The field of corrections faces many impending changes as national leaders assess the country’s criminal justice system. To address such changes and their impact on correctional officers and administrators, In Public Safety has created an online magazine. This online publication addresses everything from dealing with mentally ill inmates to identifying human trafficking networks behind prison walls.
By Michael Pittaro
There are more seriously and persistently mentally ill individuals imprisoned in correctional institutions today than in all U.S. state hospitals combined. Such a reality requires a major shift in thinking, practice and policy for correctional facilities.
The majority of individuals in the nation’s criminal justice system have substance abuse issues. Suffice it to say, knowledge of drugs and their effects is very important to anyone working in the criminal justice system, especially those working in probation or parole.
To help officers determine if someone is under the influence of drugs, a group of officers in California developed a program called the drug abuse recognition (DAR) course. The DAR program was developed to help identify individuals currently under the influence of drugs, which makes it ideal for use by probation and parole officers, correctional officers, private industry, and school officials. AMU criminal justice student Keith Graves writes about the benefits of this unique program.
The recent U. S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states will affect many areas of society, including all segments of the criminal justice system. While the full impact of this ruling will take some time to sort out, there are several immediate issues facing criminal justice agencies. AMU professor Ron Wallace discusses some of the issues that criminal justice agencies must address in light of this new court ruling.
On May 21, the Restoring Education and Learning (REAL) Act was introduced to Congress that would allow state and federal prisoners to receive Pell Grants for a college education, even while incarcerated. There were many reasons why Congress banned Pell Grants to prisoners back in 1994, so why would Congress consider overturning its original decision? AMU professor Michael Pittaro writes about why he opposes this legislation and how there's not enough research to demonstrate that higher education specifically reduces recidivism. If the Pell Grant program is to be extended, it should focus on providing more money to hard-working, law-abiding students.
In April, criminal justice faculty members at American Military University have been writing articles in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Sexual violence against those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) is often overlooked due to a combination of stigma and myths. Read more from AMU professor Michelle Beshears about why it is important that the topic of sexual abuse prevention and support continues to reach those in the LGBT community.
By Michael Pittaro, assistant professor, criminal justice at American Military University
Prisons are, in many respects, a microcosm of society. In 2030, the last baby boomer will turn 65 and one in five Americans will be older than 65. This aging population is also represented within the nation’s prisons system.