DNA Retention should be Outlawed – Position Paper

Since Alec Jeffreys first proposed the idea of use of DNA, forensic scientists have been using DNA profiling technologies to help criminal justice agencies to link suspects with crime scenes. Some of the countries that have recognized the potential of DNA in fight against crime are Wales, England and the United States (Deray, 2011). As a result, these countries have expanded their DNA databases through DNA retention. These countries are rapidly expanding their DNA retention through the collection and indefinite storage of DNA profiles from arrestees. Although DNA retention can benefit criminal justice system in fight against crime, the process has created more problems than the good it has brought in fight against crime.

In discussion the position of the argument, the paper will employ scholarly sources in analysis and synthesis of information related with DNA retention.  However, to achieve good analysis, scholarly sources that include peer reviewed journal articles, books and credible websites will be used. Peer reviewed journal articles will be reviewed and retrieved from the Google scholar and the college library.  The credibility of sources will be evaluated by ensuring journal articles used are peer reviewed and that the websites are from credible sources such as educational institutions and relevant government websites.

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The proponents of DNA retention point to the crucial role that DNA profiling plays in linking criminals with the crime scene. DNA collected from arrestees can be used for identification and linkage of suspects to the crime scene. This allows the criminal justice personnel to arrest and prosecute suspects. When individuals are arrested, sample of their DNA is taken from their body tissue, which can be hair or sample of saliva. The DNA information from these body tissues can then be used in analysis of crime scene and linkage of suspects to the crime scenes. The use of DNA has also proven very helpful in exonerating some people from connection with certain criminal events. A good example of a case where DNA has been critical in exonerating individuals is the case of S. & Marper vs. The United Kingdom (Sarkar & Adshead, 2010).

Read also Major Experiments and Scientists Involved In the Discovery of DNA as Our Hereditary Material and Its Structure

Despite the reported benefits behind the use of DNA in fight against crime, DNA retention has produced more problems than the solutions. One of the main reasons why DNA collection and retention should be outlawed is that it violates right to privacy. According to (Van Camp & Dierickx, 2008) the information collected from DNA samples from arrestees are sources of very important information. The DNA information collected is a source of very sensitive information about the genetic architecture of an individual and should be accorded the best possible safeguard. Since our genetic information is predictive of our future, they possess private information regarding the future of individuals. However, the collected DNA information can be misused in the analysis of individuals. A good example where DNA analysis may be misused by those who posses, is in determination whether certain individuals may be predisposed to certain disorders.

Moreover, the DNA retention opens up possibilities where genetic information obtained from DNA profiling may be exposed to third parties. Third parties such as insurance companies and employment agencies may access and use the DNA information, which opens up room for other vices such as discrimination against certain individual with specific genetic disorders. There is also an assertion that privacy concerns that arises from DNA retention can extend to information about one’s relatives (Deray, 2011). In addition to revealing information about the person whom the DNA was collected from, the DNA samples provide a powerful tool that can be used to study the family of an individual. Therefore, there is a concern on who must have a control of such information, since it may be employed to reveal information about relatives in addition to the person who provided the DNA sample. An example of this is the unauthorized use of National DNA database in the United Kingdom for research purposes without express permission from the individuals involved.

Though the issue of privacy remains the central focus of the possible use of DNA after its collection and retention, one more significant issue concerns ethics and social issues. According to (News-Medical.net, 2008) though the DNA database has been instrumental in the fight against crime, it has been used for other purposes other than against fight in crime. This has raised ethical and social concerns regarding these databases, especially as more and more countries continue to increase the numbers in their DNA databases. An example of unethical use of DNA database is the United Kingdom database which was launched in 1995 and has DNA information of over 4 million people. The database has been a subject of unauthorized use by third parties for purpose of studies without the consent of the owners of the DNA information.

Although there is need to expunge information from the DNA database once an individual has been absolved of all charges, there is increasing reluctance of the criminal justice department to expunge the information. Jeffreys, who is considered the founder of DNA fingerprinting, points that the modern DNA database in the United Kingdom and many other countries have deviated from the initial core fight against crime (News-Medical.net, 2008). According to Jeffreys, many of the DNA databases have DNA information from innocent people, yet it was created to hold DNA information of convicts only. In the United States, there is the provision to expunge data from DNA database. However, this varies from state to state, while some state laws demand DNA information to be expunged immediately a person is absolved of all charges, some require written request accompanied by court documents that shows that such an individual has been released. This reluctance to expunge such important information and the length it can take to expunge them has increase the amount of DNA information of innocent people in such databases.

In addition to ethical and privacy issues, the collection and indefinite storage of DNA has been can be used as a tool for targeted attacks and even stereotyping of certain individuals from certain ethnic backgrounds. According to (Sarkar & Adshead, 2010) the advances in genetic research has allowed the determination of the geographical location of the donor. The authors asserts this can be done using the individual DNA variants referred to as the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are found in mitochondrial DNA of the Y-chromosome. The availability of DNA information can thus be employed in determination of ethnicity of individuals in countries of national country of origin, which may fuel targeted attacks from the law enforcement authorities.

In as much as the local DNA databases are vulnerable to breach of privacy within individual countries, one should worry about the increasing cooperation between countries in security matters. After the September, 11 bombing in the United States, international cooperation efforts on security matter have increased. According to (McCartney, Wilson & Williams, 2011) there have been attempts to incorporate DNA profiling into policing of cross-border organized crime, terrorism and migration. Whereas these may have good intentions of curbing the increasing threat of terrorism, it opens up the databases to vulnerabilities of abuse and hacking. Although DNA profiling has been proven to be critical tool in fight against crime, DNA retention has more disadvantages than the advantages. DNA retention is a threat to individual privacy, can be a source of targeted attacks, may lead to abuse of personal information through unethical use in studies and could lead to unlawful sharing of personal information to third parties. DNA once collected for purposes of identification or when used to link suspects with crime scenes, must be expunged immediately. However, the increasing retention and lack of willingness to expunge such important personal information, continues to open up numerous possibilities of its abuse.

