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.
Headlines this summer have been filled with a rash of infant and child deaths after being left in a hot car. How should parents be prosecuted in these cases?
There are 19 states that have laws regarding children being left unattended in a vehicle, but none of them specify how a parent should be prosecuted if the infant or child dies. Should parents be charged with negligent homicide or should they be charged with murder? Could such an incident truly be just an accident?
The suicide rate among correctional officers is significantly higher than other occupations and twice as high as police officers. Yet, the topic of suicide and the stressors contributing to suicide are rarely discussed. AMU professor Michael Pittaro recently presented to correctional representatives from 14 southern states about suicide awareness and the need for a change in leadership style.
The number of females in prison, jail, and probation populations has grown at a considerably faster rate than males. Despite this growth, the correctional system is failing to address the rehabilitation needs of women during and after incarceration. AMU professor Michael Pittaro talks to one former inmate about her experience in the prison system and the support she's received now that she's on parole.
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.