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Volume 7 Issue 1

Community interventions in Bipolar Disorder - When the system fails.

Flaer, P.J. & Younis, M.Z.

The objectives of this work are to disclose the critical interactions of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) with the criminal justice system in the United States-especially where the intentions of law enforcement and their actions collide. In addition, the symptomatology of bipolar disorder, its prevalence, and cost-effectiveness in the medical system are described. Tragedy has followed the lives of many celebrities afflicted with bipolar disorder-their lives are usually not storybook fairy tales. Most importantly, a person experiencing the manic phase of bipolar disorder is dangerous to all concerned. An individual in full-blown bipolar mania interacting with law enforcement may encounter a life and death situation. As a result, law enforcement officers and court officials should have special training in dealing with the mentally ill-especially with bipolar mania. Community stakeholders include those afflicted with bipolar disorder, the criminal justice system, mental health advocates, and opposing forces (e.g., those policymakers favoring cutting mental health funding). Bipolar depression ruins many productive lives and sometimes these lives end in suicide.

Predicting conduct disorder, drug use and court involvement for expelled adolescents: Developing theoretically based explanatory models by gender.

Shutay, J.C., Williams, J. & Shutay, R.A.

The purpose of this research study was to explore the interactive and unique predictive ability of general strain theory, social control theory and self-control theory on conduct disorder scores as measured by the BASC-2, illicit drug use and court involvement of a sample of expelled adolescents. In addition, this study examined the moderating role of gender with regard to the applicability of the three theories. A clinical and adaptive profile for 267 expelled adolescents was obtained through the collection of BASC-2 data from the students, teachers and parents/guardians. The results of this study indicate that the applicability of GST and SCT depend not only on the gender of the youth, but also on the type of deviant behavior being explained. However, no support for self-control theory was found regardless of the gender of the adolescent or the type of delinquency tested. The implications of these results are discussed along with a potential course of action for prevention and intervention.

Jury's still out: How television and crime show viewing influences jurors' evaluations of evidence.

Hayes-Smith, R.M. & Levett, L.M.

The CSI effect is a phenomenon proposed by the media and attorneys in which crime show viewing is thought to affect jurors' trial decisions. This study examined whether jurors' crime show and television viewing habits interact with the amount of forensic evidence available at trial to affect verdict and other trial decisions. Jurors who reported for jury duty at a southern courthouse were randomly assigned to read a trial vignette containing either no, low, or high levels of forensic evidence. Jurors rendered a verdict, rated the evidence and described their crime show viewing behavior. Results indicated an interaction between level of forensic evidence and crime show viewing in that those who watched crime shows were more likely to favor the defense than those who did not in some evidence conditions. Explanations of these results are discussed with directions for future research.

Disproportionate minority/police contact: Social Service Perspective.

Werling, R.L. & Cardner, P.A.

The literature pertaining to disproportionate minority contact by the police coalesces around two specific lines of thought. One describes the police as a racist, enforcement arm of the economic and political elite. The second line of thinking asserts that minorities are disproportionately involved in criminal activity and, consequently, holds disproportionate minority contact by the police to be the natural consequences of disproportionate criminality. This article explores a third possibility,namely, that policing is a social service and some people consume that service, along with other social services, at higher rates.The rates of calls for service to the police significantly affect deployment of police resources.If some neighborhoods call the police significantly more than others, those neighborhoods are likely to have police deployed to them significantly more than others. This assumption was borne out by the data.Comparing service utilization rates in the City of Houston across census tracts and service categories, this article reveals that areas of the community that disproportionately consume other social services also disproportionately call the police. Specifically, this study reveals patterns of fire and EMS service utilization by minorities that are comparable to their rates of police service utilization. The study also reveals that the pattern of police service overutilization is similar to the pattern of over-utilization of public assistance.