Helping Formerly Incarcerated Veterans with the Veterans Treatment Court

Helping Formerly Incarcerated Veterans with the Veterans’ Treatment Court By Danielle A. - Criminal Justice Intern Being a veteran is something to be very proud of in America. To know you served your country with dignity and respect is a great honor. One’s family and friends take pride in saying they know a veteran. But what happens when it’s time to return to civilian life? Everything isn’t as easy as it may seem. Many veterans come back home suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, numerous mental diseases, traumatic brain injuries, and other physical injuries as a result of their deployment. While dealing with these post war traumas, veterans have found themselves entering the criminal justice system due to domestic violence, substance abuse, and other criminal activities. This is an issue many don’t think about. Sadly, 8% of all individuals incarcerated in jail or prison are veterans and out of that 8%, 60% have mental health and substance abuse issues. While t…
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How Stigmas Affect Reentry

How Stigmas Affect Reentry By Erika E. - Criminal Justice Intern Repeatedly, stigmas surrounding certain people, groups, races, and religions have shaped other’s images of them to be predisposed to prejudice and judgement. Sociology dictionary defines a stigma as “The social phenomenon or process whereby individuals that are taken to be different in some ways are rejected by the greater society in which they live based on that difference.” Individuals with justice involvement face this same disposition from society. This issue of social stigmas is very harmful to the rehabilitation of individuals with justice involvement for many reasons. According to the United States Department of Justice, more than 650,000 ex-offenders are released from prison each year. Before an individual is released from prison, society has already made their mind up about who these people are, and not who they are as individuals. Everyone has their own story, coming from diverse backgrounds, and …
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Damned if You Do, Damned If You Don’t: Mass Incarceration and the Trial Penalty

Damned if You Do, Damned If You Don’t: Mass Incarceration and the Trial Penalty By Mafatou J. - Criminal Justice Intern It is established in the Bill of Rights that any person accused of a crime has the right to face a jury of their peers and make their case. Despite this law, more than 90 percent of cases in the criminal justice system are pleaded out, meaning most defendants never receive the chance to exercise their 6th amendment right to a trial by jury. When defendants plead out, they are admitting guilt and avoiding trial in exchange for a lesser sentence and leniency. Plea bargaining has existed for centuries but its legality was solidified by the supreme court in the 1970 case Brady V. United States. There have been many criticisms of plea bargaining, the most significant has been its elevation of mass incarceration. There is such a massive caseload in the criminal justice system, that plea bargaining was intended to speed up the process. However, the unintended co…
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The Hole: The History and Dangers of Solitary Confinement

The Hole: The History and Dangers of Solitary Confinement By Mafatou J. - Criminal Justice Intern The very first official experiment of solitary confinement in the United States was conducted by Dr. Benjamin Rush in 1829, at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Solitary confinement involved holding an inmate for 23 hours a day in a cell that had a steel door with no visibility of the other side, and the only objects in the room consisted of a bed, toilet, and sink. The inmates were served meals through a tiny slot in the door and they did not interact with guards unless they were being escorted to the showers, the infirmary, or legal proceedings. The inmates had no interaction with other prisoners and had very limited and secluded yard time. Dr. Rush and his colleagues believed complete isolation would lead prisoners to reflection and eventually penitence. However, the experiment just exposed the dangerous effects total isolation could have on the hum…
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2022 Mental Health Resource List

2022 Mental Health Resource List Mental health in America has been a concern even leading up the Covid-19 pandemic. Rates of depression and suicidal ideation have been on the rise every year since 2011, with these issues further exacerbated since. Nursing License Map provides a free Mental Health Resource List with resources covering sleep, healthy eating, counseling and support, mindfulness and more, to help people from the inside out.   nursinglicensemap.com/resources/mental-health-resources/
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The Economic Impact of Incarceration

The Economic Impact of Incarceration By Kelyu Yu - Economic Research Intern Explore the direct and indirect costs of incarceration on individuals in the criminal justice system, as well as their families, communities, and the nation as a whole.  Emory University student and PIN Economic Research Intern Kelyu Yu dedicated a semester to researching this topic.  See her findings and read her full report on our new Economic Impact page.  Below is a preview:   Introduction How much the U.S. is willing to waste on incarceration? Tens of billions of dollars were poured into the U.S prison system for locking up millions of people behind bars. While The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports approximately $80 billion were spent on the prison system, the actual cost far exceeds this number with various other underlying collateral costs. Why should we care about the economic loss associated with incarceration? As Shelia A. Bedi put it: “Every penny our government spends on …
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Medical Care While Incarcerated

