Sunday, July 17, 2011

Research Paper DRAFT for Criminal Psych: Part I (Intro)

Part I: Introduction (4 of 15 Pages)

The problem that will be discussed is the issue of juvenile/adolescent sexual offenders in present day society. This topic was selected as the problem of research due to the increased number of juvenile sexual offenders appearing in the media, including the circumstances and variables of causes for occurrences, such as decreased parental supervision, medical and/or mental disorders, societal influences on adolescents regarding nature and norms of sexual behavior, and other possible factors that contribute to increased sexual behaviors in individuals that could cause or result in these individuals displaying a maladaptive sexual behavior while classified as a juvenile. For reference purposes, the term “Juvenile and/or Adolescent (Sexual) Offender” within this project will be defined as “a youth, from puberty to the legal age of majority, who commits any sexual act with a person of any age, against the victims will, without consent, or in an aggressive, exploitative or threatening manner.” (Ryan, Lane, Davis, & Isaac, 2010)
Current policies and laws implemented within the legal system regarding treatment, consequences, risks of re-offending, methods of prevention and other practices will be addressed in order to critique effectiveness and depth of developmental factors addressed in the legal system which target the prevention and management of inappropriate sexual behaviors within the adolescent population in order to lower the future instances and occurrences of these behaviors and effectively treat individuals who have committed these offenses with the goal of reducing the current statistics in the future. Variable factors will be considered, including the percentages of sexual offenders who are male versus those who are female, as well as ratio of male to females as victims in sexual crimes involving adolescents. Another factor of consideration includes cases of offenders who are classified as incapacitated within the court system, such as juveniles being dually diagnosed with both mental illness and mental retardation. Statistics of individuals committing sexual offenses from various ranges of age within the classification of juvenile and adolescent will be considered, as well as recidivism statistics within various age ranges and other factors deemed relevant which could support research and conclusions determined in regards to specific causes and diagnoses influencing adolescent sexual offenders within various age, developmental, gender-based, ethnic and cultural groups in which these crimes occur.
Research in this area is significant due to the increased number of sexual crimes committed by adolescent individuals in the present time versus statistics reported in decades past. Increased sexual crimes committed by juveniles today is significant due to the impact these crimes have on the future of society, since the juveniles of today are the adults of the future, which include the future workforce, political influences, developers of policies or laws, media reporters, and even celebrities who’s sexual values and practices will have influence on the youth of the following generation. The impact of increased sexual offenders classified as juvenile is also deemed relevant and in need of addressing due to the fact that those who are victims of sexual crimes impact the future of society as well, and as research shows, victims of sexual offenses often are affected mentally to the point of developing mental or emotional disorders and even, in some cases, developing inappropriate sexual behaviors themselves, which may result in a victim of a sexual abuse crime victimizing someone else in a sexual nature, which results in the chain of sexual offenses growing to include even more offenders.
Addressing the problem of sexual offenses committed and the resulting treatment, care and methods of prevention of further damage or offenses is also greatly relevant due to the fact that discussion of experiences, results, and findings already completed can provide insight to efficiently diagnose and treat both offenders and victims in a faster or more productive way due to past data of similar occurrences being used to determine methods which may or may not have been affective in past instances, which results in researchers saving time, money and resources by referencing these instances, as well as possible effectiveness in treatment and care of offenders and victims by comparing signs, symptoms and crimes to past examples of a similar nature which may have resulted in either positive and successful results in managing issues or poor and devastating results, which increase likelihood of similar results, which addresses issues regarding humane and ethical treatment, as obviously, a method of which the end results were found to be negative or devastating would not want to be tried numerous times, while instances which resulted in positive or successful rates of treatment and management would likely want to be repeated in similar cases, which would hopefully result in findings that resemble the original results, allowing time, money and resources be spent on the discovery of successful treatment for cases of behaviors or acts which may not have as much documented research or findings within that specified field or area, allowing improvement and increased data collection within the field of juvenile sexual crimes. This, in turn, would provide improvement, as a whole, which would assist in development of future research and positive treatment or care to those who become involved with the system as offenders or victims in future generations.
Goals of compilation and publishing of research, findings and recommendations regarding juvenile and adolescent sexual offenders in society involve many objectives. These include increasing awareness of the problem to general society, relaying results of findings of research to a broad audience in hopes of sharing instances and results to those involved with increasing efficiency and productive results within the field and providing a compilation of methods, examples and instances for reference in the future to provide assistance and relevant input within the chosen career field of Psychological Human Services, specifically the field of juveniles with mental or developmental disabilities and/or disorders of a forensic nature and involvement within the court system, in order to actively contribute and provide successful methods of treatment, training and prevention in the field and specific area involving employment. Further goals include the compilation of information to be presented and referenced should the career opportunity of teaching Psychology within an institution of higher education become available and accessed, in order to have organized referenced documentation involving the subject of sexual offenders of a juvenile classification be accessible for sharing and distribution, which will assist in efficiently sharing results of researched information and procedures of treatment and care which can be evaluated and studied for means of improvement of the said procedures or suggest areas in which further research and/or improvement is needed, which will positively effect the field, as a whole by sharing this information with students who may go to work within the field of criminal psychology involving juvenile criminal sexual behaviors in various areas, which will further distribute the information with the hope of gaining consistency and targeting areas of need, which will also improve study of the field as a whole.

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