I have always been interested in mental health issues and the criminal justice system, but never imagined I would have the opportunity to study how they interact at such an interesting level. The fall of my junior year, I studied abroad in Dundee, Scotland at Abertay University, where I studied under Dr. William Graham, a retired police officer of Police Scotland. Throughout the course, we discussed how police training methods have adapted to fit individual community needs. When thinking about my research project, I wanted to focus on how police use community resources to learn more about the individuals they interact with on a daily basis, specifically those with mental illnesses.
My URSP project is a literature review focusing on Police Scotland and how they interact with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Most of my time is spent reading literature, analyzing how different organizations interact, and making notes. Once a week, I meet with my mentor for an hour. He has been extremely helpful in helping me dig deeper into the literature, finding connections I never knew existed; his knowledge of international law has helped me look at the information I gather in a new way.
After graduation, I hope to work in the criminal justice system, helping those individuals with mental illnesses to lead better lives post-incarceration. This project has helped me learn community resources are abundant and should be used when dealing with such a large problem as this; Police Scotland is a great example.
I am in the last few stages of my project and am putting the final touches on my poster.
I am very excited to present my findings, and hopefully make an impact on the criminal justice system in the future.