Court Reporter Shortages

When most people think of a courtroom, the actors that come to mind are the judge, the various lawyers, the bailiff, the defendant, the plaintiff, and the various witnesses and journalists that are also in the room. There is another job, however, that is incredibly important to keep operations flowing smoothly: a court reporter. The reporter transcribes everything that goes on in the courtroom and keeps consistent records which can then be used for other proceedings. The human memory is very fickle; without a court reporter, a lot of events would be obfuscated, and this could lead to innocent people being left in an unfortunate position. There is a shortage of court reporters in Mississippi, and if this epidemic reaches Texas, the courts could become a lot more inefficient.

In Texas, there is a state agency responsible for managing court reporters and other transcriptionists, the Texas Court Reporters Association, or TCRA. From their website, an aspiring court reporter can take a variety of self-paced certification seminars that cover all aspects of the job, including captioning for the hard of hearing as well as ethics seminars. The certified court reporters are employees of the state and are assigned to work directly with judges and their courtrooms. However, in Mississippi, there is a shortage of court reporters. One judge claims that he is “hamstrung” and cannot get any work done because his court reporter left for Texas, where there are higher wages. In addition, another court was unable to fill an open position while a court reporter was on maternity leave. Ole Miss even discontinued a four-year degree program for court reporting because students became disinterested and stopped taking classes, but some claim it was due to the difficulty of the program; students had to graduate with a typing speed of 250 words per minute.

Do court reporters need to be employees of the local government? In order to address the shortage, state governments could hire an outside legal services company in order to fill court reporter positions. Of course, the main issue with hiring an outside company is ensuring impartiality in reporting. However, increased competition may incentivize more people to become court reporters as companies increase their wages and benefits. Especially since court reporters are highly skilled and require a lot of certifications, we should ensure they are paid adequately. Even though it seems that Texas has more money to give court reporters the pay they deserve, having other options available would ensure a shortage never reaches this state.

Court reporting is incredibly important, and the transcripts from court proceedings are used at every level of the judiciary system. The Supreme Court always uses transcripts from the lower courts in major decisions to ensure that each court proceeded in a constitutional fashion. Court reporters are the backbone of the entire system, and without them, it would crumble to the ground.

The Despicable Case of Child Rape

As the adult, it should be your responsibility to put children out of harm’s way. First, the children may be too curious and reckless that they may put themselves into danger. Second, they may be too limited physically and mentally to fight these dangers, even if they are aware of their existence.
But there are instances where it is the adult who actually puts the children in danger, such as the instances of child rape. According to the website of Horst Law, child rape is a Class A Felony, with substantial fines of up to $50,000 and prison times of up to 60 years. This is at least the case for Tennessee, but it gives you a good idea on how jurisdictions treat these things seriously.

Common Causal Factors

Child rape can occur because of many reasons, but certain factors stand out, because of how commonly involved they are in child rape cases. Some of these factors are:

  • Child-on-child Abuse – This happens when a co-child or a prepubescent individual has forced himself or herself to engage in sexual activity with another.
  • Pedophilia – A condition wherein a reasonably old enough person is attracted to prepubescent children, which can lead to sexual advances to a child, and ultimately, child rape.
  • Teacher-student Relationship – Many child rape cases also occur on a teacher-student relationship, and it can happen on both opposing genders, like when the teacher is a male and the student is a female or when the teacher is a female and the student is a male.

Effects on Children

Children do not go away unscathed after an instance of child rape. Aside from the physical injuries, such as bruises, wounds in the genital and anal areas, and medical complications like sexually transmitted diseases, they also experience emotional and psychological trauma.
Child rape victims are known to sustain post-traumatic stress disorder, where they re-experience the rape scenario in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety attacks whenever they see, hear, or touch something that is related to the event.
And since they are still in their development years, they also experience regress in development. They start peeing the bed again even if they have already outgrown the habit. They also perform poorly in school.

Age Regression to Treat Chronic Mental Illness associated with Childhood Trauma

Much of our adult psychological, emotional, and behavioral issues are rooted in trauma from childhood that had marked and lasting effects on our mental health. Evidently, not every mental disorder or condition is immediately linked to a specific childhood experience, but there is a strong correlation between severe and chronic mental illnesses in adulthood and negative childhood experiences or prolonged periods of poor mental health during important formative years, making the exploration and understanding of these years paramount for effective treatment of such conditions.

