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Your final assignment will be to write your research paper related to the topic you selected in Week 2: Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse, Mental Health Parity, Prison Diversion, or Prescription Privileges for Psychologists, and discuss how it transcends from policy to delivery. Please review the bullet points carefully and be sure you are addressing each area in a comprehensive manner. While you will summarize the current laws and regulations and their impact on services, make sure you don’t miss the discussion on what future policies/laws and regulations would be needed to address this issue adequately. Additionally, make sure you utilize a minimum of eight scholarly sources to support your analysis. 
Some videos to get you thinking! (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
An article:
Running head: PRISON DIVERSION 1

Prison Diversion

Prison diversion programs are initiatives that redirect mentally ill persons, drug offenders, and juveniles that have committed minor offenses from going to jail but into facilities outside the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system. This policy issue utilizes diversion initiatives to redirect the amount of jail time that juveniles, drug offenders, and the mentally ill serve. The objective of this policy is to reduce the presence of minority offenders and from getting involved with the criminal justice system that is attributed to higher incidents of criminal reincarceration. Similarly, research shows that prison diversion programs shift the intervention methodology from criminal justice and correction facilities to community-based treatment services at the local, state, and federal instructions (Sirotich, 2009).
According to Gill & Murphy (2017), serious mental health patients are 500% more likely to get involved with the criminal justice system in comparison to the general population. Mentally ill patients constitute a vulnerable population whose action is largely influenced by their mental health or related situations. Similarly, drug offenders’ actions that lead to their incarceration are attributed to substance abuse problems or related situations. Third, while it is not known what leads to criminal behavior among juvenile offenders, it is evident that they lack the criminogenic risk factors that necessitate the involvement of criminal justice stakeholders (Gill & Murphy, 2017). Therefore, it is necessary to create state and federal policies that do not criminalize mental illness, illness-related behavior, and juvenile behavior but offer alternatives and comprehensive strategies that rehabilitate reintegrate them into the general population. Correctional facilities operate preeminently to reinforce criminal sanctions that deter people from activities that will lead to their incarceration. Thus, the criminal justice process cannot handle mental health and rehabilitative systems which will effectually reduce policy contact and the probability of criminal recidivism.
It is my firm belief that the criminal justice system and correctional facilities are in most circumstances utilized inappropriately. Prisons are built to rehabilitate criminals, however, the reason why people commit offenses is complicated. Both internal and external factors play a role in the wide variety of crimes that are committed. Interestingly, research shows that a prison sentence is neither the only answer nor a necessarily effective solution to criminal issues. To a very small degree, some people justifiably need to be incarcerated. However, when looking at it from an overall standpoint, prison is not the answer. A study conducted by Gill & Murphy, (2017) reveals that the criminogenic effect of prison sentences with incidents of repeat offenders’ inmates is evident in California’s 70% recidivism rate.
The antiquated responses of confinement and seclusion are methods of punishment. Prison is an antiquated response to minor crimes. For example, a majority of the population believes it is fairly ridiculous that thousands of people end going to prison for possession of marijuana. If such a punitive measure was meant to deter usage of the drug or other similar drugs it has failed completely (Diversion Programs in America’s Criminal Justice System: A Report by the Center for Prison Reform, 2015)
Rehabilitation, on the other hand, is something that not only transforms juvenile and drug offenders into assets by purging their old behaviors and replacing them with new morals, values and a positive attitude towards life. Many rehabilitative-based programs are so selfishly sponsored by NGOs and volunteers which form the foundation for the transformation of many offenders (Diversion Programs in America’s Criminal Justice System: A Report by the Center for Prison Reform, 2015). These programs have not only helped mentally ill individuals understand themselves and their actions, but most importantly, have given them a sense of self-worth, meaning, and hope (Sirotich, 2009).
Diversion Programs in America’s Criminal Justice System: A Report by the Center for Prison Reform. (2015).
Gill, K. J., & Murphy, A. A. (2017, December 3). Jail Diversion for Persons with Serious Mental Illness Coordinated by a Prosecutor’s Office. BioMed Research International.
Sirotich, F. (2009). The Criminal Justice Outcomes of Jail Diversion Programs for Persons With Mental Illness: A Review of the Evidence. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, 37(4), 461–472.

Final Paper: From Policy to Delivery 

Topics (Choose one topic from the following list as a focus for your research project):
1. Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse: Laws requiring the mandated reporting of child abuse have been enacted in every state in the United States. Mandated reporting laws cross disciplines (counseling, psychology, medicine, nursing, education, etc.). Some professionals have criticized these laws on the basis of interfering with their professional relationship with children.
2. Mental Health Parity: Mental health parity laws and regulations have been enacted at the state and federal level. This “hot” issue affects not only the mental health community, but also the welfare and traditional healthcare sectors.
3. Prison Diversion: Many states and counties have developed court-based diversion program to provide an alternative to prison time for minor offenses, drug offenses, and offenses committed by juveniles or mentally ill individuals. There are several facets of this issue that can be examined from a cross-disciplinary perspective.
4. Prescription Privileges for Psychologists: There are efforts by both the state and federal level focused on granting psychologists the right to prescribe psychotropic medications to patients. This controversial issue crosses several disciplines.
After you have selected a topic, you will prepare a comprehensive 4,200-5,250 word (12-15 page) paper that analyzes all of the following areas from a cross-disciplinary perspective:
· Define the human service policy topic you have chosen from a cross-disciplinary perspective. What are the problems, areas, and disciplines that you will explore in your paper? (2-3 pages)
· Briefly summarize and review the relevant federal and state regulations, laws, or court rulings relevant to your topic. (2-3 pages)
· How do these laws and regulations impact the provision of services? Ensure you address the impact the development of budgets, management of staff and volunteers, the ability to engage in advocacy efforts in this analysis.  (6-8 pages)
· What future research/policies/law/regulations are needed to address this issue adequately? (2-3 pages)
APA 6th edition format is required for this assignment. You must use a minimum of eight scholarly sources including the textbooks to support your analysis. You may include recommended and required readings.

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