Being Muslim in America – The story of Imane Boudlal

Discriminatory employment practices can be influenced by certain societal factors such as national culture. National cultures varies between countries and have been categorized according to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions such as power distance, uncertainty avoidance, collectivism and individualism, masculinity, indulgence and long-term orientation. Buckley, Halbesleben & Wheeler, (2016, pp. 122) defines power distance as value which differentiates individuals, groups, organizations and nations in regard with the degree to which inequality can be accepted as unavoidable or functional. The extent to which organizations are embedded in culture characterized by high power distance are more prone to instances of gender discriminations.

Read also Recent Legislation That Helps to Protect Employees From Workplace Discrimination

In the case of Imane Boudlal (CAIRtv, 2010), there is a relatively higher power distance embedded within Disney. Since U.S is a country of relatively lower power distance, all people feel an entitlement to certain level of power, and since this is not the case in the organization, it caused feeling of discrimination experienced by Imane.

Read also What does the Research Say about Gender Discrimination in the Workplace?

            My opinion regarding the case about the company and Imane, the complainant is right. Although the need to have specific code of uniform should be respected as the organization policy, there is need to ensure this does not violate individual employee rights. The complainant should be allowed to wear the Hijab, since it is her Muslim symbol of faith, which is similar to the cross being worn by Christians. In barring her from wearing it would amount to a case of workplace discrimination and a violation of employment equal opportunity.     

Read also Demystifying Discrimination in the Workplace       

I can imagine how it feels to be in Ms. Imane Boudlal’s position; it feels so awful and really demoralizing. I would not imagine being in a situation where my colleagues, who have other faith, are allowed freedom with their faith in the workplace, whereas mine is considered unwanted in my workplace. As a culturally sensitive organization, Disney ought to design their workplace policies in order to accommodate all dimensions including religion. This should allow for specific symbols as long as it does not hinder workplace performance.

Overview of Medical Experiments on Prisoners

Research showed that medical experiment on prisoners started several decades ago and many prisoners have participated in medical research without their consent. For example, in 1946 the Guatemalan prison inmates were used in medical experiment where most of them were deliberately infected with syphilis. Studies showed that male prisoners were directly infected with the disease through direct injection to the penis (Reiter, 2009). Some prisoners were forced to have sex with the prostitutes who were infected with the disease. Some of the prostitutes were purposely infected with the disease in order to infect the prisoners. After sixty years when former president Barack Obama took over the power as the president of the United States, he called on Guatemala’s’ president Alvaro Colom personally for the abhorrent U.S. government-led research.

Read also Tuskegee syphilis studies and the Zimbardo Prison Experiment – Critical Analysis and Comparison of Scientific Researches

            This is one case among other many cases were prisoners have been forced to participate in medical research without their consent. One of the controversial medical experiment that involved the use of prisoners occurred between 1965 and 1966, where Dr. Albert M. Kligman was contracted by Dow Chemical to determine the toxicity of the Vietnam War-era chemical warfare agent (Maron, 2014). In this experiment alone, about 75 prisoners were exposed to high doses of dioxin at Holmesburg prison in Pennsylvania. Dioxin was the main poisonous ingredient in Agent Orange. This is the one of the medical experiment where prisoners were used as the subject for the experiment and it received an outraged from the society.

Read also Stanford Prison Experiment Analysis Paper

As a result, the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare published a report condemning the use of prisoner as human subject for the research. The report catalyzed the Federal Government to enact strict laws and regulation that limit the use of prisoner in experimentation (Bates & Harris, 2004). The strict regulations have categorized the use of prisoners in medical experimentation into individually beneficial research, low risk and non-intrusive. However, even after the enactment of the strict regulation limiting the use of prisoners in medical experiment as the human subjects 40 years, the use of prisoners in medical experiment still continues.  

Read also Harlow’s Rhesus Monkeys – Describing and Analyzing a Famous Psychological Experiment

For instance, the most recent medical experiment that involved the use of prisoner as the subject for the research was between 2006 and 2008, where the drug company by the name Hythian contracted with jurisdiction in more than five states including Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Washington and Indiana (Maron, 2014). The medical experiment involved the enrollment of the prisoners into a drug addiction treatment program. As part of the experiment, state judges enrolled the prisoners who were found in possession of drugs as a participant in the experimental treatment program termed as Prometa.

Read also Prison is Ineffective Because Most People Come out Worse Than They Went in

Considering this experiment together with that of Dr, Kligman that took place more than 40 years ago, there is no doubt that use of prisoners’ subjects in medical experiment has raised concern in the past and continues to raise concern in the modern world. Further studies have shown that more medical experiments are conducted on prisoners in the United States, Universities, the Federal Government and private drug companies (Reiter, 2009). Literature review have shown that leading pharmaceutical companies carried out their medical experiment on the prisoners and some of the notable medical experiment included testing of dandruff treatments and studying of chemical warfare agents.

Based on the recent studies that showed that HIV infections in prison is relatively higher as compared to the general populations. Research showed that the prevalence rate in prison is 5 times higher than in the general population. Similarly, the findings showed that the prevalence rate of Hepatitis C is higher in prison as compared to the general population. Based on these findings, it is prudent to carry out a medical experiment to determine factors that increases the infection rate in the prison.

