and psychological theories attempt to explain individual causes, but do not provide concrete explanations and are a source of blame for one’s choices and actions.

References:

Ford M.D., R. (2013, September 16). Biological and Psychological Theories of Crime. Retrieved June 19, 2015, from http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~cjreg/NCbiological.htm

Walters, G., & White, T. (1989, November 3). HEREDITY AND CRIME: BAD GENES OR BAD RESEARCH. Retrieved June 23, 2015, from http://faculty.uml.edu/jbyrne/heredityandcrime.pdf

Byrne. (2011, October 1). Sociological Theories of Sociological Theories of Crime Causation. Retrieved June 23, 2015, from http://faculty.uml.edu/jbyrne/44.521/documents/SociologicalTheoriesofCrimeCausation-2_000.pdf

Lee, D. (2013, June 16). Bobo Doll. Retrieved June 19, 2015, from http://www.personal.psu.edu/bfr3/blogs/asp/2013/06/bobo-doll.html

Review of the Roots of Youth Violence: Literature Reviews. (2010, April 27). Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/youthandthelaw/roots/volume5/chapter02_psychological_theories.aspx

Hansen, M. (2006, April 21). How the Cops Caught BTK. Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/how_the_cops_caught_btk

Ted Bundy. (2013). Retrieved June 24, 2015, from http://www.biography.com/people/ted-bundy-9231165#an-unexpected-killer

Feresin, E. (2009, October 30). Lighter sentence for murderer with ‘bad genes’ Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://www.nature.com/news/2009/091030/full/news.2009.1050.html

The Need for Additional Border Patrol in the United States- Research Methods

Abstract

Border Patrol has become an increasingly hot topic in the United States.  The borders that separate Mexico and the state of Texas are in need of additional border patrol officers, as illegal immigrants are now on the rise.  Texans believe increased border patrol is a necessity to keep their communities and the country safe.  Thus, this true classical design will test whether adding border patrol officer will have an effect on the passage of illegal immigrants into the United States.  Twelve of the twenty six border crossings in Texas will be randomly selected and will be tested for a 6 month span.   The border crossings in the experimental group will be given additional border patrol officers while the border crossings in the control group will remain with no change in number of border patrol officers.  To determine if the illegal immigrant numbers are affected by the additional border patrol officers, the numbers for both groups will be measured at the beginning of the experiment and after the test is completed and statistical data recorded and published by the Border Patrol Agency.

The need for additional Border Patrol in America

Illegal immigration and customs violations are becoming an increasing issue along the borders of the United States of America.  There is much controversy among government officials, with great concern of the vulnerability of America to “the enemy,” such as ISIS.  Enforcing immigration regulations has been an ongoing issue since the beginning of the twentieth century.  This proposal will identify the challenges with open borders and the inspections that are performed on people and goods entering and leaving the United States.

Review of Literature:

 

            Chad C Haddal (2010) a specialist in Immigration Policy of the United States of America described border patrol as the first line of defense against unauthorized migration into America.  Haddal also stated that America is vulnerable due to the lack of legislative funding and border patrol officers.  Haddal (2010) reports in 2010 agencies requested $297 million that would be used to hire 1,000 new Border Patrol agents, $37 million for two new unmanned aerial detection systems, $53 million for 160 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, $6.5 million for 30 new Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers, and $6 million for 20 new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) canine teams to improve border enforcement operations along the Southwest border.  There is a strong desire for additional border patrol agents along Mexico and other bordering regions of America.

The Department of Homeland Security (2015) argues that despite the efforts of the agencies responsible for custom check points they remain ineffective without the border enforcement between inspection points.  As the threats become greater, the Department of Homeland Security is trying to get a grip on the issue of illegal immigrants crossing over the borders.  American border patrol has come far from the Mounted Guards assigned to inspection stations yet, the ability to patrol large vast of land are still a concern

Recently there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children migrating over the border in Texas.  Texas Border Patrol agents are limited and cannot keep watch over the large spans of land.  They are in dire need of Federal assistance.  According to news reporter Hannah Fraser-Chanpong of CBS News (2014) Texas has detained over 500 illegals and apprehended as many as 1,400 people a day.  Many of the illegals that came over the border were unaccompanied children.  Another issue that has been brought up to the government and US citizens is the threat of terrorists crossing the borders of Texas.

