Basically this is the blog written by a man who, with his wife, decided to adopt an older child. What they get is Lucas, a six year-old who has had a rough start to life. He exhibits many strange behaviors, and his parents suspect that he is not entirely normal. According to his father (who writes the blog), Lucas is diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder. This means that Lucas has not formed normal attachments to his caregivers, and as a result has disturbed models of how to relate to other people. Lucas is a child sexual offender (he broke into a neighbors house and took photos of his aroused penis on their digital camera, and left them on the camera). Lucas is immune to punishment, and displays complete apathy towards the feelings of others in addition to showing no remorse. Lucas’ father is convinced that the word “psychopath” describes his son much more acutely than his Reactive Attachment Disorder diagnosis, hence the title of the blog. (entire post)
It’s pretty disturbing on more than one level, as are some of the comments from parents in the same situation. One of the more fascinating posts is about mimicking behavior and pretending to respond with the correct, expected emotion in any given interaction when you in fact are unable to have/understand the feeling or reasoning behind the action. I’ve heard some patients say how they played sports, got married, had kids and say ‘I love you’ every night because they know that’s what they are “supposed” to do….not what they feel, or understand quite why they did any of it. It was just the way people want them to behave, so to get along, they did it. For me it was like reading the prequel to some of the cases I see now where things have taken a real violent turn and the red flags are only visible in hindsight. If your interested in reactive attachment disorder, or how messed up the juvenile justice healthcare system - it’s worth a look-thru.
A new phrase has entered the criminological lexicon: the “CSI effect” after shows such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. In 2008 Monica Robbers, an American criminologist, defined it as “the phenomenon in which jurors hold unrealistic expectations of forensic evidence and investigation techniques, and have an increased interest in the discipline of forensic science.”
Exposure to television drama series that focus on forensic science has altered the American legal system in complex and far-reaching ways.
Jurors think they have a thorough understanding of science they have seen presented on television, when they do not. Mr Durnal cites one case of jurors in a murder trial who, having noticed that a bloody coat introduced as evidence had not been tested for DNA, brought this fact to the judge’s attention. Since the defendant had admitted being present at the murder scene, such tests would have thrown no light on the identity of the true culprit. The judge observed that, thanks to television, jurors knew what DNA tests could do, but not when it was appropriate to use them.
Prosecutors in the United States are now spending much more time explaining to juries why certain kinds of evidence are not relevant. Prosecutors have even introduced a new kind of witness—a “negative evidence” witness—to explain that investigators often fail to find evidence at a crime scene.
The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Some criminologists have found that when too many people are incarcerated the crime rate actually increases. Imagine if we spent some of the $70 billion a year prisons cost on education, job training, and health care.