Conducting medical research using prisoners subject has elicited vibrant debate among the ethicists, civil societies, human right defenders, medical practitioners and the general public. Some have argued that it is unethical to force or coerce the prisoners to take part in medical experiment without their consent (Reiter, 2009). On the other hand, some have argued that conducting medical experiment using prisoners as the subject is beneficial to the public since the outcome of the experiment helps the medical professionals to make informed decisions and in most cases, it lead to the discovery of vaccines or drugs that can treat or cure certain diseases. It is evident that balancing between ethics and public benefits is a delicate matter since each side argues their case to satisfy their interest. In this case, it is important to discuss the detrimental effect associated with medical experiment carried out using prisoners and benefits it has to the general public.

Some of the detrimental effect include long-term side effects cause by the medical experiment. For example, medical experiment conducted by Dr. Kligman left many prisoners that took part in the experiment with permanent side effect such as rushes in their skin. In fact some came forward and filed a law suit against the pharmaceutical company that contracted Dr. Kligman to conduct the medical experiment and some have received compensation for the damages. Another detrimental effects is the development of complication such as insanity and sterility especially in the case of syphilis infections. Evidence-based studies have shown that syphilis can cause sterility among men and can lead to mental problems if the disease is not managed properly. There is likelihood that some of the prisoners that were infected with syphilis deliberately developed other complications. The other negative effect associated with medical experiment is loss of life. There is high chances that a subject can succumb to illness if some drugs are administered in higher doses.

Despite of all these negative effects, there are some benefit associated with medical experiments conducted using prisoners. For example, prisoners represent all the ethnicity and races thus giving a more representative sample. This means that the findings from the study gives more accurate result. Generally, medical experiments conduct using human subject does not involves the use of more representative sample, since the minority groups are represented more than other groups. The second benefit that is associated with medical experiment conduct using prisoners it leads to the development of medicines that can treat various diseases thus benefiting the general public. In the conclusion, the tight control on the use of prisoner to carry out medical experiment should be implemented accordingly in order to ensure that prisoners that take part in the study were not forced or coerced but agreed to take part in voluntary basis.

Impacts of Technology on Development of Children, Teens and Tweens with Reference to the Film Growing up with Gadgets

Technology controls the way people run their homes, how they work and interact. With the rise of use of technology for children and teenagers, there has been a lot of changes in the personal growth and development of these children.  The following essay looks at the impacts of technology on development of children, teens and tweens at home with reference to the film ‘Growing up with Gadgets’ (Kanode, 2011). In the end the essay shows that social media technology has both positive and negative impacts, however if controlled, social media technology can be a positive tool for children and teenagers.

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Impact of technology on the social development of children and tweens

According to the film ‘Growing up with Gadgets’ the influx of exposure of children to technology has both the positive and negative impacts.  In terms of the positive impacts, technology has been seen to assist well during the teaching and learning process. This is because children are able to use the internet and other media platforms to conduct academic research which engages and motivates these children in a more powerful way. Through the use of technology, children are also able to experience a more deeper and creative critical thinking on how the world around them operates (Hyun-Soo, 2017). This is very important as they may not experience this emotions in real world. However when they go down the virtual field trip, they are able to have a firsthand experience of things like paintings, data sets, the world, different governments, culture, races, religion and other social practices.

Read also Parenting Limiting Teenagers’ Use of Social Media

In this way, they understand the world better and are able to know why each of them is different and unique and special in their own way. The same goes when they are growing up, the use of technology enables them to conduct academic research, analyze various data sets which provides them with a rich experience in different contexts. Or learning situations.  When it comes to the twins, experience of technology tends to be a bit different from the ordinary children.  This is especially true when it comes to decision-making process and their social connections. During the time the tweens are growing up, the social media impact will intensify different feelings. For example, they tend to get embarrassed when they lack friends or lack romantic attention. They feel ashamed with is triggered by the thoughts of their body consciousness or constant bullying (Hyun-Soo, 2017). The social media, unfortunately, is reported to magnify these feelings since they have nowhere to hide.

Read also Are Cell Phones Dangerous To Have For Teenagers Or Not?

There is also the negative impact of the social media experience for both children, teens, and tweens. According to the film, there is little interaction between children and their outer world. It is very rare nowadays to find families having a face to face conversation, or sitting together at a dining table for a meal or watching a family program. Some of the people discussed in the film also share that children nowadays are so engrossed to their social media platforms, or play online games, make virtual friends that it becomes hard to even find a child playing with their peers in the neighborhoods.  Children have become extreme introverts with little strength to express themselves in the real world (Davis & Schmidt, 2016). Parents also do not have a chance to bond with their children. In addition, the psychological development of the child is affected by what they read, share and watch in various media platforms. Some of them have ended up joining extremist groups, committing suicide and meeting dangerous strangers online (Blackhert, 2018).

Read also Drug Abuse in Teenagers – Research Paper

Social Media Impact and theories

According to the narrator in the film, it has become difficult to differentiate a growing child and adults, this is because the psychosocial development of the child is affected by what they watch, share and learn from various internet channels.   This is even supported by the General Learning Theory which proposes that experience children or individuals go through on social media platforms will eventually contribute or form their knowledge structure. This includes the characteristics of the individual when they are alone and when they are in a group. What they see or share in social media will reveal their expectations on how people should react towards them. Looking at the narration and responses in the film, the theory can be applied where it proposes that the knowledge and structures may also lead to another status which is evoked by past experiences. For example, when looking at the impact of social media on tweens, their constant feeling of rejection and not fitting in may lead to fear or anger or social isolation (Kanode, 2011).

Read also Social Media’s Adverse Effects with a Special Focus on Cyberbullying – Argumentative Essay

            This is because most young people tend to define their emotions in relation to the situation they are in at the moment and not for what those emotions actually mean. When these emotions are activated by people’s reaction to, for example, a social media post, and the resulting components include effective knowledge, behavioral changes, and person schemata. These will then interact with other personal factors, long-term goals and values, thus influencing their own appraisals and abilities (Hyun-Soo, 2017). 

