Texting While Driving = Drunk Driving?

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How to Legally Classify Texting While Driving

Accidents that are a result of someone texting while driving have the same outcomes as those that are a result of someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Why, then, do defendants not receive the same legal repercussions? This article examines the potential consequences of texting while driving and how the American law treats it.

 

Statistics

Firstly, it is important to know how many people drive distracted. These numbers should serve as a wake-up call for the public as well as food for thought in terms of the judiciary system.

Eight percent of Americans admit to driving under the influence of alcohol and three percent under the influence of drugs according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Although these percentages seem small, they amount to a large number of people: 28.7 million and 9.9 million, respectively. This, in comparison to the staggering 34% of Americans (about 100 million people) who admit they have texted while driving, begs the question, “Why is texting while driving treated so much more leniently than drunk or drugged driving?”

 

The Effects of Influence

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Car crashes become much more likely as people drive distracted, whether that be under the influence of drugs or alcohol or staring at their phone screens. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol are seven times more likely to die in a car crash and drugged drivers are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash, as compared to sober drivers.

 

Texting at the wheel, in comparison, makes someone 23 times more likely to crash his or her car. This high number is due to the fact that taking eyes off the road to read or respond to a text slows brake reaction times by 18%. See the texting and driving safety website for more in-depth statistics.

 

Legal Action

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Perhaps the biggest discrepancy between drunk or drugged driving and driving while texting comes in the form of legal repercussions. Drunk and drugged driving cost the individual approximately $10,000 in total. Texting while driving, on the other hand, results in a ticket worth somewhere around $500. Any further charges that are pressed are separate from the driving while texting charge.

 

Help is Available

If you find yourself in need of professional mental health help, there are many resources available for you. Help is available to everyone for a variety of problems. If you or someone you know are suffering from addiction or have been the victim of a car accident, do not hesitate to reach out for help. As an example, Better Help is a company that offers pain online counseling and therapy. It strives to provide mental health help for those who want to avoid the stigma associated with seeking help for illnesses that cannot be readily observed. This company is also professional, affordable, and convenient. Find out more at their website.  

 

Teaching Our Youth in Juvenile Detention, What Are They Learning?

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When you send a youth to juvenile detention it takes the place of everything in their life. They go to school in the facility, play, and do most of the things that a normal youth would, like chores, right there in the same building. But what are they actually learning in that facility when they start their education? Well, that depends on a number of things including the youth themselves, their school and the facility that they are in.

Reaching the School

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The youth that are in juvenile detention are actually at the mercy of their school when it comes to setting up their classes and what they’re going to be learning and doing while they are in the facility. The staff will get ahold of the teachers at their home school and will then get any information they possibly can from those teachers including homework and other assignments. This is the best case scenario and allows the youth to keep up with their classmates and jump right back into their normal environment when they are released again. But this isn’t always the case and even when it is, the youth may face other problems. 

A Lack of Support

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Though there are a number of staff members in the facility, very few will have the training to act as a true teacher and therefore may have difficulty in providing the youth themselves with assistance if they have problems. All of this can result in difficulty for a youth who doesn’t quite understand what they’re doing or that is getting into information that isn’t familiar to them. All of this can result in difficulty when the youth returns to their home school and even in getting assignments done while in the facility, which is required for their stay.

Youth require additional help when they are working on homework assignments, of the type that they would otherwise be able to get from teachers and even additional tutoring services. What this means is that youth are not receiving what they should in the way of education. There needs to be something else done to help them and make sure that their education continues in a positive way so they are prepared for everything that they need to succeed in their schooling, which is one of the most important things for a child. 

 

Moving Forward

Having true teachers in the facility, who are trained in a range of different age groups and different needs in the way of courses. If the youth are not able to get the training and advice that they need it’s going to be very difficult for them to continue on with their schooling because they won’t have the foundation that the rest of their friends have. Youth detention facilities need to take this into consideration and make sure that the teachers they have in the classrooms are actual teachers and that they can provide the youth with high quality education.

