The terms “domestic violence” and “intimate partner violence” are today used as synonymous terms to describe some form of abusive behavior by one individual upon another person in a relationship. While these two terms are used interchangeably to describe the same criminal offense, they have different origins. AMU's Dr. Ron Wallace writes about how the term “intimate partner violence” moved us away from the old view that abusive violence only occurs in marital relationships where the husband was the abuser and the wife was the victim. The concept of intimate partner violence acknowledges that abuse can exist in any type of personal intimate relationship, regardless of sexual orientation, marital status, or gender.
By Dr. Gary Minor
Beginning in the mid-1980s, states nationwide began changing domestic violence laws and the criminal justice community began treating domestic violence on the same level as violence involving strangers. To accommodate these legislative changes, police agencies have had to refine how they investigate domestic violence cases. AMU criminal justice professor Gary Minor highlights two sets of questions that officers should ask victims to help build a case against an abuser.
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.
Erin Merryn was a victim of child rape and sexual abuse. In an effort to help other child victims, she has dedicated her life to pushing states to adopt Erin's Law, which requires schools to teach age-appropriate curriculum about sexual abuse to students in prekindergarten through fifth-grade. The purpose of this educational effort is to get victims to disclose abuse. Read more from AMU professor Michael Beshears about the progress of this law and why it has stalled in some state legislatures.
The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 limits the use and participation of the military in policing the civilian population. As with any law, this act has both supporters and opponents. Those who support this legislation argue it’s essential in helping limit potential federal abuses of power. Opponents believe this act has fully outlived its usefulness in the post-9/11 world and should be abolished. Here's why this act needs to be updated.
By Leischen Stelter, American Military University
The news is often filled with stories of sex trafficking, forced labor, domestic work, forced adoption, and even the illegal trade of human organs. While these are often seen as separate criminal issues, these are all forms of human trafficking and need to be addressed in a coordinated way.