Read also Effects of Social Media

This theory can apply to the impact of social media technology to young people especially in their response to effective, aggressive or violent content.  In most cases, when children are not controlled in what they view or interact within the social media platforms, it is possible that they will experience new thoughts and feelings about the world and social views. They are activated and aroused to discover other personal emotions which are often controlled by what other people in the social media platform think. 

Read also What Is Social Media? – Research Paper

Positive and negative development

The positive development of social media technology on children comes when it is used for educational, academic research or positive social development purposes. There are various applications which have been discovered according to Nick Lux, which allow students to run every application and tutor themselves academic progress.  In this manner the social media can be said to be positive, Also when children use the social media technology to interact with other peers form personal development, communicate with their parents and teachers, it becomes easy to cover a lot while at a stationery place (Blackhert, 2018).

There are however the negative results, nowadays children seem to connect more with the virtual beings, online chats, and social or video games more than they do with their real world.  In most cases, these children will interpret pain, bullying, shame, suffering or punished in the most hostile ways (Davis & Schmidt, 2016). They will get their virtual friends commenting about it and make decisions according to what these virtual friend’s opinions. In most case, the social media seem to make them lose their identities more than allowing them to discover what they are worth. 

Rusting – Chemical Reactions in Your World

In our daily life, we encounter many chemical reactions, which may be classified as acid-base reactions, oxidation-reduction reactions or precipitation reactions (Brown, 2015).  There are many chemical reactions that occur in our daily life and which can be classified into the three categories studied in class. Examples of chemical reactions that occur in our daily life include photosynthesis, which is an energy generation process that involves the combination of carbon dioxide and water. Other examples include rusting and combustion of domestic gas. In this post, a discussion of chemical reactions involved in rusting process will be discussed.

            Rusting is a common reduction-oxidation (redox) chemical reaction that occurs when air combines with iron in the presence of water. When iron is exposed to air in presence of moisture, it combines with the compounds in a chemical reaction process that leads to formation of a reddish brown oxide commonly known as rust. The phenomenon is observed in the pipes of our water systems, farm implements and even parts of vehicles. It is an expensive chemical reaction as it causes increased wear and tear, leading to lose of money in replacement and purchase of new items.

Read also Reflection on GHS Safety Data Sheet Chemical Incompatibilities Section

            The chemical process involved in rusting is classified as redox reaction. According to (Beran, 2011) redox reactions are often accompanied by changes in color more than is observed in acid-base reactions. Whereas there is a transfer of protons (H+) in acid-base reactions, the authors asserts that in redox reactions, there is a transfer of electrons (e) between the substances involved in the chemical reaction process (pp. 309). The transfer of electrons results in the change in the oxidation numbers of the elements involved in the chemical reactions. It is due to these transfer or exchange of electrons that makes the process to be termed as redox, since the elements in redox reaction that has its oxidation number being decreased is said to be reduced, while the one whose oxidation number increases is said to be oxidized hence the term redox reaction.

            In redox reactions, the oxidized element(s) have to lose its electrons to the element(s) that are reduced. The element(s) that gains electrons is called oxidizing agent, while the one that loses electrons is termed as the reducing agent. Beran (2011) asserts that in the redox reaction, electrons are never considered as reacting elements but are merely transferred or gained. The rusting process is a good example of a redox reaction that involves the transfer of electrons between the elements in the chemical reaction.

            Rusting occurs as a result of oxidation of iron, which occurs in a two step process. According to (Clugston & Flemming, 2011) the first process in rusting is the oxidation of iron leading to formation of iron (II) ions and reduction of oxygen to form hydroxyl ions. This process can be represented in the chemical equations below:

Fe (s) → Fe2+ (aq) + 2 e …………………………………………………….. (i)

O2 (g) + 2H2O (l) + 4 e→ 4OH (aq)……………………………………… (ii)

Combining the two equations and balancing them by first multiplying the first equation by two, the electrons in the left and right hand of the new equation cancels, resulting in the third chemical equations shown below.

2 Fe (s) + O2 (g) + 2H2O (l) →   2Fe2+ (aq) + 4 OH (aq) …………………… (iii)

The resulting iron (II) hydroxide undergoes rapid oxidation process to form complex red-brown hydrated form of iron (III) oxide, which is commonly termed as rust. The hydrated red-brown iron (III) oxide is represented by the complex formula Fe2O3.xH2O. As more rust peels off the surface of iron, it exposes more of the underneath to more rusting, which eventually leads to perforation normally seen in water pipes. From the chemical reaction, the nature of redox reaction can be seen in the third equation as iron loses four electrons, whereas the same number is gained in hydroxyl ions.

Seeking Immortality

Please watch the Ted Talk Seeking Immortality 

What do you think about the biologist’s claim that aging is a problem society needs to address?  Do you agree or disagree and why? What are the advantages and disadvantages of developing ways to slow aging or repairing the damage of developmentally normal aging?  What are the ethical concerns?  What might the consequences be, both positive and negative, for a culture that pursues the slowing of aging?

Seeking Immortality Sample Paper

            Human aging and chronic diseases associated with old age have caused the greatest challenge and financial burdens in the world. In the developed world, the number of people in the old age is increasingly growing mainly due to the baby boom. In addition to their demanding care, aged people suffer from many age-related chronic illnesses which cost millions of dollars annually. Although the development of interventions to lengthen life by combating aging is one of the ways that scientists believe can help solve the challenges associated with aging it has attracted widespread skepticism about the negative impact it may bring.