Keeping in mind that there are so many youth of different ages and different school levels in the room, it can be difficult to have a teacher who can help with so many different things, but it’s going to be absolutely crucial for them to do so. After all, those youth are dependent on the staff within the facility to keep them prepared for the rest of their life and all of the things that are going on outside of the facility. A teacher is one of the first things that they need and one of the most important to their success after leaving. 

Young Offenders Keep Getting Younger, And Here’s Why

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Children have been getting into mischief pretty much since the dawn of time (or at least we can assume) but there’s a difference between normal mischief and actual criminal activity. Unfortunately, children are now getting involved in more and more criminal activity as well. What’s even more unfortunate is that the children who are doing these things seem to only get younger and younger every year, leading us to wonder, just what is happening to our youth?

The Consequences for Juveniles

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Part of the problem of young offenders is the consequences for their actions. While many want to give children more than one chance and want to let them off with warnings, it’s turning into an epidemic. The problem isn’t giving children second chances or accepting that ‘kids will be kids.’ The problem is the type of crimes that these youth are committing and still being told that it’s not a big deal. With famous cases popping up with children who are let off with warnings or probation for serious crimes, youth are coming to the understanding that they can do whatever they want and get away with it.

The consequences for bad activity begin in the home and they start with the small things. A child who is never punished when they get into trouble (even minor mischief) will start to believe that they can do no wrong. A line has to be drawn where the child knows that what they are doing is bad and will not be allowed by the parents. This makes it easier for the child to understand laws as they become older and to recognize things that are right from wrong. If they don’t learn with small things when they’re younger, they definitely won’t learn later. 

The Age Change

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So why do juvenile offenders keep getting younger? Well one reason is that children seem to growing up faster. Younger and younger children are being left to their own devices at home or even in malls and other shopping centers. They wander around town on their own and they’re trusted to follow the rules and the laws without supervision. These youth are then doing what young children do, getting into mischief. But that mischief is turning into something even more serious because of the lack of supervision.

Where traditionally a child of 8 or 10 would be watched by a parent or guardian and corrected immediately, they are now being left to their own devices in an environment where their own guidance is their own thoughts and ideas and those of their friends who are the same age. In the end, these children tend to come up with ideas that they may consider harmless or fun, but that can actually result in serious injury or criminal activity. Where it may seem funny to take that bike out of someone’s yard, it’s actually a serious crime. Where a fight between youth may seem all in good fun, someone could easily get hurt.

By providing better supervision and careful instruction on rules, youth are much better prepared for their later years, rather than creating bad habits that can turn into something far more serious. Something minor today, at the age of 8 or 9, could turn into a very serious problem by the age of 15 or 16. It’s up to parents to make sure that they are doing all they can to guide their children the right way and keep them from developing the type of habits that can easily lead them down a path that they don’t even understand at the time. 

Punishment and Reward Systems in Juvenile Detention Facilities: Do They Really Work?

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When a youth is sent to juvenile detention they are provided with a set of rules. These rules are required to be followed at all times or the juvenile will find themselves being punished in one of many different ways. Youth can have privileges taken away for bad behavior and rewards given for positive behavior, in much the same ways as they could if they were at home, but these can be more serious when a youth is in a detention facility.

The Rewards

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Rewards while in juvenile detention include things like, the ability to write with pens and pencils, draw, read or play games. Even having visits with their family are rewards that are given only if the youth exhibits good behavior. These rewards are given simply by following the rules and behaving. But it’s extremely possible for those rewards to be taken away just as easily (or even more so) than they are provided to the youth. While this is the way of life even when the youth is not in detention, it can be a big problem for these youth especially.

The Punishments

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Being able to participate in activities, such as drawing, writing and playing games is crucial to a child’s development. Being a part of group activities and having socialization is a requirement and yet, in a juvenile detention facility, these requirements for a happy and healthy life, can easily be taken away for a child simply behaving like a child. This can result in extremely hazardous effects on a child’s psyche because they are being taught that behaving as a child is in fact a bad thing and that they must grow up too quickly and also that they must be antisocial and withdrawn.

