the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, law homework help

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Response needed:

1. Chapter 84
states, “In Texas, substance abuse program capacity can only serve 5% of
the potential population in need (Lynch & Sabol, 2001).” I find
this statement to be shocking. Only 5% of prisoners with drug and
alcohol addictions can participate in programs to help break the
addiction. Prisons should be used to punish and rehabilitate individuals
who have committed crimes. To ensure they’re rehabilitated, prison
systems should identify underlying issues like substance abuse and treat
them so they do not reoffend. Crime rates could go down drastically and
the prison systems wouldn’t be filled with drug offenders. Another
topic I found to be interesting is 75% of incarcerated women are mothers
to young children. Many children have to go through some point of their
life without their mother. Depending on the child’s age, the absence of
their mother can be detrimental to their development. Children of
criminals can have a harder impact if their mother is incarcerated
because most women are the primary caretaker. Children from criminal
mothers could be at a higher risk for imprisonment.

2. Between 1990 and 2005, the only countries in the world to execute
someone who was under the age of 18 when the crime was committed were
the United States of America, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran,
Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. I think this says a lot
about how behind our criminal justice system was. At one point the
United States, a “first world” country, was giving the same punishment
to juveniles as “third world” countries. The United States ultimately
executed 22 people in a span of 30 years. I do not believe that any
human who commits a crime as an adolescent should be sentenced to death.
With proper rehabilitation and counseling, those individuals could grow
into law abiding citizens. “In 1995, a total of 326 people were
sentenced to death—the highest number since 1977;” In the following
years, the amount of death sentences steadily decreased. In 2010 there
were 114 death sentences awarded and in 2015, only 49 criminals received
capital punishment. I believe there are many reasons why the death
penalty isn’t practiced as it once was. As science and technology
advance, regular people aren’t limited to accessible resources. Inmates
have the capability to appeal cases and use new scientific evidence to
their advantage. Also, I believe that life in prison without the
possibility of parole is viewed as a worse punishment than ending a
criminal’s life. There is prolonged thinking and suffering for an
individual being kept in a prison cell for the remainder of their life.

3. Offender Classification is a structure used to identify the risks
and treatments of prisoners. Classifications are assessments made during
the entire processing into a correctional facility. From incarceration,
sentencing, release, to their parole or post release supervision
guidelines. Prisoners with a higher risk will be placed in a
correctional facility that ranges from minimum security to maximum
security. The Level of Service Inventory-Revised is an instrument used
to assess inmates on 54 areas to determine their risk of criminal
behavior. To determine mental status of an offender, the Psychopathy
Checklist- Revised is used. The inmate is evaluated on interpersonal
relations as well as their social deviance. For criminals with mental
illness, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
determines the mental state of offenders. I think offender
classification is as reliable as it can be. I think human error and
interpretation can cause a test to sway one way or another. For a more
trustworthy result, an inmate should be interviewed more than once. If
an inmate answers the questions differently each time they are assessed,
it may be difficult to identify their risks and treatment needs.

Executions in the United States. (2016).

Offender Classification and Assessment.

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