            The biologists claim in the video clip “Seeking Immortality”, that aging is a problem that society must combat is true. Although aging is a natural and biological process, it comes with increased healthcare costs associated with treatment of diseases associated with old age and for the care of the aged. According to (Kelley, McGarry, Gorges & Skinner, 2015) there has been a decline in the rates of growth of Medicare and a reduction in total healthcare bill paid by patients from their pockets in the United States of America. What this suggests is that the U.S government is allocating resources in the protection of the healthcare needs of the old. However, this could have an impact on the costs of healthcare.

            Moreover, research has found that the proportion of the old in the United States and other developed countries is increasing (Longo et al., 2015). This means that more and more proportion of the population will consist of the aged. Given the growth of proportion of people in old age and the fact that many of this population segment suffer from many chronic illnesses such as cancer, this would lead to increased costs of healthcare. Kelley, McGarry, Gorges & Skinner (2015) in their study done among population of people aged 70, found that the healthcare costs for people suffering from dementia was higher than those of other diseases and that most of these expense remained uncovered. The means increased financial burden to the government and the people directly responsible for the care of the old.

            In order to combat the problems caused by aging and those associated with aging, scientists are developing longevity of life through ways that slow aging, as one of ways of fighting aging. According to (De Grey, 2014; Longo et al., 2015) life longevity can be achieved by fighting causes of aging such as cell atrophy. However, life longevity through slowing of aging offers advantages and limitations. One of the advantages of life longevity is that it reduces the number of chronic illnesses that are associated with old age. Some diseases such as dementia can be controlled with development of ways to slow aging. The reduction of chronic illnesses owing to slowing of aging has a direct positive impact on costs of healthcare. Reduced chronic illnesses at old age means reduced budgetary and individual expenditure in their treatment.

            However, increasing life by means of slowing aging offers significant disadvantages. Older people have less productivity, and this will likely increase dependency. According to (Bloom et al., 2015) aged populations have negative implications on economy and employment. Given that the proportion of the aged people in America and other developed countries in increasing, slowing aging will lead to the aged people living longer. Due to the fact that there will be more old people than young people engaged in active economic activities, the dependency will increase affecting severely the economy.

            Also, increasing the length of time that the aged live is a significant healthcare driver. Increased number of old people in the society mean increase in the number of healthcare homes for the aged which will demand increased healthcare allocation. A higher proportion of the old will also affect the economy owing to increase in duration for which pensions are paid. Other implications include effects on consumption and patterns of saving, where individuals must adjust their consumption and saving patterns in order to meet demands for their aged family members.

            Although life longevity through slowing of aging or repairing the damage of developmentally normal aging has positive and negative effects, the process is also subject to ethical concerns. According to (de Magalhães, 2014) study on slowing of aging (biogerontology) like any other field of biomedical research raises some ethical concerns. Since these researches rely on studies being done on older people, it raises concerns about informed consent. According to the author, older people are frail and regenerate quickly, making it hard to seek informed consent and for such research to be carried out. The capacity for older people to give informed consent is far much less when compared to other demographic groups.

            Moreover, the biological process of slowing aging or repairing the damage of developmentally are subject to ethical concerns that arise from the social implications of the process. According to (de Magalhães, 2014) although the elimination of age related discomfort, pain and other chronic diseases are welcome, eradicating aging has faced a lot of criticism. The major concerns from those opposed on ethical grounds assert that eradication of aging can lead to social problems such as inequality, likelihood of overpopulation and that aging is a natural process which should never be modified by humans through any biomedical means.

            The other ethical concerns of biogerontology concern the research process and privacy regarding the collection, storage and use of data. According to (de Magalhães, 2014) process of slowing aging involves scientific processes such as modification of genomes, which is a source of great ethical concerns on alteration of genetic information in humans. Moreover, the collection of data among people can raise issues concerning privacy, where an individual may raise a concern that their personal data is being used for the study of aging.

            A culture that pursues slowing of aging is able to increase the lifespan of their older population. This would allow such culture to retain and preserve their cultural identity since the rate of cultural evolution would be reduced. However, slowing aging process could produce negative consequences such as overpopulation, which could lead to resource scarcity and huge burden on health and social amenities. Slowing aging would also lead to development of predominant culture, which limits cultural evolution that is responsible for the current society for example the development in the field of ethics owes much to cultural evolution.             In addition to the benefits and negative consequences of slowing of aging on culture and economy, such pursuits could impact on the old age stage of development as discussed in development theories. According to (Boyd & Bee, 2014) the theories of human development examine human growth in various stages of life from prenatal to adulthood. For example, Erikson in his theory developed eight stages of human growth, while Piaget developed the cognitive perspective. Now, if a culture pursues slowing of aging, it could completely alter such theoretical concepts, especially regarding the old age. It would mean that humans would be able to grow and reach adulthood after which they would remain in such a state and perhaps only die on choice, as a result of legal process such as death sentence or through natural disasters or accidents. There would be need to redefine the individual theories of development especially at old age in order to explain changes in human growth at that stage.

Insight into the Teenage Brain and The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain

The adolescent stage has been found to be a period in human development that is marked by rapid and greatest development (Fuhrmann, Knoll & Blakemore, 2015). Other than secondary sex characteristics or the physical signs that shows maturity, the most important aspect of growth during the adolescence occurs in the brain. According to (Boyd & Bee, 2014) adolescent brain development is nearly complete and is as developed as 95% of that of an adult. The video clips “Insight into the Teenage Brain” and “The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain” provides important neuroscientific explanations of development of teenage brain during adolescence.

Read also A Tour of the Brain

            Although I found the two video clips to be very informative and reinforcing of the content learned about adolescent, there are some aspects that were surprising. One aspect that I found to be so surprising was the development of reward system among the adolescents. In the video clip “Insight into the Teenage Brain” I was surprised to find out that functional MRI on adolescent brain found that the teenage groups have exaggerated sensitivity to rewards (Galván, 2013). When it was compared to the sensitivity of the adults, the teenagers showed high magnitude of activation towards sugar. The other aspect that was found to be surprising was when I watched “The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain”.  I was surprised to find out that though the prefrontal cortex is so active during the adolescence there is decrease in social cognition tasks during this developmental stage.  

