2,826 research outputs found

    Violence risk assessment of Sovereign Citizens: An exploratory examination of the HCR-20 Version 3 and the TRAP-18

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    Sovereign Citizens comprise an understudied right-wing extremist movement in the United States who have grown in notoriety in recent years due to several high- profile instances of violence. Despite this, little empirical research has been conducted on Sovereign Citizens, including research on assessing their risk for violence. In this study, we sought to replicate and extend a prior study on Sovereign Citizen violence. Using open-source data, we added several new cases to a pre-existing dataset of violent and non-violent Sovereign Citizen incidents, yielding a total sample of 107 cases. We scored each case using the HCR-20V3 and TRAP-18 risk assessment tools. Our findings indicated that higher scores on both instruments were significantly associated with greater odds of cases being violent. We also observed that several risk factors occurred with significantly more frequency among violent cases than non-violent ones. Implications for future research and professional practice are discussed

    Exploring the Impacts of Predictor Variables on Success in a Mental Health Diversion Program

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    Since the first Mental Health Court (MHC) in 1997, there has been a steady increase of MHCs all over the country. With the introduction of these new specialty courts have also come to introduction of diversion programs. Diversion programs work to connect offenders who have mental illnesses to community-based mental health treatment services as an alternative to incarceration. Typically, with the completion of the program comes with the benefit of having their charges dropped. Diversion programs aim to reduce recidivism in offenders with mental illness and improve their access to treatment

    AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF INCAPACITATED PERSONS WITH CRIMINAL BEHAVIORS SERVED BY KENTUCKY’S PUBLIC GUARDIANSHIP PROGRAM

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    State run public guardianship programs are legally mandated to provide custodial care for persons deemed incapacitated by the courts. Historically, the majority of state wards were elderly women residing in skilled nursing facilities. Today, those demographics are rapidly changing. This new incapacitated cohort has become less institutionalized, with a rising number of persons who have entered the program with criminal records and who continue to commit crimes. This exploratory study focuses on incapacitated persons (IP) with criminal behaviors in order to seek what intervention(s) might reduce their criminal activity. Relying on routine activity theory, differing levels of supervision were compared to those persons institutionalized 24 hours per day. The results of the study indicated that as levels of residential supervision decrease, criminal activities significantly increase. This study can assist administrators of public guardianship programs better understanding the supervisory needs of their incapacitated citizens as well as improve safety precautions for their respective communities

    Atkins, Adolescence, and the Maturity Heuristic: Rationales for a Categorical Exemption for Juveniles from Capital Punishment

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    In Atkins v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court voted six to three to bar further use of the death penalty for mentally retarded offenders. The Court offered three reasons for banning the execution of the retarded. First, citing a shift in public opinion over the thirteen years since Penry v. Lynaugh, the Court in Atkins ruled that the execution of the mentally retarded is cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Second, the Court concluded that retaining the death penalty for the mentally retarded would not serve the interest in retribution or deterrence that is essential to capital jurisprudence. Atkins held that mentally retarded people lacked a range of developmental capacities necessary to establish the higher threshold of culpability for the execution of murderers that the Court had established in Furman, Gregg, Coker, Woodson, and Enmund. Third, the Atkins Court noted that the impairments of mental retardation lead to a special risk of wrongful execution. The Atkins decision, though welcomed by both popular and legal policy audiences, naturally raises the question: what about juveniles? After all, the very same limitations in developmental capacities that characterize mentally retarded defendants also characterize a significant proportion of adolescent offenders. The parallels between capital punishment for adolescents and for the mentally retarded have been echoed both in popular and legal discourse since the resumption of capital punishment following Furman. “Prior to Atkins, many groups protested the use of capital punishment for both types of offenders, invoking arguments against capital punishment that applied equally to each. The popular coupling of concerns about adolescents with concerns about the mentally retarded seemed to naturally invite an extension of the Atkins Court\u27s reasoning to juveniles by highlighting the diminished capacity for culpability common to offenders of both groups. In fact, on August 30, 2002, in a rare dissent from an order declining to stay an execution, Justices Stevens, Breyer, and Ginsburg urged the Court to reconsider the constitutionality of allowing juveniles to be sentenced to death. In reference to the Atkins decision, the Justices argued that reexamining the juvenile issue was warranted, thereby underscoring yet again the similarities between both cases

    Racial Equality: Old and New Strains and American Indians

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    Involuntary Civil Commitment and the Right to Treatment in Pennsylvania

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    Voter Influencing in State Trial Court Judicial Elections in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston

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    This dissertation examines select key factors that influence voter choices in state trial court judicial elections in three large, cosmopolitan counties in California and Texas. These include ballot designations (i.e., professional titles of candidates), “evaluations” of candidates by local bar associations, newspaper endorsements, political party affiliation, and gender. Focus here is on ballot designations and local bar association evaluations; the subjective opinions issued by local bar associations as official-sounding, objective and qualitative evaluations. In turn, local bar associations are private, voluntary associations consisting of fee-paying members and not overseeing state bar associations as many laypeople believe. Judicial elections remain low-information, low-participation, and low-saliency affairs. Local bar associations do little to correct the misunderstanding that exists around the true nature of their “evaluations.” Additionally, California operates with a disparity in its ballot designation- related election law as this features different rules for government and non-government attorneys running for office. While Texas judicial elections are partisan, this is not the case in California. Accordingly, California voters may have to rely on a narrower set of heuristics in voting unless they are political sophisticates. This is often not the case. The present research results show that ballot designations and bar association evaluations have a significant impact on the outcome of judicial elections at the trial court level in the three counties examined: Los Angeles and San Francisco counties in California and Harris County, Texas (the greater Houston area). Each of these factors can make the difference between an election win and loss. Together, their effect presents statically significant evidence of voter influencing by powerful private, associations and positive state law in the areas examined. These concerns and others presented in this dissertation run afoul of American notions of democracy, transparency, and equality under the law. If the goal in the judicial election context in the areas examined and possible elsewhere is to optimize the quality of justice by seating the most qualified and least biased judges on the bench and to protect democratic and other minorities through inclusive governance, the sum of the answer is that judicial elections are fatally flawed

    Juries, Judges, and the Politics of Tort Reform

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