Recently James O’ Keefe an American filmmaker demonstrated how easy it is for a terrorist to cross over into America from the Mexican border.  In the video O’Keefe crosses over to Texas in a costume that resembles Osama Bin Laden.  No one stopped him, because there was no patrol man in sight for miles.  “I see no border patrol. I see no security,” O’Keefe (2014) said in the video before donning a bin Laden mask. O’Keefe (2014) continued, “Thousands of people have stood in my footsteps right now. They’ve come from South America, Honduras, Guatemala, and they’ve all crossed the border. And if they can cross, anybody can cross.”

There is a commonality in the arguments shared, America is vulnerable to illegal migration and terrorist threats unless there is increased funding in the border patrol and customs agencies.  By adding border patrol and customs officers the entryways to America along bordering countries will be protected and secured.  Additional patrols will put a stop to illegal drug cartels and other dangers coming into the country.

Problem, Theory, Variables, and Hypothesis:

Problem Statement:  The lack of border patrol agents leaves the borders open and vulnerable to illegal migration and terrorist threats.

Theory:   By adding additional border patrol agents, America’s borders will be more secure and will see a dramatic decrease in illegal immigrant’s crossing over onto American soil.

Independent Variable: 1,000 Border Patrol Officers

Indicator: 1,000 Border Patrol Officers

Dependent Variable:  Illegal Immigrants

Hypothesis:  Border Patrol that add an additional 1,000 Border Patrol Officers are less likely to have illegal immigrants than Border Patrol that do not add an additional 1,000 additional Border Patrol Officers.
Population / Sample:

The population for this proposal is 26 border crossings in the great state of Texas, in which illegal immigrants are utilizing to cross over into the United States of America.  The agency has a master list of the 26 border crossings along Mexico and Texas, so a probability sampling strategy will be utilized for this proposal.  This proposal will explicitly use a simple random sample of 12 border crossings from the master list of 26 border crossings will be used (6 for the experimental group and 6 for the control group) will be tested.

 

Research Design:

True classical design would be best suited for further research into the study of the effects of additional border patrol agents along the borders or America.  By randomly placing an additional 1,000 border patrol agents along America’s borders researchers will collect valuable information that will aide in identifying the additions as a valid solution to tightening up the security along open borders.

 

           

           

 

Data Collection:

 

Existing data will be collected for this proposal.  By utilizing reports measuring the number of illegal immigrants crossing the borders versus the number of border patrol officers it is easy to determine the areas that are weakest and need more coverage.  Statistical data reflecting the number of illegal immigrants will be measured before the experiment and 6 months after the experiment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

 

Haddal, C. (2010, August 11). Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL32562.pdf

Department of Homeland Security. (2015, January 1). Border Patrol History. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://www.cbp.gov/border-security/along-us-borders/history

FRASER-CHANPONG, H. (2014, June 19). Surge in unaccompanied immigrant children pushes Texas border patrol to its limits. Retrieved February 6, 2015, from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/surge-in-unaccompanied-immigrant-children-pushes-texas-border-patrol-to-its-limits/

James O’Keefe crosses US-Mexico border dressed as Bin Laden [Motion picture]. (2014). Http://video.foxnews.com/v/3730174302001/james-okeefe-crosses-us-mexico-border-dressed-as-bin-laden/?#sp=show-clips.

Maxfield, M., & Babbie, E. (2009). Criminal Justice and Scientific Inquiry. In Basics of research methods for criminal justice and criminology (2nd ed., p. 36 and 38). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Supply and Demand Reduction

The war on drugs in America rages on with increased efforts in reducing supply and demand.  Supply reduction is an essential component to drug control.  Whereas, drug reduction is ineffective without limiting the availability of drugs in America. (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 1999)  Quite simply, when the availability of illegal substances is increased so does the usage and abuse.  This paper will discuss key concepts to supply and demand reduction and evaluate how these concepts can be used in the war on drugs.

