ADHD and the Criminal Justice System: Spinning out of Control
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12 of 12 found the following review helpful:
Comment on Book from Prison Inmate Apr 20, 2005
By Idaho Inmate
I am currently an inmate at the Idaho Prison in Orofino, Idaho. My name is Richard Eugene Brewer. I was recently sent the book "ADHD and the Criminal Justice System". I was a Ritalin kid growing up, which was before many people really knew much about ADHD. I related so much to the information and descriptions contained in this book. It seemed like the book was almost written about me specifically. The restlessness, inability to sit still and not paying attention in school settings were my classic symptoms.
I feel this book should be a prerequisite for people who are involved in the criminal justice system as it applies to my everyday experiences in life. I feel that we with ADHD are often misunderstood and often times end up in situations that could possibly have been prevented. I sit in prison and watch the news now and see people on the outside having problems that I think could be related to undiagnosed or untreated ADHD and I wish I could let them know about this.
My opinion of this book is that I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was informative and knowledgeable and easy to read. I feel it could have a tremendous positive impact on the Criminal Justice System and how people like me are recognized and treated. I hope it is read on wide scale basis and helps others as much as it helped me.
Hospital North Drive # 23
Orofino, ID 83544
10 of 10 found the following review helpful:
The newest addition to my resource library. Jan 09, 2005
My interest in this area is both personal and professional. My own son is ADHD and has been involved with the criminal justice system since the age of 15; I also work as a family advocate with a lot of families dealing with the same situations. The presentation of the data collected, as well as firsthand experience, provides some insightful and timely understanding into the many challenges faced by people with ADHD. I will definitely be recommending this book to the many people involved with the criminal justice system that I work with. Hopefully through education and understanding we can lower the statistics.
8 of 8 found the following review helpful:
Better than most ADHD books Nov 03, 2005
By K. Berg
As someone who's been recently diagnosed as ADHD, I've been on fire to learn as much as I can about the condition and traits. So far, along with a slew on online articles, I've read "Delivered from Distraction" by long-time expert Edward Hallowell as well as the ADHD memoir by Robert Jergen, "The Little Monster." Both of these books I appreciated for their positive outlook, even in the face of extraordinarily discouraging problems as a result of ADHD. Further, it strikes me as essential that these authors don't try to deny ADHD as just inattentiveness that can be "cured" in 20 minutes (as one book I saw on Amazon did!) or a condition that doesn't require medication. Some children and adults with ADHD perhaps don't need meds, and in fact medication doesn't work for everyone; but it's important that people seeking credible information about ADHD get an objective sense of appropriate and helpful treatment options, rather than someone's anti-drug agenda.
In terms of Hurley and Eme's book, I respect how they've done more than anyone I've read so far in documenting the research that went into the observations and information they provide. They don't quibble about whether ADHD exists or not, just state that it does, and back that up with excellent sources.
I went to the library in search of more than self-help guides on ADHD -- I was interested in the cultural and social implications of the condition because it strikes me that so many more people have it than is currently estimated. "Spinning Out of Control" was the only book I found that even touches on the wider implications of ADHD -- and the authors have done a great job defining the condition in the myriad ways it manifests in those likely to commit criminal acts as well as in non-criminals. They've done terrific work in outlining, then describing either by further explication, anecdotes, quotes from ADHDers, case histories and, surprisingly, self-disclosure what it's like to have ADHD. And they're far more comprehensive and systematic about it even than the Hallowell book I mentioned above! What I most appreciate about "Spinning" is its straightforward, distilled and no nonsense approach.
Finally, "Spinning" doesn't sugarcoat ADHD and what often happens to those who have it and don't get treatment for it. While I appreciate the positivity of Hallowell and Jergens (who both have ADHD themselves), who both understand well that ADHD can often lead to depression and pathological behavior, I was glad to read Hurley and Eme's nuts-n-bolts book. ADHD can be quite destabilizing and lead to real trouble, and the only way we can deal with it effectively on that level is to view it without rose-colored glasses. While ADHD isn't necessarily more widespread among the underprivileged, certainly this segment of society hasn't got the means nor the inclination to address what turns out to be a problem of enormous proportions. Hurley and Eme seem to be in the vanguard of people willing to address the problem on a grand scale -- isn't it about time someone does, instead of continuing to debate the existence of ADHD or morality of using drugs to treat it?
No doubt further research will show the condition to be much more complicated and differentiated among individuals than it is currently understood to be. Remember, for instance, that studies on the brain -- while more sophisticated and informed than ever before -- still aren't as complete and comprehensive as we'd like. The same necessarily must be said about ADHD. In my view, that doesn't mean we ought to take a wait-n-see posture; rather, let's begin to put what information and understanding we have together, and try to do something about it. Kudos to Hurley and Eme for their attempt to do just that.
7 of 7 found the following review helpful:
A Useful Text on a Neglected Subject Feb 25, 2005
By A. Hepburn
As a psychiatric social worker for almost 20 years I have been aware of the tragedy of people stumbling into the criminal justice system who did not belong there. This book does not apologize for criminal behavior in any way, however, it illuminates the struggles of individuals with ADD which can often render their behavior incomprehensible to the professional. I particularly appreciated the lay-out of the book - I found it to be comprehensive, well-designed and well-researched. The writing style was personal and accessible without being sentimental. I also appreciated the many anecdotes which successfully illustrate the problems which ADD people face that are so often hard to describe. The problems of ADD can manifest in a vague way - but are nonetheless incredibly destructive to the individual. I think medical and mental health professionals (as well as those in the criminal justice field) will benefit greatly from this book!
6 of 6 found the following review helpful:
Must-Read for anyone connected to ADHD in any way Feb 08, 2007
By Carl Morris
Obviously a copy of this book should be in every police station, jail, and prison. The book covers more than just the interface between the person with ADHD and the criminal justice system, though. It gives very good information on what make people with ADHD prone to negative contact with law enforcement from the beginning of their lives, and how that can be reduced or avoided. In addition to law enforcement personnel, I'd recommend this for anyone who has ADHD themselves, or is partnered with or a parent to a person with ADHD.
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