2013 Journal

Articles included in the 2013 Policy Journal (edition # 17):

Safer Act of 2012

Ariana Bengtsson

ABSTRACT: It is vital that legislators and the public are aware of the SAFER Act of 2012 and understand how, if enacted, it would address the current sexual assault DNA evidence backlog, commonly referred to as “rape kits,” in the United States. The SAFER Act of 2012 would use existing funding from The Debbie Smith Act to provide law enforcement and victims with a national online registry to access sexual assault DNA evidence. This Act would help prevent perpetrators from committing repeat offenses by apprehending them early in their criminal career, as well as serving to empower victims through encouraging an awareness of their own situation.

Equal Protection for All An Argument for Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Ariana Bengtsson

ABSTRACT:  Discrimination in the workplace based on gender identity and sexual orientation is widespread in the United States. Despite this, many states lack employment discrimination protections for LGBT adults, making them vulnerable to discrimination and even to the loss of a job solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. In order to remedy this issue the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) must be passed. ENDA will extend current federal employment discrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

Foster Care Caseworkers as Therapy Providers

Edie Bernhardt

ABSTRACT:  This study addresses some key issues in mental health care for children in foster care systems nationwide. Despite federal legislation that urges mental health screenings for all children upon entry to foster care, many are still falling through the cracks due to lack of access to care and lack of continuity of care across placements. This paper is particularly concerned with children who have been exposed to trauma and are at high risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), especially those who are between one and three years old, a crucial stage for personality development. This paper hopes to address the existing gap in services for these children.

The Effects of oil Operations on the Pacayacu and Sacha River Watersheds in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Darryl Nevels

ABSTRACT:  Since 1964 the northeast Ecuadorian Amazon has been afflicted by neglectful oil operations resulting in the degradation of vital ecological functions. Local residents and indigenous people have concerns that the improper disposal of oil and extraction byproducts are impacting their drinking water and causing negative health effects. This study focuses on the Pacayacu and Sacha River watersheds in the affected region. Statistical analysis and geographic information systems were used to map and operationalize spatial variables concerning the quality of drinking water and oil operations. The results expose significant correlations between inferior water quality and the location of oil sites/infrastructure. In order to improve the quality of life for local communities, policies aimed at diverting infrastructure development away from affected areas must be created; conservation efforts must be expanded, and incentive programs established., Expanding conservation efforts, and establishing incentive programs is necessary to improve the quality of life for local communities. The implementation of these policies would limit people’s exposure to polluted water while advancing restoration efforts and restoring ecological functions.

CEDAW and the Impact on Violence Against Women in India

Bobbie Khanna

ABSTRACT:  This article examines the effects India’s ratification of the Convention of the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) had in reducing violent crimes committed against women.  Three primary acts of violence are defined and examined: (1) bride burnings and/or dowry abuse, (2) female foeticide and/or infanticide, and (3) human trafficking and/or sex slaves. Comparisons are evaluated from a statistical perspective using data gathered before and after the ratification of CEDAW to show the change in frequency of each act.  National conventions, or laws that were implemented, and enforcement measures that may have been enacted are reviewed to show local actions the state government has taken to further reduce violence against women.  To show government enforcement, available information is included for reported court cases, prosecution, convictions, and acquittals for each violent act.  Compiled data reflects the effects India’s Ratification of CEDAW had for the elimination of violence against women.

Domestic Abuse Best Practices VS. Washington State Policy

Kayla Francisco

ABSTRACT:  Many people live in domestic abuse (DA) relationships without help. This paper is a compilation of interviews, research, and personal experience in attending to survivors of DA; its intention is to show that while best practices are in place to ensure that survivors are receiving the care that they need, there is no policy written into law for screening requirements in how agencies assess DA. During interviews with employees from the Monroe Gospel Mission (MGM), Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), and the Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County (DVS), each expressed different ideas about the process of screening. The research indicates a need for screening policies for supporting agencies in how they respond to victims who have experienced, or are experiencing DA. To avoid conflicting employee practices, research needs to be done by geographic region to create a policy that attends to that particular demographic.

Wind Turbines: Green Solution or Health Hazard?

Carolyn Stapp

ABSTRACT:  Residents living near wind farms claim their health has been affected by the operation of industrial wind turbines (IWTs).  The long-term impact of IWTs on human health has not been effectively studied, and there is a lack of policy for the placement of IWTs.  There is a need to develop comprehensive health studies as a part of future wind farm siting policy that includes the assistance and participation of residents living near potential sites. This paper reviews several published health studies and industrial reports and synthesizes these results.  Several options to enhance the involvement of the public in issues related to IWT placement are explored. Developing open dialogue between scientists, the wind industry, and community members will
allow balanced regulations to be developed to ensure clean wind energy is beneficial for all.

Ending Consumption New Strategies in the Eradication of Tuberculosis in Uzbekistan

Eric Irons

ABSTRACT: Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Uzbekistan has struggled with the burden of a growing tuberculosis (TB) epidemic. A changing healthcare system and the stagnant economy have hindered efforts to produce sustainable, long-term change in the state of the disease. In particular, the emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and HIV-associated TB in prisons has worsened treatment outcomes. In this article, an analysis of previous efforts finds that despite the wealth of technical expertise in treating TB, the lack of public health policy targeting cultural, financial, and infrastructural realities has made the eradication of TB unattainable. The policy recommendations presented in this article encompass a novel multi-pronged approach to managing systemically overlooked aspects of the tuberculosis epidemic both rapidly and inexpensively.

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