Supply reduction in the drug market does not work the same as in the economic market.  As Abadinsky (2014) explains the reduction in drug supply will increase the revenue for a drug trafficker as the desire to consume has not been affected.  Supply reduction is a concept that must be utilized domestically and internationally to be successful.  Regulations help control illegal substances from entering the country.  In the US supply reduction includes enforcement of anti-drug laws, eradication of marijuana cultivation, Custom’s inspections of personal belongings and all persons entering the country, and drug free zones in public and private educational facilities.  The Office of National Drug Control Policy (2014) gives incite in the international efforts for supply reduction, which include building consensus, coordinated investigations, anti-money laundering initiatives, and foreign assistance.  Supply reduction disrupts normal operations of the manufacturing, shipping, and distributing of drugs in the United States.  According to the Drug Policy Alliance Group (2015), American drug policy is focusing their efforts in reducing the international drug supply. The idea is to keep the illegal substances from being smuggled in to the country in order to reduce the availability of the drugs and eventually snuffing out the severity of the issue in America.

Demand reduction is challenging to say the least.  The efforts are aimed at reducing the public’s desire for illegal drugs.  Drug reduction in America include supervised treatment centers.  Often time’s mothers and their babies will undergo court ordered treatment in order to detox and resist the urge to get high once clean.  Babies born with an addiction to cocaine or heroin suffer extreme withdrawal symptoms and often times suffer a great deal.  That is why individual states are taking a stand and placing policies to reduce the demand for drugs.  According to Abadinsky (2014) fourteen states require doctors to report any suspicions of drug abuse by a pregnant woman.  Nineteen states have funded drug treatment programs that are designed for pregnant women.   These efforts are focused on driving down the numbers of babies born with an addiction.  Inn 1998 the Department of Education placed new regulations that would affect students with a drug record from receiving financial assistance or student loans for continued education.

It is difficult to say if the war on drugs will ever come to an end.  Officials will never seize all the illegal drugs or stop them from entering the country.  Nor can they stop drug sales on the street, but they can enforce regulations and laws that are in place to control the availability of the drugs within our communities.  There is success in decreasing numbers.  Drug traffickers will always look for a way around the law and move around looking for safe zones in which they can distribute illicit drugs and make money.  Supply and demand reduction are effective in drug prevention when used together.  It is almost impossible to reduce the desire if the supply is not interrupted.  That is why treatment facilities that work to detox drug abusers decrease the supply that is readily available.  Reducing supply may make the price go up and put more money in the pushers pocket, but eventually his supply is affected and these efforts help bring us closer to a drug free America.

Policy makers must continue implementing new strategies that will allow states to shorten the supply and decrease the desired need for illegal drugs in America.  By increasing efforts in customs, along the borders, and on our streets we have the opportunity to diminish the war on drugs as we know it.

References:

Abadinsky, H. (2014). Drug Use and Abuse: A Comprehensive Introduction (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Reducing the Supply of Illegal Drugs. (1999). Retrieved May 9, 2015, from https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/policy/99ndcs/iv-g.html

Supply and Demand. (2015). Retrieved May 12, 2015, from http://www.drugpolicy.org/supply-and-demand

International Drug Policies

Drugs are not just an American problem.  The drug epidemic is nationally bound.  Among the diversity in cultures there is a common goal to reduce the problems that drugs impose on public safety among the European Union.  Each nation has strong opinions on how this goal should be defined and attained.  Due to the strong standings on the issue, we find that drug policies can vary based on the country.  This paper will focus on current national drug policies in Canada, England, and the Netherlands; and compare and contrast the various policies and then provide an assessment of whether or not these policies would be viable to institute in the U.S.

Canada’s federal drug law is bulked up in one main statute dealing with illicit drugs, it is called the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).  This statute is responsible for six offenses including: possession, trafficking, cultivation, importing or exporting, and prescription shopping.  The CDSA modernizes Canadian policy and has been in much demand.  According to Dr. Riley (1998), there was an extreme increase of illicit drug use that affected much of the country.  The use of marijuana spiked from 4.2% to 7% and heroin jumped from .3% to 1%.  Although the numbers seem small, the increase in drug use became very dangerous for public safety.  In fact, the CFDP reported 41% of illicit drug users shared hypoallergenic drug needles, increasing risk of HIV and AIDS.  The CDSA is a means to set consequences for individuals that are found in possession, distribution, and production of marijuana. The Canadian Federal Law guidelines are strictly enforced and anyone found in possession of cannabis of 30 grams or less and have distributed less than 3 kilograms will receive a reduced sentence with maximum jail time of six months and five years.  Canada’s maximum for possession of heroin and cocaine remain at seven years with a maximum sentence of life in prison for distributing the illegal drugs.  (Riley, 1998)  Canada’s law does not prohibit individuals from using other very dangerous and addicting drugs.  Under the CDSA many illicit drugs such as methadone and heroin are prescribed as therapeutic drugs and are used under strict monitoring to aide in rehabilitation and treatment of drug users. It seems as though Canada focuses primarily on cannabis and yet the policies appear much more laid back compared to that of the U.S.