Read also How Memories are formed in the Brain

            The early studies done over thirty years ago considered human brain to be fixed and immutable after its final development in childhood. However, the developments in the last decades have allowed neuroscientists to study the brain through imaging processes (Choudhury, 2010). This has led to a breakthrough in the study of the development of brain. One way in which the neuroscientists can employ the study on brain development is in the understanding of adolescent identity development. One of the most critical processes in adolescence is the development of stable and strong sense of self. It is during this period that the teenagers start to have a feeling of how identity could affect their lives. Through neuroscience using developments such as structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, the brain development during the period of adolescence can be studied. This can provide invaluable information towards understanding how identity development occurs during this period of human development.

Read also Brain, Nervous System, and Sensory Systems Basic Functions Presentation

            The videos provided invaluable information regarding how the brain development during adolescence affects social interactions and response to rewards. I learned that my identity development started to shape during my adolescence. It was during this period that I started to define myself and started to develop a sense of belonging and self-esteem. This showed that although I had experienced the greatest identity development during my adulthood, it all started during my adolescence.

            The advances in neurosciences are helpful in understanding the brain development in humans, which has many implications. These studies are of great help to teachers and parents since by having a better understanding of how brain development occurs; they can develop better strategies to help the children. Teachers can know the better periods when there is increased brain activity and sensitivity to stimuli and device better methods of instruction. Parents and other agencies can use the information from these advances to develop better strategies for helping adolescents during this period as it is during this period that most adolescents engage in unprotected sex, alcoholism and drugs.

Developmental Tasks I Accomplished During the Transitional Stage of Early Adulthood

Why 30 is not the New 20

            The lifelong approaches studied in (Boyd & Bee, 2014) determined several stages of human development from conception to death. One of those stages, that is considered to be the most critical stage in life of an individual is the early adulthood. Early adulthood is associated with developmental shifts involving drastic changes in individual life, demanding a lot of individual decisions than any other period in life. It is during this period that important decisions regarding job, marriage, lifestyle and children, are made. According to (Glover, 2010) early adulthood offers an opportunity where individuals can construct their adulthood dream, which according to the author, is critical in guiding their decisions. The paper will examine developmental tasks accomplished during the transitional stage of early adulthood.

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            Many theories focusing on development tasks in study of human development have been developed. The first theory to explain the concept of developmental tasks was developed by Robert J. Havighurst in his theory of human development (Erford, 2016). Havighurst regarded development tasks as a combination of problems and life adjustments that must be met by an individual (p. 75). When an individual develops successful means of accomplishing these problems and life adjustments, then they will have a happy and successful accomplishment of their future tasks. In the contrary, unsuccessful accomplishment of the problems and life adjustments leads to unhappy and unsuccessful accomplishment of future tasks. In my early adulthood, there were many personal development tasks and conflicts, which I faced.

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            I was raised by my father after my parents separated when I was 3 years old and I had to put up being brought up without my mother. However, I received great care and love from my father and this allowed me to have good education and a successful career. When I reached my early adulthood, I realized it was time to have my own life. I needed to have a partner, I was going to leave home and have children. In addition, I was going to raise children, establish my career and take on a civic responsibility. However, in order to meet these development tasks and conflicts it was imperative to develop appropriate life structures.

Levinson in his work suggested a theory on human development that focused on life structures (Aktu & Ilhan, 2017). He asserted that each stage of an adult possess work environment, social and psychological characteristics that are unique to an individual. The first life structure that was developed to meet the tasks and conflicts was my identity. Boyd & Bee (2014) defines identity as the development of a sense of comfort with one self, having awareness and confidence in one’s direction and capacities, while realizing deficiencies that one possess. I consider this as the major milestone during my transition that allowed me to overcome my conflicts and resolves the problems.

That defining identity is important, I knew in order to leave my father’s home and have my own family, I needed to be clear with myself. I needed to know what I wanted as (Jay, 2013) outlined, that having own identity is important in making adulthood decisions. In order to accomplish this, I had to make an assessment of alternatives; between having my own family and staying with my parent. The active exploration of options allowed me to create a sense of meaning through clear definition of roles and direction. Through research, discussion with friends and peers I discovered what I wanted, what I was involved in, the possible challenges and how to overcome them. This was important as it really provided a clear definition of what I would call my future and offered me a clear roadmap on achieving them as well as the expectations that came with it.

Although the identification of sense of meaning and direction was the core in overcoming the desire to have my own family, there was the task of finding an intimate relationship that would allow me to achieve my goal of having a family. According to (Glover, 2010) the development of intimacy can be achieved while one searches for meaning by matching the identity of oneself with that of others. Once I had developed a clear definition of what I wanted, I had to find an intimate relationship that would lead to marriage.

Aktu & Ilhan (2017) points the importance of self-investment and social roles in successful development and change in adulthood. Having good social skills that extend beyond one’s inner cycles to involve what (Jay, 2013) referred to as those outside one’s social cycles is important. It was due to my friendships with other people and participation in leisure activities that I met a committed partner.  Together we developed concrete affiliation and partnership that later led to marriage. Now I am married to the one that I love, and we have two kids.

In addition, during my early adulthood, there was the conflict of balance of my career and my relationship. It was initially hard to have intimate relationship and at the same time having the responsibility of growing my professional life. In order to resolve the conflict, I had to find what I wanted for my professional development. In order to achieve this, I set professional goals for myself and what I needed in my relationship. I accomplished this by determining what I wanted to achieve, for example, whether I just needed good papers or whether I needed further professional growth by finding a job. Also, I had to determine the kind of a relationship that I wanted to pursue. Was I to have an explorative relationship and was I to seek commitments. As a result, I decided that I needed to grow professionally and needed a job, albeit with a concrete relationship.

