SNHU Discussion: An Evidence-Based Approach to Social Advocacy – Excelsior Writers |
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based social advocacy. To do this, you will need to connect some dots between the mainstream media coverage of your chosen issue and the academic research.

Find two academic articles related to your issue and address the following questions:

  • How is this issue discussed in academic research as opposed to the mainstream media?
  • What evidence is used in each source?
  • How effective does the evidence seem in each source and why?
  • What solutions, if any, are proposed for the issue in the sources?

In response to your peers, think about the readings on evidence-based social advocacy for this week. Based on what your peers have shared with you, what stakeholders seem to be likely in their chosen issue? How could more or even all stakeholders be involved in the issue and its resolution? Why does this matter?

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.

Peer 1


I checked to see if there were pros and cons in the news on jails being mental health institutions. What was found is many articles all referring to this problem as a crises, some a national crises. The two largest jails in America are practically mental health insititutions already. Its seems by articles read that this is agreed by the vast majority of of the populace and every level of government. The problems found is budget constraint are preventing the full help. Also, not enough mental health personnel are available to help. Even Mental Helath insitutions outside of prison are able to help do to lack of beds. The money for medications is limited. It is agreed by all that not being able to help people in prison leads to the vicious cycle of prisoners being released and sent back to jail. I will continue to look for a news article that opposes mental health prisons, but so far none.

Peer 2

Hi Everyone,

The topic that I have chosen for my final project is the use of prisons as mental institutions. When choosing this topic I decided to focus on awareness, training to facilities and helping to build more community-based centers and sentences. The difference in how mental illness and prisons are discussed in academic research and mainstream media is astronomical. Mainstream media is more focused on the crime and who is at fault, the story. They do not look at why or how to fix this epidemic. There is a preconceived notion that the prisoner/offender is completely at fault. That there is purely something wrong with the individual. Academic articles acknowledge the faults of the judicial system, the person, and propose ways to fix it. They discuss and research how to help these individuals before reaching this point in their lives.

The first article I reviewed proposed developing a training curriculum for correctional officers. According to the article by Dehart & Iachini, while there are a lot of resources for clinicians, administrators, and crisis teams there is little to no training on mental health trauma for the individuals who deal directly with these individuals daily. The research looks at the correctional officer as the front-line. The individual who will notice changes in behavior decides whether an inmate’s needs to be potentially evaluated or referred. So much lies in a correctional officer’s hands that he may not have the proper training to handle a situation or offender appropriately.

The second article I reviewed proposed treating criminals with mental illness instead of a prison sentence. According to the article, the goals of the program is to “improve confidence in community sentences, raise awareness and increase confidence in treatment requirements” (Criminals, 2018). Since the five pilots started 400 community sentence treatment requirements were given. “Latest official figures show the use of community sentences is decreasing across all offense and age groups, falling by 8 percent last year and by 52 percent over the past decade” (Criminals,2018).

Some of the main reasons we review academic articles are because they indicate statistical information and are peer-reviewed. This gives others the ability to negate any wrong findings and further test the theory. Both articles provided tested proof and or statistical findings. In the first article, the correctional officers indicated that the program was helpful in noticing trauma and mental illness. In the second article the figures show a decrease in sentences.

Both articles aim to find solutions to the use of prisons as mental institutions. The first article looks for a solution in giving correctional officers the proper training because they are the front-line. This would reduce the number of individuals who are not being properly evaluated. The second article looks at the actual implementation of a program to transfer offenders to treatment programs instead of prison. Why they both have their limiations they would both be effective programs.

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