As noted by a related article in the British Journal of Psychiatry, recent studies have shown that “a wide range of adversities, not just sexual abuse” are in fact “predictors of many forms of mental ill health,” “not just PTSD” . Such studies broaden the scope of how we view the connection between mental illness and childhood trauma and makes the understanding of these experiences more important in the understanding of adult mental illnesses. Exploring these experiences is not an easy feat, however, as childhood memories, especially traumatic ones, are not easily accessible by adults. Even if an adult can remember a particular experience, he may not remember it completely or accurately. These uncertain or inaccessible memories can be a challenge for a counseling professional trying to treat a patient, but certain methods, such as age regression hypnotherapy, can retrieve and clarify important memories that may be tied to current mental health issues.

According to the Orlando Hypnosis Clinic, age regression hypnotherapy can increase access to childhood memories and their associated feelings, and can even reveal certain past traumatic events. Revealing these harmful incidents, though painful, is vital in the healing process and to the understanding of the roles these incidents play in mental health problems and disorders in a patient’s adult life.

The Perils of Distracted Driving

The United States sees an alarming number of traffic accidents each year. Reports from the National Safety Council tallied a total of 38,300 deaths and about 4.4 million injuries requiring immediate medical attention for the year 2015. Distracted driving is among the most common causes of these tragic accidents. In a separate report from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Safety Administration, distracted driving accounted for over 3,000 fatalities for the year 2013 alone.

In Illinois, state police does not shy from emphasizing the particular dangers of distracted driving. According to the Illinois State Police website, most of these accidents happen due to the use of mobile phones while driving. The Illinois State Police estimates that driving while using mobile phones and other similar gadgets increases the chance of getting into a crash by 400 percent. This is because the use of mobile phones while driving require individuals to divide too much of their attention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies visual distraction, motor distraction, and cognitive distraction as the three different components that make texting while driving particularly devastating. Using your mobile phone while operating a vehicle requires you to take your eyes off the road, your hands off the stirring wheel, and shift your full attention from the task of driving. It might seem like an easy thing to do, but you can never tell what a moment of distraction might cause you to miss on the road.

Regardless of the cause of the crash, any car accident can lead to some very serious consequences. Even if the doesn’t lead to any tragic fatalities, individuals involved in a car accident may still end up with serious injuries and serious psychological trauma. Fortunately, people that have gotten seriously hurt in a distracted driving accident have the option to pursue legal action against those responsible for their injuries. Residents of Illinois that find themselves in this very situation should not hesitate seek counsel from Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg.

Facts and Stats About Domestic Violence

There comes a point in time when spouses have a disagreement. But when no one wants to give way or assert themselves, they could end up hurting one another in a violent manner. This is called domestic violence or assault and can be held criminally liable. Domestic violence involves the use of intimidation, threat, psychological abuse, and isolation to force and control their spouse. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development revealed that domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among American families.

According to the website of Nashville violent crime lawyer, Brent Horst, there could be different consequences that comes with domestic violence. Aside from physical harm, there are other ways that an individual can be charged with domestic violence. It could also involve physical and sexual abuse such as forced intercourse, slapping or hitting, the use of weapons, and others. There is also emotional abuse such as name calling, insulting the spouse in public or private, or treating one spouse as a servant.

Domestic violence may also involve economic abuse such as preventing a spouse from getting or keeping a job or taking the money of the other spouse. Statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) revealed that a woman is assaulted or beaten every 9 seconds in the United States. On the average, almost 20 people a minute are victims of physical abuse by an intimate partner in the Uniteed States, which translates to over 10 million women and men per year.

Victims of domestic violence are at a high risk of experiencing depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress. Aside from that, it can also lead to poor health and may suffer chronic conditions such as heart disease or gastrointestinal disorders. In addition, women who are victims of domestic violence and had few social and financial resources.

If not given proper assistance, girls who have witnessed domestic violence are prone to abuses as teens and adults. On the other hand, boys who have seen domestic violence are likely to abuse their partners or children as adults.

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