Across the country in efforts to diminish violent crime, police agencies like that in Rockland, IL, are revisiting a model law enforcement strategy of the 1970s, "community policing," as an alternative to the more recent "broken windows" style of the late nineties and early aughts. Research substantiates its effectiveness, too, in building citizens' trust of law enforcement, helping a community's ability to solve its own problems, and, in turn, decreasing crime rates; despite redefined priorities in the wake of 9/11 and post-recession budget cuts, community policing is again on the rise and bringing positive results, too.
Call it "carbon compensation": in a randomized experiment in western Uganda, scientists demonstrated the effectiveness of paying rural farmers not to chop down trees (responsible for annual CO2 emissions worldwide), studying for two years the declines in forest cover between a control group (no payment) and the participant group (paid). Thus building on a United Nations project in which wealthy nations pay poorer ones in an attempt to equalize the costs of responding to climate change, the design and outcome of the project proves the existence of a low-cost environmental policy solution to stemming rising global temperatures.
Cleveland has been battling human trafficking in various forms. In charge of those efforts are a small group of people who have used billboards and gift bags –amongst other creative ways– to fight human trafficking.
An alternative approach to education has long existed, but in the last decade, collaborations between non-profit student-support organizations and public schools have fostered a model called "Last-Chance Schools" with remarkable success among the population served: high-school students who dropped out, often for reasons related to economic disadvantages, unaddressed mental health challenges, violence and unstable home lives. As several Boston charter schools demonstrate with "last-chance" programs, though, use of social-emotional learning, conflict-mediation instead of zero-tolerance discipline, and flexible curricula based on "what you know," has helped over 65% of their students graduate -- with 70% going on to college -- and boasts one of the lowest suspension rates in Massachusetts.
Kentucky is rethinking its penal system for dealing with drug offenders and has shown success in reducing recidivism and relapse rates. Instead of leaving addicts to languish in the typical jailhouse environment of "extortion, violence and tedium," more than two dozen of the state's county jails have created separate units devoted to full-time addiction treatment and support-services for prisoners that involve peer-policing.
Many young people turn to drug use without sufficient support systems. A group of ex-users of narcotics formed a football team, providing social support, a distraction and excersise which is proven to aid in recovery from drug use.
Many immigrants come into the United States with visual representation of former gang involvement, preventing them from shedding their past mistakes. A group in Northern Virginia is helping these immigrants make life changes and prevent gang violence in their area.
More lives are being touched by sorrow as the opioid crisis continues to escalate. For mothers of addicts, recovered addicts, and addicts themselves, programs like Pathways to Housing and Prevention Point are bringing together this community in a effort to heal.
ACEs quantifies the adverse event in an individual's childhood, as a means to treat addiction. Understanding addiction as resulting from past events helps to treat these individuals through medication and developing a plan to help each patient live a sober life without medications while de-shaming and de-blaming them.
Syrian refugees have experienced an increase in domestic violence, and some men have projected their stresses onto women or their children. Instead of reprimanding the men, some aid organizations have set up support groups designed to help men channel their stresses in different, healthier ways. The approach establishes new social norms in how men treat women and view their own masculinity.
Judge Inna Klein and probation officers from The Community Supervision and Corrections Department are bringing domestic violence reform to Nueces County. By taking more aggressive approaches toward supervision and accountability, and by focusing on rehabilitative services for offenders, they hope to break the cycles of violence.
Opioid addiction runs rampant in the United States. However, researchers are becoming more convinced that cannabis can help prevent opioid abuse from even happening. In states where cannabis is legal the rate of opioid overdose is lower than states where cannabis is banned.
Many young Latina women live their lives in fear of gang violence. The Montgomery County Street Outreach Network rescues girls in danger and offers services to them in order to help them change their chances of success.
Two million people with mental illness are booked into jails every year, preventing them from receiving treatment and creating a burden on prisons. Experts say communities like Victoria, Texas should start mental health courts, which address a defendant’s underlying illness rather than punish them for crime. The model seems to be working in neighboring Midland.
In many parts of the United States, people struggle with economic mobility and achieving the American Dream. Salt Lake City’s rate of economic mobility is at the highest in the country. An investigative journalist explores the Mormon-influenced structure of charitable giving and various social factors that have created this socio-economic anomaly, and discovers that compassionate conservatism and some government welfare programs have contributed to the state being a unique case.
Richmond, California has one of the nation’s highest gun violence rate. To combat crime, Operation Peacemaker Fellowship tracks and identifies individuals at risk to commit violent acts or or become a victim of one. After identifying them, the Fellowship directs each at-risk person with employment training and social services and sends out teams to de-escalate conflicts within targeted communities.
Young black Jacksonians are afraid to call the police in self defence for fear they will be accused of gang violence and arrested instead of protected. Various programs are using research of violence and recidivism to create programs that address the people most likely to commit violent crimes instead of just putting them in jail.
In Texas, Mass-Incarceration is becoming a surprising hub of bi-partisan reform. By finding common ground, and brainstorming new solutions and alternatives to mass incarceration, the state has seen a drop in incarceration and crime rates.
For women in traditional rehab centres, choosing treatment means leaving their children behind. Family House NOW (New Options for Women), is a residential treatment center in Philadelphia that allows women to live with their children, benefitting both the women and the children.
Three Part Series, "America Beyond Detention": For decades, immigrant advocates have argued that the federal government should increase the use of residential shelters - like Casa Marianella in Austin - as an alternative to detention. The shelters are generally less expensive, treat immigrants more humanely, and are better equipped to integrate people into their new communities.
In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut by the 'Youth in Iceland' program that institutted a curfew for children, promoted greater parental involvement, and involvement in extra curriculars. Now the questions is, why are other places not following suit?
Research has shown that criminal activity is often a result of a person with a mental illness falling into substance abuse and jail time does nothing to help a person’s illness. To lower the number of people with a mental illness in the criminal justice system, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office have been practicing an “informal Mental Health Court,” where defendants are put in a life coaching program instead of jail.
As the US attempts to recover and learn from an opioid epidemic, often rehab or detox are the only solutions discussed when research says medication-assisted treatment is by far the most effective. Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton is the only facility in the county that provides medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction in a primary care setting.
Chicago plans to open a community court for young adult offenders that focuses on rehabilitative services and community support, giving them a chance to make reparations to victims and avoid a criminal record that can jeopardize opportunities for the rest of their lives. Part 3 of 3.