Taking Charge: Crisis Intervention in Criminal Justice

By Anne T. Romano | Go to book overview
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blame on some past behavior for which they are being "repaid." Victims may make statements such as "I know. I'm being repaid for what I did to Helen!" or ask "What did I do to deserve this? . . . I was good. I go to church on Sunday. Why me?" and "I do the right thing for everyone; I didn't deserve this."

The underactive victim may appear puzzled, confused, and helpless. In these situations, an unprepared crisis intervener in an effort to gain control and initiate orderly behavior may shift from a helping role to a blaming role by responding to these questions. In fact, given the nature of crisis, there are no answers.

The crisis state presents complicated problems for the intervener. Most of the situations in which criminal justice personnel become involved are direct cries for help made by people who may be experiencing a critical, crucial moment in their lives. Even if a person properly adjusts to a crisis incident, its effect is indelibly imprinted on the psyche, as the event will never be forgotten. Proper adjustment to these permanent impressions and the incident itself will depend on the kind of help people in crisis receive at the onset of their trauma.

Most of these crisis moments concern actual occurrences. Unfortunately, others may be imagined or completely false. In either case, many of the persons simply require some sort of assistance in coping with a problem. These problems may at times seem very insignificant for the crisis intervener, but to the persons involved they are very real. The help needed may just be a kind word or a sympathetic ear; however, if rendered properly and to the best of the intervener's ability, it will be a job well done.


SUMMARY

In this chapter the research and clinical development in the field of crisis was presented. The definition of crisis as a change in life situation, in which there is a problem that cannot be solved through the usual coping strategies and that therefore upsets the subject's equilibrium, is offered. If the homeostatic balance is offset, the disruption in life style is termed a crisis. A typology of crises is presented to include developmental crises that are the internal tasks to be mastered as one progresses through the life cycle, and external crises that consist of situational events, unanticipated events, and victim events.

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