|Fatherhood in early 20s may raise risk of midlife death
||Findings suggest that young fathers have poorer health than men who become fathers at age 25 or older, but it's not clear why.
|Value Comes from Within
||With the ever-growing popularity of social media and instant access to external feedback, it’s no wonder our society is wrought with invitations to like, heart, or share something about ourselves which we find valuable. But what happens if we don’t get the feedback we expected? … ...
|Can Police Departments Reduce Implicit Bias?
||This article is the eighth in a series exploring the effects that unconscious racial biases have on the criminal justice system in the United States.
“In too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement,” said President Obama in a recent speech at the Congressional Black Caucus Awards Dinner. “And that has a corrosive effect—not just on the black community; it has a corrosive effect on America.”
These are powerful words from the President of the United States. In discussions around the country with other law enforcement and community members, I know the issue of police and race has reached a level of intensity that must be actively addressed. These conversations have taken place for many years, yet we don’t seem to be making much progress on the core problem—chronic and pervasive distrust between communities of color and police.
The continued deficit in trust is a bitter pill to swallow, because I believe the vast majority of law enforcement began and remain committed to service of others. I have seen first-hand the sacrifice of police personnel and their willingness to accept high levels of risk in the performance of their duties. I have had the honor to know officers who have served the community in trustworthy ways and even paid the ultimate price to protect others.
Community trust in law enforcement isn’t just nice to have—it’s essential to the success of police work and the safety of residents. When trust in the police is low, community members don’t call the police, they don’t cooperate with the police, they don’t testify, they don’t provide information, and, sometimes, they may take matters into their own hands.
We have all dropped the ball, from the level of the office of the President to the halls of academia to the streets that police try to keep safe. This isn’t to say there is never probable cause for arrests or that many of the people arrested don’t need to be brought to justice. But enforcement strategies and tactics have often been a breeding ground for conflict, even where there is legal justification for law enforcement to take action. In addition, the staggering incarceration rates and the costs of incarceration have had measurable and devastating effects for many communities, particularly communities of color.
Those are not outcomes that most officers want. But the research highlighted in Greater Good’s implicit bias series has raised serious concerns about the effects implicit bias can have on policing decisions. The work shows how our unconscious biases can undermine our consciously held beliefs. This is true for all people, and even for people making decisions affecting their same racial group. Implicit bias isn’t the only factor driving disparities of enforcement and unacceptable incarceration rates, but it certainly has an impact. The only way to determine and address the impacts of implicit bias—and address them—is to do the following: have direct, open, and honest conversations with the community, rigorously collect and study the data, and implement enforcement strategies and training programs focused on fairness and equity, particularly for communities of color.
Can policy help to challenge bias? To begin the trust-building conversation, law enforcement, elected officials, and all community stakeholders must start by recognizing that racial disparities have had terrible consequences for our society—and that we are ready to do something about it.
This is, in fact, the starting point for racial reconciliation efforts underway by the National Network for Safe Communities and other trust-building conversations around the country. I strongly believe this position is a key element for building lasting trust with communities of color, who are looking for tangible signs that police agencies are doing what they say they will do. These conversations also allow law enforcement to talk about the realities they face in deciding where and when to conduct enforcement efforts to reduce crime.
Getting the facts raises awareness
Data collection can play a critical role in helping law enforcement to recognize that there is a problem—and in shaping the response. Professor Jack Glaser, in his 2014 book Suspect Race, outlines the latest scholarly research and provides compelling evidence for the presence of racial bias in many policing practices—and he argues how racial profiling exacerbates incarceration rates among affected populations. Stanford professor Jennifer Eberhardt’s groundbreaking work continues to illustrate how race can impact decision-making—which can lead to negative outcomes for African Americans.
Though there is debate about how and why evidence should be collected and analyzed, efforts should be made by all police agencies. Collecting and sharing data is, at a minimum, a significant step toward transparency; unfortunately, efforts over the years to collect and analyze data have generally been localized because of inconsistent collection methods across agencies. Fortunately, there is a nationwide effort underway by the Center for Policing Equity. These efforts will involve data collection from agencies around the country and normalize how the data is compared across categories. This is a particularly encouraging innovation for law enforcement research.
On the cutting edge of the research, there are efforts underway by Professor Eberhardt to look at the extensive amounts of body camera footage collected by a police agency. The goal is to analyze the quality of the interactions in order to identify themes during police stops and engagement with the community. It may identify if and how bias plays a role in the encounter, and allow agencies to design interventions to address the problem.
But it can also provide feedback regarding positive and negative interactions. This approach can go a long way toward informing training and policy with a constant eye on improving interactions with the police. The goal is always to move toward increased positive interactions, even during difficult circumstances, as a way of building trust with the police. This is one of the first systematic and large-scale efforts to use footage captured by body-worn cameras for this purpose.
Building a new culture
Of course, facts will not be helpful without a culture of fairness and inclusion in police agencies. The Chicago Police Department has pioneered and implemented training that emphasizes four key elements of procedural justice, all of which can help build trust in the police and may have positive impacts at addressing effects of implicit bias:
There are three agencies in California also providing this training. If we take the research on procedural justice seriously, it gives us a clear framework to shift our policies and procedures toward building legitimacy. The legitimacy can be earned, day-by-day, by changing the nature of the interactions between police and communities of color so that instead of reinforcing distrust and tension, they begin to build trust and cooperation. This training is now being adapted for application in at least two states. Programs that shift bias
Given the importance of trust to public safety—and the ongoing coverage of negative, often tragic encounters between police and community members—I strongly believe law enforcement leaders must openly advocate and implement strategic polices and enforcement strategies to focus on increasing trust and lowering crime at the same time. This will go a long way to indicate the desire for a new way and new relationship.
One excellent example is the Cease Fire strategy, which recognizes that a very small number of people are responsible for shootings and homicide—and are themselves the targets of violence. They can be identified and communicated with in a direct and respectful way. In communications, the risks of continued participation in violence are explained and services are offered to the individuals. It is made clear that the community and law enforcement want something different for them—and it is for them to be alive and free. But this is not a Pollyannaish approach, for it also makes clear that violence cannot be tolerated. Those who continue make their communities unsafe will face enforcement action and prosecution.
This approach has proven far more effective in reducing violence and building community trust than stopping large segments of a population, a strategy sometimes equated with racial profiling, which only exacerbates tensions between police and the community. There are additional promising strategies related to restorative justice and re-entry programs which lower recidivism rates.
The evidence of low trust of the police in communities of color is disheartening. Law enforcement leaders are in the unique position of leadership to implement programs to address the low levels of trust.
There is no magic wand—and building trust is hard work. It begins with an honest conversation about the effects of policing in the past. Law enforcement leaders must recognize that key members of the community may not even sit at the trust-building table until they observe law enforcement leaders make concrete efforts to address the issues. The President’s Task Force Report on 21st Century Policing is a great place to start when considering the best steps forward to build trust in your community. It’s hard work, but the problem is not intractable. I am grateful to the Greater Good’s implicit bias series for offering thoughtful discussion and research on this critically important topic for society today.
|Is it the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?
||It's natural to wonder if what you are feeling may be a symptom of something more serious. And considering 20 percent of women do experience postpartum depression or anxiety, it's also important to know when to seek professional help to feel better.
|When People Treat You Differently
||I’ve never thought I was that different. A little odd, yes, but I still want the same things everyone does. Friendship, love, and meaning in my life. So why do … ...
|The Six Stages of Mental Strength
|| Many people think that mentally strong people are simply born that way. That from the moment their feet hit the ground, they are simply endowed with some almost supernatural … ...
|The Memories That Could Cure Stress-Induced Depression
Some memories may have a curative power over stress-induced depression.
» Continue reading: The Memories That Could Cure Stress-Induced Depression
» Read HealthiestBlog.com, the new site from PsyBlog's author
Related articles:This is How Exercise Protects You From Stress-Induced Depression
Chronic Stress Early in Life Causes Anxiety and Aggression in Adulthood
How Depression Is Linked to Intestinal Bacteria
Possibility of Selectively Erasing Unwanted Memories
A Better Way to Cope With Persistent Bad Memories
|Can You Know You Want to Be Single If...
||A reader emailed me, telling me about some of the ways she fits the profile of people who are single at heart. For example, she loves solitude and can go … ...
|Dylann Roof, Psychotherapy and the Flight into Forgiveness...
||“Forgiveness” is much in the news these days, focused mainly on the horrific murders of nine parishioners of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Many commentators heaped praise upon some surviving family members and other parishioners of the church, for their almost … ...
|My Mentor Never Gave His Last Lecture
||If you use your candle to light mine, I get light without darkening you.
|8 Things to Consider When Your Depression Is Not...
||I keep getting the same email over and over again, and my heart aches each time I read it: “I have tried everything to overcome my depression, but nothing has helped. Is there anything else I can do or will I have to live the … ...
|ADHD on Vacation
||" ... I'm relaxed. I'm enjoying myself. My feet are up and the sea breeze is tickling my toes and I'm happy. I just can't get my mind to think about nothing. I already knew that would be a problem though. That's why I brought my laptop....
|Fifty psychological terms to just, well, be aware of
||Frontiers in Psychology has just published an article on ‘Fifty psychological and psychiatric terms to avoid’. These sorts of “here’s how to talk about” articles are popular but themselves can often be misleading, and the same applies to this one. The article supposedly contains 50 “inaccurate, misleading, misused, ambiguous, and logically confused words and phrases”. […]
|Is music in the operating room distracting?
||British study shows playing music in the operating room can be disruptive and surgeons should think twice about pressing the play button.
|5 Types of Therapy To Re-Think for Adopted/Foster Children...
||How would you feel if a therapist, who claimed to be trained in working with adopted or foster children with mental and behavioral health problems (a topic discussed last week) … ...
|Rolling with the Punches
||The past four months have been hard. I got dumped via text message over 5 & 1/2 years into the relationship. Then I continued to live in his house until … ...
|Could body posture during sleep affect how your brain clears waste?
||Sleeping in the side position, as compared to on one’s back or stomach, may more effectively remove brain waste and prove to be an important practice to help reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases, new research suggests.
|Consolidating consciousness: Memory permanence may be mediated by neural rehearsal following learning
||The permanence of memories has long thought to be mediated solely by the production of new proteins. However, new research has shown that the electrical activity of the brain may be a more primary factor in memory solidification.
|Traumatic experiences change the brain — even in those without PTSD
||Trauma may cause distinct and long-lasting effects even in people who do not develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), according to research by scientists working at the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry. It is already known that stress affects brain function and may lead to PTSD, but until now the underlying brain networks have proven [...]
The post Traumatic experiences change the brain — even in those without PTSD appeared first on PsyPost.
|New research shows remembering self-control failures leads to repeat failures
||It’s been said that “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it,” but even if you know your own history, that doesn’t necessarily help you with self-control. New research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology shows the effectiveness of memory in improving our everyday self-control decisions depends on what we recall and [...]
The post New research shows remembering self-control failures leads to repeat failures appeared first on PsyPost.