Friday, February 26, 2021

How John School Diversion Programs Reduce Harm

city street
On dark streets late at night, men are soliciting sex. It’s a perennial societal problem that does great harm to the participants, neighborhood, and community. Those arrested for solicitation often are referred to a John School Diversion Program to change their behavior. Specifically, these programs use the increasingly popular Nordic model of reducing the number of sex workers by reducing the demand for sex by solicitation.

The harm that comes to sex workers and society includes:

  • Violence
  • Abuse
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Psychological Damage to Johns, Pimps, & Sex Workers
  • Objectification of Women
  • Impact of Street Prostitution on Neighborhoods -- Debris, Such as Condoms, & a Bad
  • Reputation for the Neighborhood

How Online Programs Help
The concern over COVID 19 has moved classroom programs online, which has had a significant positive impact on the John School Diversion Program. It allows students to be anonymous, which encourages more offenders to attend. And it is less costly than classroom programs. Plus, these online classes are easy for law enforcement and the courts to assign.


With the success of online programs, it’s simpler for a John School Diversion Program to reach its goals:

  • Protect Public Health
  • Prevent the Exploitation of Sex Workers (Primarily Women)
  • Prevent Sex from Serving as a Commodity
  • Stop Violence Against Sex Workers
  • Preserve Religious & Family Values


Take Court-Ordered Shoplifting Awareness Classes Online

woman taking online course
Education plays a critical role in changing the behavior of people found guilty of misdemeanors and crimes. For example, those convicted of shoplifting benefit from online courses that help them understand their behavior – mainly how thoughts and stress play a role in stealing. The goal is to empower shoplifters to choose not to steal.

These court-ordered classes online offer the benefits of anonymity -- which the offenders prefer -- and cost reduction -- which is less expensive for those who have to pay the bills.

Courses to Raise Awareness & Change Behavior

There are many reasons why people steal. Often, juveniles shoplift with a group of their friends for fun or a dare. Some may be angry, others may be depressed, and many may be in need.

When people don’t get caught or held accountable for their behavior, shoplifting can develop into an addiction. Early intervention is the key to behavioral change, especially among juveniles.

What law enforcement and the courts have found beneficial is to assign people to mandatory classes. These classes teach them to control their impulses and become law-abiding citizens. As these court-ordered classes online are part of their sentence, a failure to attend and complete sends them back to court for a harsher penalty.

Anger Management: What You Shouldn’t Do

angry man on the stairs
Anger is a natural emotional response to a real or imagined threat or provocation. Anger is not necessarily a bad” emotion, and it can motivate people to excel in sports and other domains where it is beneficial to take a competitive stance. However, anger can also push people toward unwanted, anti-social behaviors and to require online anger management courses. For example, the overwhelming majority of murders in the US are due to unchecked anger.

There are three approaches to deal with anger: Stuff it, Express it, and Get rid of it.

Stuff It

One approach to coping with anger is hiding it. This approach sees people stuff their anger deep inside and repress it. But there is significant evidence that this is a costly strategy. Studies show that stuffing anger inside can have a negative impact on your health, such as increasing the risk of illnesses such as heart disease.

Express It

Online anger management courses teach a second approach to dealing with anger, expressing it appropriately. This view sees anger as an inner pressure that builds up over time, doing harm unless it is released. Unfortunately, research shows that venting ones anger without control makes things worse. One healthy variation of venting is intense physical exercise like running or kickboxing.

Get Rid Of It

You can also deal with anger by getting rid of it. The problems with some other approaches are due to the person staying angry. The solution is to stop feeling angry. You can take online anger management courses to learn some tactics on leaving the high arousal state by relaxing (with deep breathing or calming music) or counting to ten (or one hundred) before acting.


Teach Your Teens About Impulse Control

When toddlers throw tantrums, they rely on their parents to soothe and teach them that tantrums are unacceptable. But when a teen loses control, society is not always so understanding. We expect teenagers to calm themselves down because we hold them to a higher standard of self-control.

One of the most important skills you can teach your teenage son or daughter is self-control. It is truly a survival skill. Adults who can master their own emotions and responses often enjoy successful professional and personal relationships and do not end up taking court-ordered classes online.

Court-ordered classes say that learning self-control often grows out of conflict. The next time you find yourself in a disagreement with your teen, take solace in the fact that it can be a teaching moment. Children have to learn that negative, aggressive, and dishonest behaviors are unacceptable. They do tend to model their behavior after your behavior, so if you become agitated and angry while talking with or disciplining your teen, he or she will reciprocate.

Many court-ordered classes online teach that when teens respond to parental efforts to correct their behavior by "blowing up" and refusing to do what is being asked, they need to be taught self-control. By teaching self-control, parents can help their children identify their feelings correctly, learn appropriate ways to express them, and ultimately accept that they do not always get their own way.

What is Addiction?

drug recovery support group
Addiction is a complicated, chronic brain condition influenced by genes and the environment that is characterized by compulsive actions or substance use that continue despite harmful consequences in a person’s life.

Addiction used to mean an uncontrollable habit of using drugs or alcohol. In recent years, the concept of addiction has expanded to include behaviors, such as gambling, as well as substances, and even ordinary activities, such as exercise and eating.