The drug policy in the Netherlands is different, in that it separates the market for illegal drugs.  With a leniency for cannabis, many coffee shops are permitted to sell this drug with few restrictions, as long as they do not create a nuisance to the community and do not push harder drugs.  By separating drugs by categories of soft and hard drugs they are also guiding society to view specific drug use as acceptable means of behavior.  The Opium Act of 1919 has been revised a few times, but the same view remains.  The soft drugs such as cannabis are not as damaging as the hard drugs.  Drugs have been named and listed as list 1 and list 2 and define which drugs are to be viewed as criminal and which ones are socially acceptable as long as they are distributed according to the order.  The Netherlands does allow the use of medicinal drugs for sickness and also treatment for drug addiction.  (Tops, Svensson, & Veldhoen, 2001)The law states that anyone distributing the drug unlawfully can face up to 12 years imprisonment.  In the Netherlands possession and supply are strictly prohibited throughout the country and are viewed as major crimes against policy.  It is also legal to cultivate cannabis in one’s home as long as it does not disturb the neighbors.  If a complaint is made or a pungent smell is leaked from the home, in which law enforcement will remove the prohibited objects from the premises.  The drug law in the Netherlands is even more relaxed when compared to policies set in Canada.  The laws are meant to be hard on traffickers and soft on the abusers.

England’s drug policies are defined by two main statues; The Misuse of Drugs Act and the Medicines Act.  The Misuse of Drugs Act is intended to prevent the use of non-medical drugs.  Drugs that fall under this act are known as controlled drugs and include a drugs that do not hold medicinal value for current use.  The law dictates a series of offenses including unlawful possession, intent to distribute or supply, import or export, and unlawful production. (Government of Canada, 1996)  Law enforcement are empowered to perform search and seizure on people as long as there’s reasonable suspicion that they are in possession of a controlled substance.  In order for the illicit drugs to be considered controlled there must be guidelines that are strictly enforced.   Some guidelines can be viewed as very relaxed to the public.  In England it is legal for anyone over the age of five to consume alcohol.  Yet it is illegal to smoke in public areas.  Drugs are listed in categories and the punishment is determined based on such.  The punishment for drug trafficking of an illicit drug such as LSD or ecstasy a category A drug,  is looking at life in prison, where as possession will result in seven years imprisonment.  Much like Canada and the Netherlands; England some drugs are used in treatments for users undergoing rehabilitation from an addiction.  The Medicines Act is enforced and affects the prescription drug trade.  Enforcing prescriptions for medicinal drugs and are provided by a licensed physician only.

Current international policy reflects European countries provide more leeway to citizens, giving them the option to consume soft drugs to deter them from harder addictions.  This is in an effort to reduce crime and not interfere with public safety.  Although different in the approach Canada, Netherlands, and England implement strict policies and enforce tight punishments to anyone that cannot respect the law.  I am certain that these laid back laws would not work here in the United States and would create a danger to society.  More impaired drivers would be found behind the wheel, we would see an increase in drug sales on our streets, and new and more dangerous drugs would emerge.  In order to keep order we must tighten up the reins on current drug policy and enforce severe consequences to anyone that chooses to break the law.  When we lighten up and make the illegal legal we are sending the wrong message to our young people.  America needs to be a role model for these other countries and never give in to the demands of the drug war.

References:

Riley, D. (1998, November 1). Drugs and Drug Policy in Canada:. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from http://www.cfdp.ca/sen8ex1.htm

Tops, D., Svensson, D., & Veldhoen, D. (2001, March 1). THE DRUG POLICIES OF THE NETHERLANDS AND SWEDEN: HOW DO THEY COMPARE? Retrieved May 17, 2015, from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/2001/300758/IPOL-LIBE_ET(2001)300758_EN.pdf

Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (S.C. 1996, c. 19). (1996). Retrieved May 18, 2015, from http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-38.8/