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Recent Articles


Criminals: Parents Aren’t Always At Fault

Parenting and Criminality Mental health professionals have been at the forefront of answering the questions that mortify the rest of us. In what environment and under what conditions did a one-time murderer, serial killer or mass shooter grow up? Among a growing number of factors, the parents of criminals receive a great deal of scrutiny. Could they have played a role in shaping up who the criminal becomes in the future? What else plays a role in determining whether juveniles or adults break the law and are charged with crimes? What We Think versus What Is True For most of us, the answer to the last question is a resounding yes. The assumption appears to be that good parents turn out good children who become respectable, law-abiding adults and vice versa for bad parents and criminals. The conviction stems from our remedial understanding of human development. The long-held belief is that at birth, children have a clean slate. They are pure, innocent, little cuties like a fertile soil. Therefore, it is the universal duty of parents all over to instill right training, much like a farmer planting… Read More

Deep Connection Between Terrorism and the Criminal Personality

The Wide Scope of Terrorism Terrorism to the average Joe takes a racial and ethnic dimension. Technically, though this is a misrepresentation and terrorism is far more expansive. According to the U.S. Code, terrorism, regardless of its form refers to acts with intent to coerce or intimidate a civilian population. Going by this definition, most criminals operate as terrorists. The victims they terrorize may be as specific as one person or as widespread as an entire country. Terrorism takes different forms. A man guy battering his wife is a terrorist as the wife feels desperate, trapped, threatened, and intimidated. In 2002, John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo terrorized the population a large swath of the US stretching from Baltimore to Richmond. Their chose act of terrorism was random sniper takedown of complete civilian strangers. Their spate resulted in 10 fatalities and 3 people wounded. Residents cowered in fear based on the uncertainty of who was next on the makeshift hit list. Walking Down Memory Lane Therefore, there exists a deep-seated relationship between terrorism and the criminal personality. In fact, it appears that the criminal personality feeds off… Read More

Juvenile Sex Offender: Myth versus Reality

Busting the Myth It goes by different apothegms, “Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior,” “A ticking time bomb,” “Old habits die hard”… Whatever form it takes, the idea is simple and generalized. That one who has committed an offense before is more likely to commit the same offense again. It even has a fancy word “recidivism.” The idea permeates the public space. Such that just about any average person on the street would accept that any juvenile arrested for a sex offense poses a significant or high (depending on who you converse with) public safety risk and would very likely be a sex offender in his or her adult years. It is a feeling that has been watered and nursed by the media and informal chatters. The fact is, that is not accurate. To prove the inaccuracy of the widely held public opinion, an authority figure on juvenile delinquency, Michael Caldwell went all in to ascertain the accurate risk estimate of a juvenile arrested for committing a sex offense. Caldwell, an academician at University of Wisconsin in Madison, took up the pedantic task of… Read More

Delusions and the Social World: The Connection

Has there ever been a society where deluded individuals did not exist? – The answer is probably no. At one time or another, virtually every psychiatric hospital of decent size had their hands full with people who thought they were Jesus Christ or spies for either of two cold-warring intelligence agencies—CIA or KGB. Today, the mix is evolving. We now have quite a lot of individuals who think they are reality TV stars—the Kardashians in the psych wards so to speak. For these individuals, the whole package is present—directors, camera crews, and the audience. Except of course, the pros are out of sight. Thing is, the phenomenon is not restricted to those who end in the psych wards. More people than you’d realize exhibit the phenomenon, only not so dire that they need special psychiatric evaluation. Mild as it may appear; a public clinic psychiatrist in London estimated that one or two in every 10 patients he examined have had the sensation of being filmed. The phenomenon is commonly called the Truman Show Delusion and interestingly the population most affected is the young. The colloquial name for… Read More

The courts take a jab at civil detention practices: What about professionals?

The trend in the courts In the last three months, two consecutive court decisions have deemed the civil commitment program to be unconstitutional. Which is insightful because 20 states and the federal government uphold some form of the civil commitment laws also called “SVP” laws. To put it simply, the laws permit authorities to confine indefinitely, sex offenders expertly assessed to have mental diagnosis that makes them more likely to engage in future sexual violence. In retrospect, the laws have had several dates with controversies from day one. Almost everything about the laws, related processes, and subsequent programs spark debates. In fact, the US Supreme Court decision permitting civil commitment to exist narrowly passed by a lone vote. Now, the debates are increasingly tilting towards a consensus, at least in the courts, that civil commitment as currently practiced in many regions is unconstitutional and needs to be worked on to check widespread abuses. What the stats say The reality is that ‘indefinite’ is a very long time, and in one of the cases where the court had to censure civil commitment, the treatment program had ran for… Read More

Air Pollution and Violent Crime: Is There a Link?