Addictions vs. Substance Use Disorders

Online drug abuse courses teach that the term addiction is used to describe compulsive drug-seeking behaviors that continue in spite of negative results. It is important to note that addiction is not considered an official diagnosis in the DSM-5.

The DSM-5 classifies substance use disorders. While the diagnostic criteria vary for each type of disorder, the DSM-5 describes these as problematic patterns of use of intoxicating substances leading to significant impairment and distress. These symptoms can result in impaired control, risky use, social impairment, and tolerance/withdrawal. 

Online drug abuse courses also teach that these conditions are informally referred to as addictions; a doctor can officially diagnose a patient with substance use disorder or one of the two behavioral addiction disorders recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Substance use disorders found in the DSM-5:3 are:

  • Alcohol-Related Disorders
  • Caffeine-Related Disorders
  • Cannabis-Related Disorders
  • Hallucinogen-Related Disorders
  • Opioid-Related Disorders
  • Sedative-Hypnotic or Anxiolytic-Related Disorders
  • Stimulant-Related Disorders
  • Tobacco-Related Disorders
  • The DSM-5 also recognizes two types of behavioral addictions:
  • Gambling Addiction
  • Internet Gaming Disorder

How to Identify Intimate Partner Violence

woman holding hand out in front of her face
Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence (IPV), is known as a common invisible crime.  An intimate partner is a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or domestic partner with whom a person is currently or formerly connected. If one understands the dynamics behind IPV that are intertwined within common behavior patterns, it is easier to spot. These cycles often bolster the denial and harsh effects that domestic abuse has on its victims.

IPV is widely known as a United States public health crisis, and there are now court approved domestic violence classes online. The question remains: is IPV preventable? If so, what are the proven strategies that have been shown to lower the incidence of this prevalent form of violence?

Phases of IPV

To better understand how to prevent IPV, we have to be able to identify it. Three phases of domestic abuse were conceptualized in the late 1970s by psychologist Lenore Walker: 

Phase 1: The Tension Building Phase

This phase refers to the build-up to an abusive episodeEvents might include fighting over money, kids, jobs, etcCourt approved domestic violence classes online teach that verbal abuse usually begins here, and in time, this tensionpeaks when it leads to a physical abuse phase.

Phase 2: The Acute Battering Episode

This phase is often the result of an external event, such as the loss of a job, a new pregnancy, etcIt may result from the emotional state of the abuser. A typical example is when an abuser is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The instigating event that sets off the abuser is usually unpredictable. 

Phase 3: The Honeymoon Phase

Court approved domestic violence classes online teach that this part of the abuse cycle helps to cement the relationship and convince the victim that he or she should not leave. In this phase, the abuser may be apologetic, remorseful, and exhibit a sincere effort to be generous and helpful.

Behavior Change Is Possible for Abusers

man watching a sunrise
If you have noticed some unhealthy or abusive behaviors in yourself and have decided you wish to make changes to improve. Thats wonderful! Youve already completed the first step of behavior change: recognizing that there is a problem. It can be possible for abusive partners to change by breaking unhealthy yet familiar patterns. Lets look closer at the process of changing behavior. These steps are covered in many court-approved domestic violence classes online.

Identify Problem Behaviours

Replace any problematic behaviors with good ones. For ideas, read about what healthy relationships look and feel like. You may also look into communication, conflict resolution, respecting boundaries, equality, dealing with anger, and practicing self-care.

Set Goals for Behaviors You Wish To Stop and Start

Create a plan for how to reach your goals and maintain your new behaviors. Often, court-approved domestic violence classes online suggest ideas like jotting down a bullet point list of healthy responses for every problem behavior you identified. This helps commit things to memory, and you have a hard copy to redirect yourself if needed.

Create a Plan and Put In Effort To Reach Goals

Create a plan to reach these goals and maintain your new behaviors. A crucial part of this step is thinking about ways to reward yourself for making progress. This might include eating your favorite food, buying yourself something, or even watching a movie or playing a video game youve been excited about.


How to Avoid Public Intoxication

alcohol being poured into a glass
All across the country, people are looking for ways to spend time outside with friends and family. Between the social distancing guidelines and the nice weather, being outside can be the best place for people to be right now. However, if your outdoor social activities involve drinking alcohol, you could wind up facing some negative consequences, including court-ordered classes.

Public Drinking Laws

In many parts of the country, it is unlawful to drink alcohol in a public space, including parks. Often, you must get an alcohol permit for a special event in order to lawfully serve, sell, or drink in a public park. People caught drinking in public can be given hefty fines and court-ordered classes, depending on whether other offenses are involved.

Public intoxication is also illegal. While having a single beer on the beach or in a park may not draw the attention of law enforcement, being drunk and loud, combative, or inappropriate often does. Being intoxicated in public and creating a public disturbance are summary conviction offenses that can result in large fines, court-ordered classes, and sometimes imprisonment as well.

What To Do?

The public drinking laws and penalties are harsh to deter people from these behaviors. While there are advocates hoping the law will relax around public drinking restrictions to help stop overcrowding in indoor bars and restaurants, the best advice is to drink in your own home, with friends. Additionally, if you find that drinking is becoming a habit, please seek some assistance with quitting altogether.