Punishments that take away the ability of a youth to socialize capitalize on the negative traits that could have led a youth to participate in these types of behavior in the first place. Even more, denying a youth the ability to interact with loved ones because of poor behavior only increases the likelihood of poor behavior as well. The youth needs support and encouragement from those in their family and when these opportunities are denied it can result in the youth feeling rejected and unloved. This results in further withdrawal from the family upon release and can result in even more negative behavior.

 

What Can Be Done?

There is a fine line between protecting the youth that are in the facility from harm, including keeping rules in place to reduce the future risk of these things, and completely pulling them away from their life and their family as well as their ability to be kids. The point of juvenile detention is to keep a youth as a youth, without having to worry about them being hindered further in their development and change by adults. But punishing them by pulling them away from others, and rewarding them only for staying away from others, is not a benefit to anyone.

Youth who end up in juvenile detention facilities are already suffering from problems in their lives, whether personal problems or problems in their home. Encouraging socialization and encouraging any positive interaction and support from family is crucial to helping them move on with their lives and continue to develop and grow as successful adults after they leave the facility. Yet the facility will often try to curb these types of behavior or will use them to punish the youth, resulting only in more problems rather than helping them come back to themselves in a positive manner.

A Sound Advice for Teens on Lifestyle Change

Today, where everything seems to be within your reach and so much information is handled over the internet pathway, it is particularly a very hard life to live especially for those in the adolescent phase.

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Admit it. Not everyone, especially your parents, appreciates your dyed orange hair and the ripped jeans you bought at a steep price that has slashed your monthly allowance to its meager amount.  From your end, you can’t decipher if the looks that are shot your way when you walk in the room are all good or the exact opposite of it. You tend to question yourself if you were born on the right decade, eh?

How it was before you were born…

Parents have all the right to scold you and teach you of the right direction, and that is away from all the hype of the generation. Philosophers call it generation gap and the truth is that things have evolved so much. Your parents time is much different from your time – this is a fact.

We were taught at home and in school that we should obey our parents, and that we should conform to the norms of the society. You would like to do things your way, but it should be in a way that would not make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. 

In the past decades, we also had our own share of ripped jeans and shorts, but in contrast to today’s fab where shorts have become at its shortest and ripped jeans have merely a thread to hang on to, our jeans are ripped at the right places and our shorts are at modest lengths having always believed that you have to leave something for their imagination. 

Alcohol and other vices…

Having a night out with your friends is necessary to de-stress and unwind as long as you have done your part at school and not at its expense. 

A lot of clubs begin the fun fare at 10 in the evening until sunrise offering a variety of drinks and booze that at a newbies sight is near heaven. Careful, though. These cocktails are made with a mixture and a splash of several alcoholic beverages that can make you feel dizzy after several shots. You have to learn to identify the difference between social drinking and a drinking habit that’ll last a lifetime. For sure that at one point in your life, you have seen a faraway relative suffer the ill effects to drinking. So, hold your horses and think a hundredfold before taking that next shot of margarita in your hand. Not only will it have a long term effect to your body, it will also have an effect on your memory and your ability to concentrate since alcohol depletes your brain of glucose, which is necessary for it to function well.

Source: addiction.com

Also, if you frequent these clubs, some of them do not prohibit smoking within their premises. Oh boy, you may not be smoking yourself, but the ill effects of being able to inhale the smoke inside the club beats the effects of you smoking that cigar. In the recent statistics released by the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), lung cancer ranks 2nd in the overall morbidity and mortality of people worldwide and the majority of that statistic is caused by smoking. Both smokers and secondhand smokers have an equal risk of developing lung cancer with just a stick per day and with just a whiff of vape regardless of the flavor, kidding aside. 

Other than the things that we have just discussed above on why you should avoid drinking, the next dreaded complication of drinking is intoxication. You don’t know what will happen to you while heavily intoxicated since it is very difficult to control your senses. It is always a good thing to have someone you trust by your side the moment you pick up that first shot glass; just to watch over you and prevent you from making a fool out of yourself. 