The success of my personal life structures regarding my relationship and career development were greatly shaped by my personal values, peers, family and cultural norms. Life transitions do not often occur in isolation as they are factors of societal context, social groups and individual values. For example, when I decided to leave home to seek independence by having my own family, I had to seek support of my family. The support proved important in the transition process since through the family support, I got advice on how to have a good and healthy relationship and how to take care of my family. In addition, family and friends support was invaluable in the first few months of independence as they provided moral support as until I got stability with my family. Furthermore, the full transition does not mean all is good but there are some challenges that come with having a family like raising kids. Therefore, there support is still important even after making the transition.

According to (Erford, 2016) the transitions that occur in life are part of social influences, which give them form and distinct meaning. My adulthood transition was influenced greatly by my social interactions. For example, the need to have a good relationship was influenced from the kind of relationships I observed in my social interactions with other married people. I also learned a lot from my social groups including peers and workplace friends on the kind of career path I wanted to take. Having positive influence from my peers and friends allowed me to develop and pursue my career and relationship goals. However, choosing the right people to be part of one’s social group is important in achieving success.

New Jersey Use of Force Policy – Policy Critique

The New Jersey use of Force Policy was introduced in April 1985 and revised in June 2000. The New Jersey Advisory Committee found it important to put in place policy that guides the use of force by the law enforcers since the law alone was not enough. The policy served as guideline that helps the law enforcers to act appropriately when confronted with a situation that required the use of force (Attorney Generals’ Office, 2001). This policy grants the sworn law enforcement officers the extraordinary authority to use force where necessary to execute a lawful order. The extend of force applied by the law enforcer must comply with the laws of the States of New Jersey and the provisions of this policy. The use of Force Policy also obligates the law enforcement to train an individual officer to execute their mandate appropriately.

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While the use of Force Policy mandates the police to use justifiable force, it also requires the police to exercise utmost restraint in such situations. The applicability of this policy should not be interpreted to mean the police can use force as routine while going about their daily duties. The use of Force Policy further obligates the police to use force only that is reasonably necessary. This ensure that police officer do not misuse force in a situation that do not require the use of force. As a guidance, the policy requires the police officers and other law enforcement agencies to exhaust all available means before choosing to use force. Therefore, the use of Force Policy of the State of New Jersey mandates the law enforcers to only use which is necessary and objectively reasonable.

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The analysis of use of Force Policy showed that the law was enough to tame the law enforcers from using excessive or unjustifiable force in their line duty. In addition, the policy requires every law enforcer to take appropriate action upon realizing that fellow law enforcement officer is using excessive force that violate the state law. It obligates all the law enforcement officers to document and report all incident that necessitate the use of illegal force in their line of duty. This means that the use of Force Policy does not only give extraordinary powers to the law enforcement officer to use reasonable force, it also requires them to observe their fellow officers not to use illegal force that violates the state law (Attorney Generals’ Office, 2001). The policy encourages the law enforcement officers to stop their fellow officers from using excessive force by averting the situation and taking the necessary measure that prevent the use of unnecessary and unreasonable force.

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 Whether to use reasonable force as the official conduct of their responsibilities is a critical step taken by the law enforcement officers considering that such decision requires to made quickly under challenging situations and in unpredictable and unique circumstance. This policy gives the law enforcement officers the discretion to make such a decision in the broad range of possibilities (Attorney Generals’ Office, 2001). As a result, appropriate exercise of utmost restraint and sound judgement serves as the guiding principle to the police officers. The use of Force Policy was designed to provide the law enforcement officers with the guidance and appropriate direction when confronted by the difficult situations. Further analysis showed that the law enforcement officers that conduct themselves under the confines of the state law and the provisions of this policy receives a lot of support from the law enforcement community.

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For instance, this policy allows the law enforcement officers to use physical or mechanical force only when the officer is convinced that it is necessary and reasonable to use the force at the time. The officer can use the necessary and reasonable force when faced with the following situation:

  • To overcome resistance directed at the officer or others or
  • To protect the officer, or a third party, from unlawful force or
  • To protect property or
  • To effect other lawful objectives such as to make an arrest.

The use of Force Policy further allows the law enforcement officers to use deadly force only when the life of the fellow officer or another person is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm (Attorney Generals’ Office, 2001). The policy clearly states that a law enforcement officer may utilize deadly force to neutralize a suspect from escaping. The officer must justify that the fleeing suspected must have committed an offense that causes serious bodily harm or death. The suspect poses imminent danger or seriously bodily harm if manages to escape and that the use of deadly forces does not possess any risk to the innocent person. Before using a deadly force, the officer is obligated to identify him/herself to the suspect and the intentions to shoot.

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However, the use of Force Policy restricts the law enforcement officer from using the deadly force. For instance, the policy restricts the officer from using the deadly force if there is another alternative means that can avert the imminent dangers or serious bodily harm. Further, the policy restricts the officers from using deadly force to subdue the suspects whose actions aims at destroying the property.

The strength of this policy is that officers that fails to observe the provision are held responsible and can be dismissed or relieved from their duties. In cases where the officers are accused of serious crime such as murder of innocent or causing badly harm to the suspects, they are judged in the court of law for violating the state law and misuse of firearm. As a result, the review of this policy helps the law enforcement officers to effectively manage the use of force in their line of duty. This policy also has some weaknesses since it is the law enforcement themselves that are required to implement it. As a result, some officers have managed to go unpunished for using excessive force. For instance, a rogue officer is covered up by his fellow officer for using unreasonable force. Although body won cameras was introduced as one of the measures to monitor how the police officer conduct themselves while carrying out their daily duties, only incidents that are captured by the public cameras are prosecuted. Some body worn cameras fails to capture the full details of the situation because the officers either fails to turn on their cameras. These are some of the loop holes that the policy should focus on addressing. Also, the policy should be revised to address the issues of using unproportionate force on the minority groups because they are perceived to be criminals. Recent develops in the United States showed high cases of police shooting on African America and some of the victims were shoot without justifiable reason. The policy should be redesign to address such issues in the society in order to enhance law enforcement-community trust.

