Incarcerated Black Men and Mental Health.

Historical adversity, which includes slavery, sharecropping and race-based exclusion from health, educational, social and economic resources, translates into socioeconomic disparities experienced by African Americans today. Socioeconomic status, in turn, is linked to mental health: People who are impoverished, homeless, incarcerated or have substance abuse problems are at higher risk for poor mental health.” – (Mental Health America, 2018)

African American men, incarceration rates are continuously questioned and our current criminal justice system for years now, has been labeled the New Jim Crow.  Most African American men who have a history of incarceration, suffers from some type of mental health disorders.  Our prisons and jails continues to be overcrowded and understaffed, which leads to more stress and violence from the inmates and the staff.  African American men who are incarcerated are exposed to traumatic and violent experiences not only while they’re incarcerated, but even once they’ve been released, and are discriminated against, thereafter.  more

The Weight of the Badge and Police Officer Suicides

For the first time in policing, departments have started to openly discuss the weight of the badge and the impact it has on the mental health of officers.

Operation Crime and Justice traveled to Chicago, where three police officers committed suicide in three months. After investigating the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the Department of Justice found officers there committed suicide at a rate 60 percent higher than the national average.

As a child, Scott Tracz dreamt of policing Chicago streets.

“He wanted to fix the bad city,” his cousin Ark Maciaszek said to Lead Investigative Reporter Joy Lepola in an interview.  more

An old Minnesota jail is now a leader for inmate mental health

When Clay County officials started planning to replace its jail, the oldest in the state, they gathered around a table to start building a wish list for the new jail’s design.

“One of the first things we talked about, one of the big needs we felt, was having proper housing for those individuals in our custody that have mental health and behavioral issues,” recalls Julie Savat, the jail’s administrator.

Staffers visited psychiatric wards at local hospitals and used some of what they learned to tell architects what they wanted to see in a behavioral health jail unit. At the top of their list: A quiet area away from the rest of the jail population, individual cells and a shared space outside those individual cells.  more

A Rural Community Decided To Treat Its Opioid Problem Like A Natural Disaster

When he was police chief of Stanwood, Wash., population 7,000, Ty Trenary thought rural communities like his were immune from the opioid crisis.

Then, one day, a mother walked through his door and said, “Chief, you have a heroin problem in your community.”

“And I remember thinking, ‘Well that’s not possible,’ ” Trenary recalls. “This is Stanwood and heroin is in big cities with homeless populations. It’s not in rural America.”

Last year leaders declared the opioid epidemic a life-threatening emergency. The county is now responding to the drug crisis as if it were a natural disaster, the same way they’d mobilize to respond to a landslide or flu pandemic.  more

Why does it seem like serial killers all wear the same glasses?

A brief history of murderers and their chosen eyewear, from Jeffrey Dahmer to the BTK Strangler to the Zodiac Killer

A teenager with red hair swooping over one eye takes a selfie at an eyeglass store and posts it on Tumblr. “I saw these Jeffrey Dahmer-like glasses,” he writes in the caption. “I feel like [they] look cute on me. Is that bad?” He tags the photo #serialkiller.

The list of serial killers who wore glasses is long and bloody, from Dahmer to BTK to Harold Shipman and his professorial frames; even the Zodiac Killer, never caught, wears a thick-rimmed pair in a police sketch. The aesthetic of “serial killer glasses” is so pervasive that it pops up everywhere from Urban Dictionary (“Eyeglasses with heavy or severe frames that live somewhere between fashionable and creepy”) to TV Tropes (where “a guy who is cold, emotionless … or even a soulless monster” is given glasses “to quickly tip off the audience to his personality”), and countless Tumblr posts in between.  more

Former teammates paint disturbing picture of Aaron Hernandez in Patriots locker room

Hernandez a headache for Brady

It didn’t even matter if Hernandez caused problems for Brady.

Lloyd told The Globe about an incident involving New England’s five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

“(Hernandez) was out at the walkthrough in flip-flops trying to run around,” Lloyd said. “He was laughing. He was loud. And Tom keeps it serious in the walkthrough. And Tom says, ‘Shut the f— up. Get the f— out of here.”

Hernandez did not respond well to Brady’s demands.

“It was like he went from this child-like, laughing, disruptive behavior and he storms off in a fit of rage,” Lloyd said.

Mood swings

Lloyd painted a picture of an erratic Hernandez who would shift gears from macho and angry to sensitive and insecure.

“There would be swings where he’d be the most hyper-masculine, aggressive individual in the room, where he’d be ready to fight somebody in fits of rage,” Lloyd said. “Or he’d be the most sensitive person in the room, talking about cuddling with his mother. Or he’d ask me, ‘Do you think I’m good enough to play?’”

The Globe noted that Hernandez suffered multiple brain injuries and went on to play the week after a concussion, his second documented brain injury.  more

The 30 Most Disturbing Human Experiments in History

Disturbing human experiments aren’t something the average person thinks too much about. Rather, the progress achieved in the last 150 years of human history is an accomplishment we’re reminded of almost daily. Achievements made in fields like biomedicine and psychology mean that we no longer need to worry about things like deadly diseases or masturbation as a form of insanity. For better or worse, we have developed more effective ways to gather information, treat skin abnormalities, and even kill each other. But what we are not constantly reminded of are the human lives that have been damaged or lost in the name of this progress. The following is a list of the 30 most disturbing human experiments in history.  more

We fear death, but what if dying isn’t as bad as we think?

“The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else,” wrote Earnest Becker in his book, The Denial of Death. It’s a fear strong enough to compel us to force kale down our throats, run sweatily on a treadmill at 7am on a Monday morning, and show our genitals to a stranger with cold hands and a white coat if we feel something’s a little off.

But our impending end isn’t just a benevolent supplier of healthy behaviours. Researchers have found death can determine our prejudices, whether we give to charity or wear sun cream, our desire to be famous, what type of leader we vote for, how we name our children and even how we feel about breastfeeding.   more

Behind Bars, Mentally Ill Inmates Are Often Punished For Their Symptoms

By some accounts, nearly half of America’s incarcerated population is mentally ill — and journalist Alisa Roth argues that most aren’t getting the treatment they need.

Roth has visited jails in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta and a rural women’s prison in Oklahoma to assess the condition of mentally ill prisoners. She says correctional officers are on the “front lines” of mental health treatment — despite the fact that they lack clinical training.

“Most of [the correctional officers] will talk about how this is not what they signed up,” Roth says. “Most of them have not had much training in dealing with mental illness — or they’ve had none at all.”  more