Tag: jr

Deaths in police custody in the United States: Research review

The case of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore man who died in police custody on April 19, 2015 — now ruled a homicide — has raised a number of questions about the treatment of racial minorities within the criminal justice system, as well as about patterns of arrest-related deaths more generally.

The Baltimore Sun‘s 2014 investigation of these issues in that city revealed that “over the past four years, more than 100 people have won court judgments or settlements related to allegations of brutality and civil rights violations.” Other outlets, such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have pursued similar investigations in their region. Still, it remains unclear how much these stark events and figures are characteristic of larger patterns across American society.

Animal Poaching: How Tracking Technology Could Help Prevent Wildlife Crime, Extinctions

Over the past year, stories about animal welfare have gone viral via social media. In particular, the issues of holding animals in captivity, big game hunting and wildlife poaching have drawn significant criticism. A gorilla named Harambe was shot and killed at a Cincinnati zoo in June 2016 after a 3-year-old boy fell into his enclosure, prompting public debate over whether gorillas should be kept in zoos at all. In the summer of 2015, a beloved lion named Cecil was killed after a party of game hunters lured him away from the animal sanctuary in Zimbabwe where he had been living. Cecil’s death caused such outrage that the American dentist who shot him received death threats.

In February 2014, Prince William made animal welfare a cornerstone of his philanthropic goals. The Prince thrust anti-poaching policy into an international spotlight when he helped launch United for Wildlife, an organization dedicated to stopping the illegal trafficking of wildlife. As part of his efforts, he has held meetings with world leaders, including President Obama, and gave a major speech at the World Bank about the importance of a global commitment to stop the illegal trade.

Alligator Fatal Attacks and Encounters With Humans: Historical Data and Research

Reports of a Florida alligator dragging a 2-year-old boy into a lagoon at a Disney Resort in June 2016 have left media organizations and the public questioning how such a tragedy could have occurred. Meanwhile, state wildlife officials and animal experts have tried to explain the habits and characteristics of these large, predatory creatures to help audiences understand both the rarity of such an encounter and the dangers of humans being in or near gator habitats at night and during the summer, when alligators are more active.

A 2014 primer from the University of Florida provides a research-based overview of alligator behavior and outlines safety-related information. Academic research can also help put attacks and related incidents into a broader context. A 2005 study published in the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, “Alligator Attacks on Humans in the United States,” reviews data gathered from state wildlife offices and newspaper reports from 1948 to 2004. The author, Ricky L. Langley of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, notes the following about the nature of attacks:

U.S.-Mexico border enforcement: Has it been effective?

immigration

Illegal immigration to the United States has long been a subject of heated debate. Some argue that immigrants take jobs away from Americans, commit crimes, traffic drugs and unduly strain social welfare programs but pay no taxes. Others counter that immigrants contribute valuable labor and should have a path to citizenship. The rhetoric reached new heights during the 2016 presidential campaign, notably with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the nearly 2,000-mile long border Mexico shares with the U.S. and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.

The debate has largely focused on immigrants from Mexico because, according to the Pew Research Center, they constitute the largest single group of immigrants in the United States.

Reducing juvenile crime and dropout rates: field experiments in Chicago

police tape

Studies have long shown that a child’s environment influences—for better or worse—his or her opportunities for success later in life. Children from high-poverty areas generally fare worse across a wide range of measures, from income to health to psychological well-being. Policymakers, meanwhile, grapple with how to craft programs to level the playing field for low-income children and reduce problems such as teen violence and school dropout rates.