Community Policing Concerns and Issues and Proposed Solutions

Community Policing Background

            Community policing started in the United States and United Kingdom (UK) in the early 1980s. This was followed by the global adoption which was a reflective of a paradigm shift within in many policing organizations from the professional era to the community era (Segrave & Ratcliffe, 2004). Analysis indicated that the shift from the professional policing to community policing was as a result of increased criticism of the existing policing practice and the need to foster willingness to adopt alternative approaches. Research have showed that the shift was caused by both external and internal factors that were common across various police organization and they were related to both environmental and social nature.

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Essentially, community policing was described as police engaging the community in policing by restricting police organization and changing daily activities related to operational police officers. However, currently many studies have defined community policing to mean some arrangements for policing that gives a significant role to the community in defining and guiding the performance of policing in their locality (Myhill, 2012). This definition was based on the democratic principle which states that “that anyone who exercises authority on behalf of the community is accountable to the community for the exercise of that authority.” Some studies have argued that community policing is not a tactical approach rather it is a philosophical approach to policing.

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Therefore, adoption of community policing philosophy means that the law enforcers must be ready and willing to share power, to accept criticism and share responsibilities with the community (Vito, et al., 2005). The community policing intended to address key element which include creation of avenues for the community to give feedback about police operations, active solicitation for public service by the police, deployment of patrol for non-emergency interaction with the community and community crime prevention.

Read also Community Policing Should Be Adopted To Address Crime Most Effectively – Persuasive Presentation 

Concerns and issues about community policing

            There are various concerns about the adoption and implementation of the community policing. These include:

Resistance: Studies have shown that adoption and implementation of the community policing fails to succeed due to resistance. Law enforcers reluctance to abandon set practices and habits is clear reflection of the resistance. As explained earlier, community policing philosophy involves changing the fundamental concept of police professionalism and adopting community approach (Sampson, 2004). This means adopting community policing curtails the police autonomy. Research have shown that police officers perceives community policing as the politicization of the public security functions and vigilantism. As a result of these perceptions, law enforcement agencies tend to be very reluctant to adopt and implement community policing within their jurisdictions.

Read also Impersonal Policing vs. Community Policing

Community engagement and trust: Analysis have shown that community policing relies on the assumption that the community wants to partner with the police which is not the case in some instances. For instance, the use of community policing to address abysmal or poor police-community relations requires the law enforcers to demonstrate that it is worth to partner with the community (Myhill, 2012). In the United States, specifically the Baltimore Police Department have adopted strategies such as focusing on small targeted area such as gang problems, increased local hard-core crime fighting and collaborating with other services in order to win community engagement. Further analysis indicated that community policing become successful in a cohesive and well-organized communities. However, it become challenging in communities that are perceived to commit most crime such as the minority groups and the youth because they fall victims of police brutality and abuse in the society.

Read also Community Oriented Policing

Accountability: Initially, the professionalization of the police was to enhance accountability in crime fighting as well as widening the distance between the community leaders and the police. The community policing contrast this since it seeks to bring out accountability in the law enforcement through focusing on the community needs and reducing social distance (Segrave, & Ratcliffe, 2004). Research have showed that community policing has significantly improved the public-police cooperation and relations. However, the new phenomenon in the United States showed that when the activist calls for police to be accountable in their actions, the police responds by initiating community policing programs as oppose to addressing police abuses. This makes it challenging for the community to support the police to fight crime.

Read also Communication Barriers between Police and Community

Evaluation: Initially, it was not possible to evaluate the progress of community policing programs due to limited and dispersed comparative evaluations undertaken. Although community policing programs showed a significant improve on fight against in the short-term, comparative evaluation performed by the University of Maryland showed that “there is no evidence that community policing per se reduces crime without a clear focus on a crime risk factor objective.” The study further concluded that “directed patrols and programs targeted on criminogenic substances like guns and alcohol can be effective in attacking crime hot-spots.” (Myhill, 2012) Whereas evaluation of professional policing is straightforward due to availability of a detailed reported crimes, convictions and arrests, community policing is very complex to evaluate since the focus is on the outcome of the program and does not rely on the quantitative analysis of the process. Also, it is important to understand that evaluation process of the community policing must engage the community as a central fashion with citizen survey as the common evaluative tool.

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Proposed solutions

  • Expand the duties of law enforcement officers as way of empowering and encouraging them to think laterally, provide a more personalized service delivery, engage in both follow-up and proactive activities.
  • Redevelop law enforcement operations and activities such as reorienting operations to focus more on local problem solving, developing positive relationships with youth and less on patrol.
  • Focus on long-term benefit, emphasize prevention as well as re-conceptualizing how the impact of police work is measured beyond clearance rate and crime rate such as focusing on community attitude and perception towards law enforcement.
  • Develop a more community-specific and localized focus for officers to generate a sense of responsibility and accountability for specific areas.
  • Establish partnership with the community through Neighborhood Watch, mini-police and shopfront stations and public relations/media campaigns.
  • Develop problem-solving technique that addresses the underlying causes of identified issues, train officers to recognize problems and to be knowledgeable about the possible ways to address them and officers working with the community to identify problem, for example though community meetings
  • Decentralize police operations and empower the law enforcers have autonomy
  • Extend the management duties to include close supervision and mentoring.