Dr Crime March 2023

Dr. Crime is a pseudonym for a social scientist holding a Ph.D. degree in sociology and in criminology. He has worked in all major parts of the criminal justice system. Drop him a note at the website www.keepkidshome.net if you or your child is in trouble, he may be able to help, give him a call (252-339-0000).

Dear Dr. Crime: My son will enter the second grade soon and I want to prepare now for adolescence. He is a sensitive boy and I hear about kids as early as teenagers committing suicide. I realize he is too young now but later if life gets bad I don’t want to find him dead. How do I prepare him for adversity? Should I tell him suicide is against the law? Gloomy Dad

Dear Dad: Two parts of your question are critical for all parents. First of all you are far off (as most people are) in thinking very young kids don’t kill themselves. The third leading cause of death of kids ages 5-14 is suicide. And that is a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Preventioni. Because there is so little research on that age, there is little evidence based treatment or prevention plans. I can tell you the research shows circumstances drive suicides. And suicide is against the law in some states but not all states. Better check all of those matters and if you are worried because of something specific, talk with a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.

Dear Dr. Crime: Will sending my kid to charter school keep him out of trouble? Former teacher.

Dear teach: We know a lot of the things associated with delinquency, so when a researcher, in Florida, compared kids in charter schools with kids having the same backgrounds, but in public schools, I noticed. The charter school kids did better.ii

Dear Dr. Crime: Crime isn’t caused by racism if one racial group is more violent than another, is it? Frightened Girl.

Dear Gal: The issues of how races get along, and questions about race and crime are the most important issues of our time. I do not like the way these issues are used against our law enforcement officers, and can say for sure that we need more research to show what is going on. As for differences of violence races, the Monitor on Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, in a report about racism in courts said “It is well established that correlations between race and violence vanish when socioeconomic status is controlled…”iii That says that when you describe groups that are alike in critical variables such as employment, education, income and other factors but not race, the group rates are the same. We need much more research about race, crime, delinquency and other factors.

Dear Dr. Crime. Do I have to tell my girlfriend that I have HIV? Debauchee Boy

Dear ManAboutTown: Yes, the law requires that you notify all your partners for the last year and/or the time of the infection, and those in the future. For more law based responsibilities see www.ncbar.org.

Dear Dr. Crime: Do I have to serve on a jury? Can I just ignore the summons? Possible Juror.

Dear Juror: No you may not legally ignore a summons. You must report at the time and place specified and ask the court to excuse you, but you need a legitimate reason.

iWeir, Kirsten. Continuing Education Research on Suicide Overlooks young Children. Monitor on Psychology. Dec. 2016. page 29.

iiThe study authors reported that students who attended charter high schools were more likely to receive a high school diploma, enroll in college, and persist in college. The study authors also found that annual earnings were higher for students who attended charter high schools.Sass, T. R., Zimmer, R. W., Gill, B. P., & Booker, T. K. (2016). Charter schools’ effects on long-term attainment and earnings. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 35(3), 683–706. doi:10.1002/pam.21913

iiiPearc, Marc, Jasmine Martinez. 2016. Supreme court to consider racism in jury deliberations. Monitor on Psychology, December 2016. page 27.