To dye or not to dye

Sure, there is nothing wrong with dyeing your hair, but do so with a color that doesn’t say “Hey, I want some attention”. Forgive me for being so upfront about this but loud colors just say I’m walking in the room and I’m right here. It’s good to have that attention for the right reasons like doing good in school, appreciating your talents and skills, forming new hobbies and the likes.

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Dyeing has some ill effects on your locks. It causes the hair to lose the keratin and oil which is being produced at a regular basis. It also makes you prone to dandruff because of excessive dryness and with that, you don’t want white speckles of dandruff on your LBD, right? LBD is short for little black dress, if you don’t know.

Always remember that your parents just want what is best for you. Generation gap or not, it is always best to take good care of yourself and preserve your body. Consider it as a holy ground wherein you have to keep it clean all of the time. You owe it to yourself, to your parents and most of all to the One who created you. 

 

Life after Prison: Is There Hope?

Daniel (not his real name) is a 25-year-old drug dealer who served time and has been released to go back to the community. He stated that he has reformed and the process inside the prison has brought him to realization that he wants his normal and peaceful life back. But the problem now is, he’s having some doubts if he will ever function and regain his normal life back.

Source: rawstory.com 

What is recidivism?

When offenders get released from prison, some of them are not successful in the reformation process and regaining their normal lives. They tend to go back to their usual illegal and criminal acts, gets arrested again, and eventually be reconvicted and returned to prison. This is called recidivism

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Not all prisoners go back to their families and communities joyful and with positive outlook. The Bureau of Justice Statistics have reported that after three years of release, about two-thirds or 67.8% of these released prisoners gets rearrested and go back to prison. Reasons identified to the relapse of criminal behavior can be attributed not only to one single cause or factor. Experts have identified several factors that can cause the prisoners to return to criminal life: 

  • Lack of socialization. This could be from the notion that persons coming out from prisons have little or no friends aside from their acquaintances that are also related to criminal behavior. Therefore, they would initiate contact to their previous friends and will influence them again to commit illegal acts leading to recidivism.
  • Lack of job training. Prisoners sometimes don’t get the chance to undergo job skills training after they are released from prison. This can lead to returning to their usual activities that they are more comfortable with and much of these activities entail illegal acts of attaining financial resources.
  • Lack of employment opportunity or inability to obtain employment. This can be due to the stigma that these persons have been convicted due to a crime committed and has served time as penalty. Employers are sometimes afraid that these persons have high tendency of committing a crime again. As such, they would not get considered for the job.
  • Inability to reintegrate into society after returning from prison. The success of the person to go back to their communities can be assessed on how well he/she interacts and behave appropriately. This can be seen if he has obtained a job, increase social connections, and ability to interact with the rest of the community. For most of the returnees, this aspect is very difficult to achieve.
  • Antisocial attitudes. On a personal level, prisoners tend to possess innate antisocial attitude that despite of the reformation process in the prison, they will always negate with the norms of society and will continue to act irresponsibly.
  • Restlessness and impulsiveness. Being impatient and lacking the ability to control and critically think what will be the consequence of their actions will bring.
  • Association with other criminals. Apparently, some prisoners will have a hard time to dissociate themselves from their previous gangs or groups. The moment they know that the prisoner has gotten out, they can trace him and will bring him back to criminal life.
  • Lack of education. Statistically, prisoners are under-educated community compared to the general population. Despite of the ongoing education they can receive while serving time, some have lower reading levels for their ages, lack writing and math skills. With the lacking knowledge and skills to help them find a job, they would go back to the easiest way that they can think of, and that’s committing criminal acts.
  • Lack of support. This factor can mean lack of family support, true and good friends, and community resources to help the offender regain his normal life.
  • Substance abuse. Continuation of the offender to use illicit drugs and even alcohol intoxication can lead him back to doing illegal behaviors.
  • Neglect or abuse of parents or guardians. In the case of juvenile delinquents, the absence of a responsible parent or guardian is a major factor to lead them to negative peers and bad influence to commit criminal acts.