Medical Care While Incarcerated By Lindsay B. - Research Intern States are legally required by the constitution to provide people in prisons with necessary healthcare. Incarcerated individuals have reported receiving medical care for specific health issues and injuries more than for general health maintenance. While prison systems are seemingly responsive to the healthcare needs of those incarcerated, former and current offenders have expressed their negative experiences with medical care in the criminal justice system. Mallik-Kane et al. (2018) examined people’s experiences with healthcare in the criminal justice system and noted a common lack of individualized services along with many individuals who perceive their treatment as lesser or disrespectful due to their position in the criminal justice system. Similarly, inmates have difficulty obtaining pain medications or other necessary but potentially addictive medication, with many incarcerated individuals explaining that …
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The Challenges of Female Incarceration

The Challenges of Female Incarceration By Briana J. - Research Intern The rate of female incarceration has greatly increased over the past 30 years. This has resulted in women becoming the fastest growing group of incarcerated individuals within the prison system. Most of these imprisoned women are serving sentences for non-violent drug and property offenses (EJI). Despite this uptick of imprisoned women, there has not been an adequate reallocation of resources to properly address the needs of incarcerated women. An important point to understand is that most facilities within prisons are primarily built for male prisoners. There has not been an active change within these facilities to address the specific needs of incarcerated women. Like many other prisoners around the world, incarcerated women in the United States face deprivations and trauma during their incarceration. Many incarcerated women face problems surrounding separation from children and family, inadequate me…
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The Privatization of Inmate Privileges

The Privatization of Inmate Privileges By Connor H. - Research Intern For the past few decades, the idea of the United States government using private corporations for the use of incarcerating criminals is one that has been under constant scrutiny. The largest argument against the use of private prisons is an ethical argument over whether or not it is right to incarcerate people while the corporation holding them is turning a profit. Along with this, the majority of private prisons only make money when their cells are full, so private prisons keep inmates incarcerated in their facilities for as long as possible. This issue is the one that mainly receives coverage in the media when the topic of private prisons is brought up. However, there have been other aspects of the prison system that have begun being privatized that do not receive the same amount of attention. These two main aspects are the privileges of phone calls and inmate commissary. With more jails and prisons beg…
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U.S. Antitrafficking Efforts

The United States Antitrafficking Efforts: What works, and how can we improve? By LaQuittis L. - Research Intern Introduction In recent years, human trafficking has obtained increased attention from the nation and all media platforms worldwide. In our society, human trafficking is viewed as modern-day slavery that seems to be rooted in our nations' history. Although we've been able to learn about our nation's dark past through school education and textbooks, to this date, modern-day slavery has limited research due to its hidden nature. Not only is the problem of human trafficking a national issue, especially the trafficking of immigrants, but it's also a worldwide issue. This specific crime's growing concern is in desperate need of more effective antitrafficking methods to finally put it all to an end. To understand the methods already implemented by our government, we must first understand what exactly human trafficking is. America's Homeland Security defines it as the …
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Prison Reentry Checklist Infographic

Prison Reentry Checklist Infographic Check out our Prison Reentry Checklist in a new, shareable Infographic.  Coming home from prison, while a positive move, can be an overwhelming experience.  Not only will you be adjusting to your new surroundings and routine, depending on how long you were away you may also have to adjust to changes within your family and social network, advances in technology, and changes in societal norms.  It is important to have a support system in place and to rely on them when necessary.  Those who love you want to see you succeed in your new life and will help you navigate this transition.   Download, print, and share the pdf here: Infographic Prison Reentry Checklist
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Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents: Final Series

Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents Final Series By Davis81 - Research Intern To conclude the incarcerated parent’s series, I would say I had experienced a lot when my mom was in prison. It was all a learning lesson. When I share my story, people always say, “you don’t look like what you been through,” which is honestly true. I tend not to open up and share my journey because I grew to not just want to share it with anyone. I typically share with people I am close to. I am glad that I could share bits and pieces of my life growing up while my mother was incarcerated with the world because I know I am not the only one out there who has experienced this. I want to leave the children who have some parents in prison with some advice: Do not let your parent’s actions define your future – Just because they are your parent does not mean you are a reflection of them. Everyone is entitled to their own actions, and your life is your own. Strive to be the best you can be – D…
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