Community Health Implications Of Over-policing In East Flatbush, Brooklyn
The residents of East Flatbush in Brooklyn are 40% more likely to be criminally incarcerated when compared with the average New York City resident When compared with the average New York City resident, Brooklyn residents are 8% more likely to experience incarceration.
The high rates of disproportionately high incarceration rate incarceration are not only unproductive in promoting neighborhood safety, but does not benefit the neighborhood. Rather, it produces negative health outcomes for the entire East Flatbush community result in poorer health outcomes for the community as a whole. For the health and well-being of our East Flatbush neighbors, over-policing in this neighborhood must end. For the sake of the neighborhood and the health of its residents, over-policing in East Flatbush must end.
The high instances of criminal detention in East Flatbush, which is 66% more Black than New York City on average, does not benefit the community (Hinterland K, 2018, p. 2). Rather than promote safe streets, aggressive police surveillance targets non-white communities and works to maintain systemic oppression as the neighborhood rapidly gentrifies (Hinterland K, 2018, p. 8). Similar to nationwide patterns, East Flatbush residents are subjected to aggressive policing which disproportionately targets Black communities in rapidly gentrifying areas. We can look to the demographics of the neighborhood for illustration: the 154,575 residents of East Flatbush are overwhelmingly Black immigrants – 88% of residents identify as Black, and just over half (~53%) are immigrants.
The increased rates of incarceration and arrests in gentrifying neighborhoods do not benefit the community or promote safer streets. Rather, aggressive policing works as a mechanism of racial systemic oppression that ultimately produces negative health outcomes for the East Flatbush community as a whole. Consider the the growing swarms of police encircling the J’Ouvert celebrations on Flatbush every summer. They are continually criticized as an “overwhelming show of force in response to a comparatively small number of bad actors” (Fayyad, 2017). Does this Is the ubiquitous police surveillance presence effectively protecting J’Ouverteffectively protect the J’Ouvert participants from violence or is it simply excessive? Who benefits? from the increases in arrests and criminal detentions? Definitely not the incarcerated persons;, and certainly not their families.
Health implications for the incarcerated are negative dismal. Incarceration is linked with higher rates of mental and physical health issues (Hinterland K, 2018). 60% of imprisoned Black Americans struggle with substance abuse problems and have no access to the proper treatment (Rowell-Cunsolo, