Canada relies on its criminal justice system to ensure fairness and public safety. However, the system encounters a host of hurdles that impair its potential to deliver equal and just access for all. Creating a just justice system requires proposing practical reforms at diverse levels, like policy-making bodies, courts, correctional facilities, and community-based services. In this essay, we will explore critical criminal justice reforms in Canada designed to bring about significant improvements in the fairness and effectiveness of the system and increased inclusivity.
Overhaul of Drug Policies:
The focus of dealing with drug use in Canada is punishing users through criminalization. However, it is clear from available data that a punitive approach aimed at substance abuse does little to address underlying causes or diminish related harms. Canada can only create a just justice system by implementing harm reduction approaches that prioritize public health and tackle underlying drug use issues.
A significant reform would involve decriminalizing smaller drug quantities to lessen the load on the criminal justice system. It can be beneficial to lead people toward prevention and rehabilitation alternatives rather than imprisonment (King & Pasternak, 2018). A compassionate and scientific response to substance abuse recognizes the complexity of the problem instead of simply criminalizing it through decriminalization
If drug possession was no longer a punishable offense under the law, resources could be redirected from law enforcement and imprisonment into more effective comprehensive harm reduction initiatives. To promote responsible drug use effectively, Canada must invest in education and prevention programs that offer accurate risk information while facilitating access to helpful resources like needle exchanges or supervised consumption sites.
The development of rigorous sentencing guidelines that rely on empirical data is essential to policy reform, especially when there is much concern over discrepancies in sentencing outcomes, mainly when it affects those from marginalized communities. In order to promote parity among all members of society, it is vital to address disparities in treatment by factoring in objective evidence and personal factors when making sentencing decisions.
Restricting the implementation of mandatory minimum sentences has been suggested as a solution. However, these sentences may have a place in some situations; they should only be implemented for rare and severe infractions (Brandt, 2018). The inflexibility of mandatory minimum sentences has been a source of criticism as it limits the ability of judges to take into account specific circumstances in each case. However, more judicial discretion means that sentencing outcomes can be adjusted based on additional factors such as an offender’s mental state or their likelihood of being rehabilitated, resulting in a more just sentence.
To ensure the success of these sentence reforms, there must be proper allocation of resources towards gathering and scrutinizing information concerning the use of sentences; that the administration of justice remains consistent and fair across all communities can be ensured through the use of this information to identify disparities and provide guidance for improvements.
Expansion of Restorative Justice Programs:
Establishing a just justice system emphasizes the need for promoting reparative measures such as community engagement and alternative legal methods instead of utilizing only conventional courts. Restorative justice approaches present a productive and impactful solution to addressing non-violent crimes (Atak, 2018). Canada can facilitate healing through these programs that involve a dialogue between victims and offenders and community members coming together to understand the harm caused by actions taken.
Adopting restorative justice practices can broaden the scope of criminal justice beyond mere punishment and retribution. The pursuit of deep-rooted solutions in restorative justice rests on accountability, empathy, and repairing damaged relationships. Victims can express themselves freely as offenders are made accountable for what they have done hence making sense of the consequences provoked by such misconduct.
It is only possible to implement restorative programs by training judges and lawyers in the principles of restorative justice. However, integrating restorative practices within court systems or establishing dedicated centers would help rehabilitate offenders more effectively (Sylvestre, 2016). A secure environment that fosters support is made possible for conducting restorative procedures with these centers’ aid
Enhanced Access to Legal Representation:
Equal opportunity of accessing legal aid is essential for a fair and just judicial system. People who belong to marginalized or low-income communities alongside vulnerable populations are often unable to access legal representation, which hinders them from effectively navigating complex laws, undermining their ability to protect themselves.
Canada must make sure that legal representation is equally accessible to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds in order to solve this issue. The solution to this problem can be reached by combining different methods. To ensure the provision of sufficient legal representation for individuals who cannot afford it financially, the expansion of publicly funded legal aid services is crucial (Sylvestre, 2016), and to make sure that people have access to legal aid when they need it most, Canada should increase the funding of legal aid organizations and eliminate any narrow eligibility requirements.
Also, it is essential to improve the resources of legal clinics in order for them to provide free or inexpensive authorized assistance services for unserved populations. Legal clinics provide critical support in bridging the justice gap by offering guidance and representation to individuals who encounter significant hurdles when seeking legal aid.
Rehabilitation and Reintegration Programs:
One of the primary missions of a just justice system is to foster the productive reintroduction and reformation of jailed people. To accomplish this objective while minimizing recidivism rates, improving and extending rehabilitation initiatives within correctional facilities is necessary.
Correctional facilities must prioritize educational and vocational training to equip inmates with valuable skills needed for securing employment upon their release, thus enabling integration back into society, as accessing quality education while in prison can help achieve this goal (Cragg, 2003). Enhanced employability prospects could result from taking academic courses and gaining vocational trade certifications. At the same time, the key to preventing criminal behavior lies in providing education opportunities that enable individuals to break the negative cycle they find themselves in.
It is essential to offer comprehensive mental healthcare and addiction recovery programs alongside academic courses in correctional settings because mental illnesses and addiction issues are prevalent among incarcerated individuals. Tackling the root cause through appropriate interventions, including counseling and medication assistance, can potentially reduce recidivism rates, and providing access to mental health treatments is critical before and post-incarceration for ongoing support.
To successfully reintegrate back into society entails having complete and holistic support measures. Helping people attain secure housing while also connecting them with job training opportunities as well as community resources is what they do. Collaborative efforts among correctional authorities, government agencies, and community organizations are vital to establishing effective post-release support networks to meet the specific needs of former inmates. These reforms are designed to establish an encouraging setting that decreases the risk of lapsing into criminal behavior while making it easier for ex-offenders to reintegrate into society.
Alternatives to Incarceration:
For Canada’s justice system to be genuinely fair, Canada must explore and adopt alternatives to imprisonment that focus on addressing the root causes of criminal behavior. Diversion programs are a community-based alternative that can help individuals take responsibility for their actions while receiving rehabilitation support.
Remaining within the jurisdiction’s reach under particular surveillance after agreeing to follow probation program requirements in the community setting (Atak, 2018), probation officers can help individuals confront the deeper issues that give rise to criminal conduct by providing guidance and counseling services. Canada is working towards reducing recidivism by empowering individuals with the necessary tools for sustainable change.
In contrast with serving a complete sentence in incarceration, individuals may obtain freedom by following rules given parole programs. Rehabilitation progress, risk assessment, and behavioral patterns constitute some of the key elements taken into account by Parole boards in assessing whether an individual is ready for release or not (Cragg, 2003). Individuals who are on parole receive the necessary help and support to reintegrate into society while following the rules successfully
Instead of going through the usual court procedures and being incarcerated in jails or prisons, diversionary initiatives help individuals avoid such routes by offering rehabilitation options. People dealing with non-violent crimes and those who would find it helpful to receive tailored support services or treatments can benefit greatly from these programs. Tailored intervention programs offered through diversion programs can include restorative justice practices and mental health and substance abuse counseling.
Investment in Community Support Programs:
Establishing a just judicial framework requires acknowledging that tackling the root causes of crime and preventing it necessitates more than what is done within the conventional bounds of criminal justice. To prevent criminal involvement among vulnerable individuals, it is crucial to invest in community-based support programs as they provide essential resources and opportunities for leading productive lives within the realms of the law.
Providing extra financial aid will significantly benefit the efficiency of community-based organizations dedicated to curbing criminal activities. At-risk groups, including young people and those dealing with addiction or mental health issues, rely on these organizations, which offer targeted support for their needs (Brandt, 2018). Increasing resource allocation to these organizations can lead to an expanded outreach and improved efficiency of programs
Canada must focus on youth crime prevention programs that offer early intervention and support to prevent juvenile delinquency effectively. To deter young people from committing crimes (Atak, 2018), initiatives like mentoring programs, vocational training, and counseling services aimed at tackling root causes can be implemented. Young individuals may have a brighter future if the justice system invests in these programs to help end the cycle of crime.
Reducing socioeconomic inequalities will help decrease crime rates. Efforts addressing poverty reduction through investments in education & affordable housing can play a vital role in reducing criminal activity. Providing necessary support and opportunities enables individuals to contribute actively to their community’s progress.
Collaboration and Coordination:
The critical factors needed in creating a just justice system that deals with the complex challenges related to preventing crime and rehabilitating individuals are the collaboration and coordination between criminal justice agencies and community-based organizations. These entities can achieve more impactful results by jointly developing holistic approaches that tackle the underlying reasons behind criminal behavior.
One of the effective ways for different organizations, including healthcare providers and educational institutions, to collaborate is by partnering with law enforcement agencies (Atak, 2018). Collaboration among organizations through regular communication combined with sharing of information and joint planning allows them to employ a wealth of expertise to form comprehensive approaches toward crime prevention and support for rehabilitation initiatives in the area.
Further emphasis should be placed on coordinating uninterrupted care while transitioning among service providers. Additionally, individuals transitioning out of correctional facilities need access to community-based support services for successful reintegration. If individuals utilize efficient referral systems and coordinated services that cater specifically to their needs, then positive results are more likely, reducing the risk of reoffending.
Canada can only create a just Justice System by taking on all its challenges through multiple approaches and dealing with them collectively. Enhanced access to legal representation is just one of the many goals the proposed Canadian reforms set out to improve fairness, effectiveness, and inclusivity in their criminal justice system. Other critical objectives include harm reduction policies regarding drug use, rehabilitation initiatives, an emphasis on restorative justice programs, alternatives towards incarceration, and investments directed toward community-based services. Making strides toward a more equitable and just Canadian society can be achieved by implementing these reforms, which ensure that every individual has meaningful access to justice.
Atak, I., Hudson, G., & Nakache, D. (2018). The securitization of Canada’s refugee system: Reviewing the unintended consequences of the 2012 reform. Refugee Survey Quarterly, 37(1), 1-24.
Brandt, J., Shearer, B., & Morgan, S. G. (2018). Prescription drug coverage in Canada: a review of the economic, policy and political considerations for universal pharmacare. Journal of pharmaceutical policy and Practice, 11(1), 1–13.
Cragg, W. (2003). The practice of punishment: Towards a theory of restorative justice. Routledge.
King, H., & Pasternak, S. (2018). Canada’s emerging Indigenous Rights framework: A critical analysis (Vol. 22). Toronto: Yellowhead Institute.
Sylvestre, M. E. (2016). Moving Towards a Minimalist and Transformative Criminal Justice System: Essay on the Reform of the Objectives and Principles of Sentencing. Department of Justice Canada.
Demilitarizing The Police Force: Promoting Community-Centric Policing For Public Safety And Civil Liberties Essay Example
The militarization of the police force is a contentious issue in present-day society. Studies show that excessive force, civil liberties violations, and community distrust are worrying issues. The study examines police militarization and argues for demilitarizing law enforcement. The study proposes balancing public safety and civil liberties with community-centric policing. The study addresses demilitarization’s probable effects and provides solutions based on evidence and expert analysis. These tactics include community trust and engagement, communication and problem-solving, social initiatives, and education. Demilitarization and alternative law enforcement methods can improve public safety and civil freedoms in policing. This study report informs policymakers and encourages meaningful conversation on this vital subject, establishing the framework for informed policy reforms that prioritize public and law enforcement officer well-being.
In modern culture, police militarization has raised questions regarding the most appropriate use of force, community trust, and civil liberties. Law enforcement has increasingly used militaristic methods and equipment, raising concerns about public safety and individual rights (Area, 2022). Civil rights and anti-Vietnam War rallies in the 1960s and 1970s led the police to embrace military tactics and weaponry. Civil unrest and high-stress conditions forced law enforcement to change their techniques (Buchanan and Miller, 2020). Police everywhere began using riot gear, armored vehicles, and military-grade weapons to maintain order and avoid mayhem. The 1980s War on Drugs accelerated police militarization. The Drug Enforcement Agency acquired federal cash and surplus military weapons to militarize beyond protests. The 1033 Program, which transferred surplus military equipment to municipal police forces, intensified law enforcement militarization. To understand how police militarization affects present policing and community relations, one must understand its history.
Demilitarizing the police is crucial for public safety, community trust, and civil freedoms. Demilitarization advocates say that law enforcement organizations using military-grade equipment and practices weaken community-oriented policing and present the police as invading troops rather than public servants (Buchanan and Miller, 2020). This view can damage law enforcement-community confidence, limiting crime prevention and collaboration. Demilitarizing the police allows us to focus on community participation, trust-building, and problem-solving, forging a police-public partnership. Police militarization can also escalate violence and civil liberties breaches. Demilitarization advocates say community policing, de-escalation training, and social support may improve public safety without violating individual rights (Paranyuk, 2021). We can create a safer, more just society by balancing law enforcement and community interests. This study argues in favor of police demilitarization. It will analyze demilitarization and propose remedies. This paper analyzes the historical context of police militarization, understands proponents and opponents of demilitarization, and examines its effects on community-centric policing, civil liberties, and public safety to inform policymakers and facilitate informed discussions on this critical issue. To promote public and law enforcement officer safety, accountability, and justice in our communities.
Summary of the Issue
Police militarization must be understood historically. Civil rights and anti-Vietnam War rallies in the 1960s and 1970s led law enforcement to adopt militant tactics and equipment. Due to public disturbance and excessive stress, police began using riot gear, armored vehicles, and military-grade weapons (Area, 2022). In the 1980s, law enforcement acquired government cash and excess military weapons to fight drug crimes. The 1033 Program sent excess military weaponry to municipal police units, further militarizing law enforcement.
Police employment of military-grade equipment and tactics worries demilitarization advocates. Trust loss is a significant issue. Police as occupiers can impair crime prevention initiatives (Paranyuk, 2021). Demilitarization advocates say community-oriented policing, which emphasizes collaboration and problem-solving, is essential to rebuilding trust between law enforcement and communities. Human rights and civil liberties violations are another worry. Police militarization can escalate violence and lead to excessive force (Buchanan and Miller, 2020). Demilitarization supporters say reallocating money from military-style equipment to de-escalation training, community participation, and social assistance will improve public safety without compromising individual rights.
Police militarization advocates say it protects the public and law enforcement. They claim that police need military-grade equipment and training to battle rising crime rates, organized crime, and terrorist attacks (Area, 2022). Police militarization advocates say cops need enhanced equipment and tactics to act quickly and decisively in high-risk circumstances. Police militarization enthusiasts also claim that military-style equipment deters criminality. They say force can keep the peace and protect police and civilians. We can better comprehend the issue by examining police militarization’s history and hearing all sides’ perspectives. This understanding allows for a well-informed and nuanced debate on police demilitarization.
Argument for Demilitarization
One of the primary arguments for demilitarization is that it impedes the principles of community-oriented policing. Community-oriented policing stresses police-community partnerships. It understands that crime prevention and public safety require community participation and confidence (Paranyuk, 2021). However, aggressive equipment and methods might generate a “us versus them” mentality between police and the community. This hinders productive relationships, problem-solving, and crime prevention. Demilitarization supporters claim that investing in community participation and problem-solving can improve crime prevention and partnership.
Police militarization has damaged public trust in law enforcement. Military-grade equipment and techniques can make public sector agencies seem like occupying forces (Paranyuk, 2021). In areas with racial and socioeconomic differences, this view is especially strong. Law enforcement agencies struggle to garner community support, collaboration, and information when community people view the police as repressive. Demilitarization advocates say community-centric policing methods that promote discussion, transparency, and accountability may restore public trust.
Conflict and violence are another reason to demilitarize. Military-grade gear and methods can aggravate conflicts and encourage overuse of force (Peyton et al., 2019). While police must respond to high-risk situations, militarization might promote antagonism over de-escalation. Excessive force can jeopardize the law, police, and community people. Demilitarization proponents claim de-escalation training, conflict resolution, and community participation may help police reduce crime and maintain public safety without using excessive force. Demilitarization supporters want police to better serve and protect communities, reestablish trust, and reduce conflict and bloodshed. Demilitarization prioritizes community-centric policing and civil liberties over police disarmament.
Potential Outcomes and Addressing Challenges
Building Community Trust and Engagement
One potential outcome of demilitarizing the police force is the allocation of resources to strengthen community policing initiatives (Hamernick, 2019). Community policing promotes problem-solving and crime prevention through law enforcement-community collaborations. Law enforcement can improve community trust, safety, and presence by shifting resources from military-grade equipment and techniques to community-oriented programs.
Community policing might get numerous resources. First, adding community involvement and problem-solving officers can make police more visible in neighborhoods. These officers can collaborate with community leaders, local groups, and people to address specific concerns and create community safety strategies. Second, community-focused programs can help law enforcement connect with the community (Hamernick, 2019). These programs may include community outreach, neighborhood watch, youth mentorship, and social service collaboration. Law enforcement may promote trust and community ownership by actively incorporating community people in decision-making and public safety strategy development.
Social Support and De-escalation Training
Demilitarizing the police force prioritizes de-escalation training and social aid (Peyton et al., 2019). De-escalation training helps officers resolve difficult situations without using force. Law enforcement agencies can avoid excessive force and unnecessary escalation by emphasizing de-escalation in their training. Social assistance programs can reduce crime and improve community well-being, together with de-escalation training. These programs may include mental health crisis response teams, substance addiction treatment, and vulnerable population social assistance. By working with mental health specialists, social workers, and community organizations, law enforcement can help crisis victims without using punishment.
To succeed, resource allocation and training must meet numerous issues. Funding and resources are a problem. Demilitarization requires repurposing military equipment and techniques for civilian initiatives and training. Law enforcement must collaborate with lawmakers and community partners to win financing and support for these projects. Budgets and long-term planning should prioritize community well-being and safety.
Community policing and de-escalation training are continuing responsibilities (Peyton et al., 2019). To engage with the community and respond to varied situations in a non-confrontational and measured manner, law enforcement organizations must invest in frequent training and professional development. Leadership and good communication are also needed for law enforcement-community organization cooperation. Effective partnerships require trust, active listening, and mutual respect. To address issues, evaluate program success, and adjust plans, clear communication and feedback channels should be established. Demilitarizing the police can improve community trust and engagement. Community policing, de-escalation training, and social aid can achieve this.
Addressing New Challenges
Demilitarizing police means balancing officer safety and civil liberties (Hamernick, 2021). While reducing the use of military-grade weapons and techniques is critical, providing law enforcement officers with the tools and resources they need to do their jobs safely is also important. Implementing alternative non-lethal technology, improving de-escalation and conflict resolution training, and boosting police enforcement accountability and transparency can achieve this. Agencies can deploy improved tasers, pepper spray, and non-lethal crowd control to improve officer safety. These approaches can help officers handle threats without risking serious injury. Comprehensive training programs that emphasize situational awareness, tactical decision-making, and crisis response can also help cops handle difficult circumstances without using excessive force.
Civil liberty and accountability are also important. Independent review boards can help officers follow policies and respect constitutional rights. Body-worn cameras and community oversight can build confidence and provide checks and balances.
Local Communication and Problem-Solving
Demilitarization should improve local communication and problem-solving (Paranyuk, 2021). Law enforcement and community residents must communicate to create confidence, address concerns, and solve local issues. Law enforcement agencies can hold community advisory boards or town hall meetings to solicit community input. Community-oriented problem-solving can also improve public safety and reduce crime. Instead of reactive enforcement, this entails identifying and resolving crime’s core causes. Law enforcement can create neighborhood-specific solutions by involving community members, social service providers, and other stakeholders.
Neighborhood watch programs, community patrols, and restorative justice programs can also help community members collaborate and promote safety (Hamernick, 2021). Law enforcement agencies may enhance relationships, understand community objectives, and create a safer, more resilient society by partnering with local residents. Demilitarizing the police force involves balancing officer safety, civil liberties, effective communication, and community problem-solving. Law enforcement agencies can improve public safety, policing, and community trust by carefully managing these challenges.
Strategies for Demilitarization
Transparency, Accountability, and Engagement
One of the key strategies for demilitarizing the police force is to prioritize transparency, accountability, and community engagement (Hamernick, 2021). Rebuilding public trust and ensuring law enforcement agencies meet community expectations requires this strategy. First, military equipment procurement and use must be regulated. Law enforcement agencies should establish detailed equipment acquisition policies. These regulations should assess the equipment’s necessity and proportionality, its possible impact on community relations, and the need for regular training on its proper use. Agencies can avoid indiscriminate militarization and justify military equipment purchases by setting defined guidelines.
Procurement accountability is essential. Law enforcement agencies should disclose military equipment purchases (Peyton et al., 2019). This covers item descriptions, costs, and financing sources. Procurement transparency holds law enforcement agencies accountable and shows taxpayers how their money is spent. It also ensures acquisitions meet community values and needs. Transparency also requires military equipment usage reporting. Law enforcement agencies should give detailed information on equipment deployment frequency and circumstances. This information can demonstrate its utility and accountability. Reporting should be done quickly and in a public format like internet platforms or public gatherings. Public supervision ensures responsibility and trust. Independent review boards or civilian oversight committees can supervise military equipment purchase and use. These bodies should include non-law enforcement community members. They examine policies, investigate complaints, and suggest improvements. Community monitoring guarantees that public concerns are considered, and law enforcement authorities are held accountable.
Demilitarization requires community involvement (Hamernick, 2021). Law enforcement agencies must collaborate with community members and organizations to formulate effective military equipment policies. Law enforcement agencies can tailor their policies to community needs by consulting with them. Law enforcement agencies benefit from community forums and town hall meetings. These gatherings allow community members to communicate their ideas, experiences, and concerns about military equipment use. Law enforcement must actively listen to community members and incorporate their opinions when creating policies. Law enforcement can also create community advisory committees. Leaders, activists, campaigners, and ordinary residents can serve on these boards. The advisory boards facilitate community-police interaction and collaboration. The boards can advise on military equipment policies, ensuring community input.
Emphasizing on De-escalation and Peaceful Outcomes
Another key tactic is to prioritize de-escalation and peaceful results above confrontation (Paranyuk, 2021). De-escalation, conflict resolution, and communication skills should be emphasized in training programs. Officers can practice de-escalation techniques through scenario-based training. These activities should stress empathy, active listening, and the ability to recognize and meet the needs of potential conflict parties.
Also, clear policies that prioritize life and use force only as a last resort can also help cops make decisions. Law enforcement agencies should create comprehensive force-use standards that emphasize proportionality, need, and de-escalation. These regulations should clarify when force is justified and provide police with specific measures to take before using force (Peyton et al., 2019). De-escalation and intensive conflict resolution, and nonviolent communication training can lessen the need for force in public confrontations. Accountability methods also ensure departmental and legal compliance. Police departments should properly review and assess force situations.
Independent civilian review boards or external authorities can evaluate use-of-force occurrences to ensure transparency and fairness (Hamernick, 2021). These accountability systems should include regular evaluations of force occurrences, body camera footage, and other pertinent information, and interviews with all parties. The purpose is to assess if force was justified, departmental policies were followed, and training or processes can be improved. Law enforcement agencies can help officers make educated decisions and comply with departmental and legal requirements by developing clear policies and accountability mechanisms. Community members can believe that law enforcement is held accountable and that force situations are thoroughly investigated and addressed.
Social Initiatives, Education, and Mental Health Care
Social programs, education, and mental health should accompany demilitarization (Paranyuk, 2021). Social programs that address crime’s root causes—poverty, substance abuse, and lack of education—can make communities safer and more resilient. Community organizations, social workers, and educators can partner with law enforcement to create preventative, youth mentorship, and job training programs. Law enforcement can reduce crime and improve community development by taking proactive actions.
Demilitarization also requires mental health awareness (Peyton et al., 2019). Law enforcement agencies should work with mental health practitioners to train officers in crisis intervention and de-escalation for mental health emergencies. Co-responder programs, where mental health specialists accompany officers on calls, help guarantee that people receive the attention and assistance they need while minimizing force. Community education regarding rights, law enforcement, and cooperation can also improve police-community relations (Hamernick, 2021). Workshops, conferences, and school programs help raise knowledge and improve connections between law enforcement and their communities. These initiatives can help law enforcement agencies demilitarize, focus community well-being, and improve public safety while retaining effective policing. These activities involve constant commitment, collaboration, and acknowledgment of changing community needs and ambitions.
In brief, demilitarizing the police and encouraging community-focused policing protects public safety and civil liberties. Police militarization has made crime prevention harder and eroded community trust. De-escalation training, community involvement, and problem-solving skills can promote trust, teamwork, and public safety in law enforcement. Education and social contact lower crime and create a safer, fairer society. Transparency, accountability, and community involvement are necessary for demilitarization. Policymakers may create real reforms that benefit the public and law enforcement by applying these tactics and resolving the challenges. Demilitarizing policing may protect civil liberties, build community connections, and create a safer, more equitable society for all.
Area, H. (2022). INTERPOL (Doctoral dissertation, United Nations).
Buchanan, B., & Miller, A. (2020). # DisarmUC: Disrupting the Arms Race. Critical Times, 3(3), 551-558.
Hamernick, J. (2021). Toward a Nonviolent State. U. Ill. L. Rev. Online, 77.
Paranyuk, J. E. (2021). Lessons from the military on reforming police discipline. NYUL Rev., 96, 1675.
Peyton, K., Sierra-Arévalo, M., & Rand, D. G. (2019). A field experiment on community policing and police legitimacy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(40), 19894-19898.
Analyzing Group Therapy Techniques Sample Paper
Group therapy techniques demonstrated and how well they do
There are several group therapy techniques that can be evident in the video. One of them involves a sharing circles technique. A sharing circle is a group therapy technique in which people are seated in a circle, and everyone is allowed to speak freely while other group members listen without interruption or judgment Carr et al. (2020). This technique usually promotes empathy, active listening, and validation. This technique has been well demonstrated in the video since each member involved can share their concerns and ideas without anyone interrupting or judging them. For instance, Jimmy explains how he used to steal medications for her mother to relieve her pain while other members listened to him with empathy without interrupting or judging him.
The second group therapy technique evident in the video is supportive feedback. This technique involves group members providing constructive and supportive feedback to encourage one another to be strong and positive. Supportive feedback usually promotes understanding, mutual respect, and trust (Chikersal et al., 2020). This group therapy technique is well demonstrated in the video based on how members support one another by giving appropriate feedback to the information given by each one of them. For instance, the group members can be seen in the video listening attentively to Jimmy and encouraging him to give more information regarding his concerns.
Evidence from the Literature Supporting the Techniques Demonstrated
According to the literature, the two techniques considered have been used severally in different scenarios and proven effective. For example, according to Carr et al. (2020), a sharing-circle technique was used in a study involving cancer patients with mental illness to promote their trust and empathy. This technique was effective in the study since it promoted openness (Carr et al., 2020). Therefore, it can also be used in group therapy among patients with various mental health issues to promote their health and wellness by promoting openness and trust that can be used in developing an appropriate treatment plan. The article by Carr et al. (2020) can be considered scholarly because it aims to educate people on how sharing circles can effectively promote mental health. In addition, the article is also peer-reviewed, which is a critical aspect of scholarly sources. Besides, according to Chikersal et al. (2020), supportive feedback promotes understanding of the client’s health condition. The more this technique is used to support clients, the more they feel motivated to share their concerns. This, in turn, promotes the adoption of various mental health interventions, thus improving patient outcomes (Chikersal et al., 2020). Therefore, this technique can be used in group therapy to improve clients’ mental health. This article can also be considered scholarly because it is authored professionally, peer-reviewed, and well-cited.
What The Therapist Did Well
There are several instances that the therapist can be considered to have done well. For instance, the therapist applied good listening skills by giving Jimmy and the other group members enough time to express themselves and their concerns. Even when Jimmy developed painful emotions that hindered him from communicating fluently, the therapist still remained silent to allow the client to gather more courage and confidence to continue communicating. The therapist did not interrupt Jimmy while speaking, which is an indication of good listening skills. Besides, the other areas where the therapist did well involve accommodating everyone in the group. For instance, even when the group members shared their concerns randomly in an orderly manner, the therapist did not prevent them from speaking. The therapist allowed anyone to speak when necessary, which means that the professional was accommodative. Moreover, the therapist showed much respect by allowing the group members to communicate what they thought was good to share without forcing anyone to disclose the information they were uncomfortable sharing. This proves that the professional understands and respects the client’s autonomy.
Something that I would have Handled Differently
Though the session was conducted effectively, there are some aspects that I would have handled differently. One of them involves asking several questions, one after the other, rather than asking a few questions, as evident in the video (Cats, 2016). Sufficient information may not be obtained from the clients if they are asked a few questions. Sufficient data can only be obtained by asking numerous open-ended questions to allow the client to give all the information he or she has. The second thing I would do differently is to start the session with an introduction to ensure that everyone in the group can know one another. This would make everyone feel free to communicate with confidence, feel comfortable, and safe. This also assists in building a good rapport between the clients and therapists, thus promoting openness.
An Insight Gained from Watching the Therapist Handling the Group Therapy
I have gained much insight from the video I have watched. For instance, I have learned that group therapy is among the most appropriate approaches that allow an individual to share his or her concerns. Group therapy creates a conducive environment for people to speak up about their concerns based on how they hear other group members open up about what they experience with various mental health issues. The more the group members open up to share their concerns, the more they feel confident to share his or her issues. The second insight that I have gained is that body language is critical during group therapy. How a therapist behaves determines how a client becomes more open and willing to share his or her concerns. For instance, if the therapist does not maintain good eye contact with the client, the client may feel that he is given little or no attention, thus making him unable to continue sharing his or her concerns.
The imagination of Leading a Group Session
Therapists usually come across people with different behaviors. For instance, one or more group members may be disruptive to the extent that it would be challenging to continue with group therapy efficiently; in such a case, the therapist should approach the disruptive group member with respect and understanding and inform him or her how his or her behavior affects others. The disruptive group member can be requested politely to remain silent or walk out to allow others to benefit from the practice. Besides, there are several strategies through which a therapist can elicit participation. For instance, the strategy proposed by Kaiser et al. (2020) can be applied. This involves encouraging the group therapy members to present their recovers narratives to allow everyone to feel free to participate. Kaiser et al. (2020) can be considered a scholarly article since it is relevant to group therapy, has been authored by professionals, is peer-reviewed, and aims at educating therapists and mentally ill patients. Moreover, group therapy has different phases, including begging, middle, and end. In the beginning, I would anticipate getting the objectives of the session. In the middle, I would anticipate the active participation of all group members. In the end, I would anticipate that everyone has benefitted from the practice. Group therapy can have several benefits, such as promoting a sense of belonging and creating a supportive network. On the other hand, some challenges may involve encountering disruptive members and the unwillingness of the members to communicate.
Carr, T., Arcand, L., Roberts, R., Sedgewick, J., Ali, A., & Groot, G. (2020). The experiences of Indigenous people with cancer in Saskatchewan: A patient-oriented qualitative study using a sharing circle. Canadian Medical Association Open Access Journal, 8(4), E852-E859. https://doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20200012
Cats Cats. (2016, September 29). Interpersonal Group Therapy for Addiction Recovery Demonstration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szS31h0kMI0
Chikersal, P., Belgrave, D., Doherty, G., Enrique, A., Palacios, J. E., Richards, D., & Thieme, A. (2020, April). Understanding client support strategies to improve clinical outcomes in an online mental health intervention. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 1–16). https://doi.org/10.1145/3313831.3376341
Kaiser, B. N., Varma, S., Carpenter-Song, E., Sareff, R., Rai, S., & Kohrt, B. A. (2020). Eliciting recovery narratives in global mental health: Benefits and potential harms in service user participation. Psychiatric rehabilitation journal, 43(2), 111. 10.1037/prj0000384