Previously viewed as manifestation of evil, criminality is now being studied as a cause of prevalent factors in a criminal’s environment. There have been recent studies linking the increase of criminal elements with how it is being influenced by society. But a new study is putting the blame on a more chemical level – air pollution. Violent Crimes and Air Pollution – The Correlation The National Bureau for Economic Research, according to its recent study, is trying to make a link between the rise of criminal incidents with the increase in air pollution levels. Information was gathered from meteorological data and the evaluated crime records from the Chicago Police Department. It shows that there is a significant increase in violent crimes in neighborhoods that are on the receiving end of blowing winds that carry tailpipe exhaust coming from major roads. Other Affecting Factors The study also mentions that other affecting factors, like income, may play in the increase in violent crime occurrences. But the statistics show that low-income neighborhoods that are usually found near major roads, making them more exposed to air pollution, experience 2.2 percent more… Read More

Portrait of Women as Criminal Offenders

The public has a common perception of “the criminal”, which is portrayed, primarily by the media and the entertainment industry, as a bulky, rugged man who is hiding out there in the dark ready to grab an unsuspecting victim. However, if one will take a deeper look, these influential institutions may be overlooking a vital change happening on the ground – that women are joining the ranks of criminal offenders, and that they too deserve to occupy a significant space in the portrait. Men as Crime Perpetrators Rule of thumb is: if it is a crime, the criminal is a male. Statistics show that men commit 75.6% of recorded crime, with the violent ones being committed because the criminal has aggressive tendencies. Research also noted violent crimes are committed by men who hailed from communities where women notably outnumber men. The explanation is men from those communities are likely to compete for female attention and families in those places are run by a single parent. Psychology experts believe that the competition theory among men may be applied among women offenders, although the application is not exactly similar.… Read More

Environment’s Role in the Proliferation or Deterrence of Crime

The environment does not have any hand in producing crime, but it can significantly reinforce or deter criminal acts. Small towns with close social interaction tend to have lower crime rates than big cities where people barely know their neighbor. It is not so much the “bond” that people form that deters criminality, but the sense of being closely watched by the community. According to a tour director in Moorea, a small island in French Polynesia, there is very little crime in the island because “everyone knows everyone else’s business.” It implies that criminal acts are limited because monitoring comes from the community itself. The community seems to have greater influence on the criminal than his or her immediate family. A teenager can become involved in petty crimes at first, and then become a career criminal in just a few years even if all the other members of the family do not have any criminal records. If the environment does not have enough security, surveillance, and punishment, crime can flourish rapidly as criminals will find that they can get away with crimes. Add the environment’s size and… Read More

Arguably Minor Misconducts That Were Given Major Punishments

The Strive for Fair Punishment There was a young man named Tony. At the age of 18, he met and fell in love with a girl whom his friends also knew. While they became really close, it did not occur to him to ask about her age. Their relationship became much deeper and consensual sex was one of the things that happened between them. Their sexually highlighted relationship was soon discovered by the girl’s dad. It became clear to Tony that he was having sex with a 17-year-old girl. Of course, the girl’s father was enraged and sought to put Tony in jail. Through statutory rape charges, the young man was detained in an adult detention facility. The girl’s father also made the complaint heavier by accusing Tony that he knew that the girl was a minor right from the start. Tony’s detention in the facility was because of the fact that everything happened on a weekend. His parents hired legal counsel. However, when they went to the detention center, they were informed that the young man had been transferred already to an unknown county jail. Their… Read More

Ex-Criminals as Counselors?

An irresponsible person can attempt to counsel another person on how to be responsible; but this just isn’t likely to end up successfully. How can anyone teach someone to be something if that person doesn’t even practice what he preaches? This is very true, especially if a person wants to teach values to another person. Most people think that criminals just can’t possibly teach other criminals to be better people because they can’t even do that for their personal growth. This is true in a sense, because teaching someone to be responsible even if you are widely known for being an irresponsible person would be considered some sort of hypocrisy. Who would follow you if people knew that you don’t even follow your own teaching? The teacher, in order to be effective with his goal, must be a good example of his teachings. This does not, however, mean that “ex-offenders” or people who have criminal records cannot become counselors to effect changes in society. Ex-offenders have firsthand experience of the hardships in prison life. They have every right to teach criminals how to change their lives for… Read More