So, is there hope?

Even though there is still an ongoing stigma on prisoners going back to their communities, Daniel is hopeful that in due time and process, he will be able to live a normal and peaceful life. There are several strategies that can help him in attaining this goal:

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  • Continuing education. The purpose of imprisonment is not only to penalize the person for the crime that he committed, but to help in the reformation of behavior, attitude and outlook in life. There are prison education programs and vocational training programs that will help prepare the prisoners gain skills and knowledge to help them in their job seeking and eventually obtaining a job.
  • Professional help to undergo therapy and counselling. Psychologists believe that cognitive-behavioral therapy can help in rewiring the brain, thereby changing how the person think and behave appropriately.
  • Ongoing support. Family, social and community support are crucial on the system of recovery of the prisoner. An effective parole and probation system is the best answer to achieve this.

 

How to Help a Kleptomaniac

Have you imagined walking in the groceries with your family member or a loved-one and suddenly you caught them stealing? Have you seen somebody who looked rich but they sneakily steal an item and didn’t pay for it? These are some common instances where kleptomaniacs behave. Kleptomania also known as Klopemania is defined as an impulse control disorder wherein the person has the inability to control himself or refrain from stealing items other than personal or financial gains. Most of these behaviors happen during late adolescent and young adulthood years, happening more in women than in men. The condition was highly sensationalized because some famous Hollywood stars were caught or known to be doing such behaviors. 

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Now, what if they are your significant others or someone you love and care so much? The incident could create various reactions, of course – ranging from shock or disbelief, humiliation, anger, and frustration. Is there a cure for this condition? What would be the best thing to do to help them resolve or control these impulses from happening again. Here are some of the helpful ways in order to help them recognize and gain control.

  • Promoting awareness or assisting the individual recognize the signs and symptoms. It is helpful to know the signs, symptoms including behaviors that a kleptomaniac manifests. Some of them are: anxiety leading to theft, depression, gratifying feelings after theft, stealing without planning and developing remorse after committing it. Identifying triggers is also significant. There are underlying issues that a kleptomaniac is battling such as anxiety, depression or feelings of inadequacy that are left unresolved. Helping them identify these predisposing factors would mean the root cause will be eliminated. Equipping oneself of the knowledge and available resources that can be utilized about kleptomania. 

Source: swanwaters.com

 

  • Keep a diary or journal to record events pertaining to kleptomania. Write down the date, place, object stolen, and the trigger factor that lead to such behavior. This way, the person will be able to review and reflect on the episodes that he/she has done stealing and will help in the plan of not doing it again. 

Source: marycgottschalk.com

 

  • Approach them in a very calm, non-judgmental and helpful manner. Let them feel that you are there to help them avoid getting into problems or legal trouble. Explain the consequences of their actions. You can emphasize that it may lead to arrest, loss of a job and trust issues. 

 

  • Suggest the variety of treatment choices that can help them. According to psychiatrists, kleptomania can be a psychological condition originating from obsessive-compulsive disorders and will be requiring professional help. As such, kleptomaniacs may then require attending therapies specific to help and manage their conditions. Some of these therapies are behavior modification therapy, family therapy, cognitive behavior therapy and psychodynamics. Talking to a psychologist who can diagnose and suggest other treatment modalities. Also, support groups can be beneficial. This is where they can see compassion and encouragement for a successful recovery. 

 

  • Encourage the person to choose a hobby to occupy his time. In that way, he can divert his impulses into a more productive activity. They can focus their energy into making crafts, discovering new hobbies they have never tried before or meeting new set people that can inspire them to discover new things. Emphasize to them that gaining focus and being an asset in the community will do them more good.

 

Therefore, creating a non-judgmental, compassionate and helpful attitude around kleptomaniacs are vital into resolving this condition. It is also very important that we actively make them feel that we are involved in their process of overcoming this. A consistent communication regarding their development and keeping track of their progress. Overcoming this battle is a team effort.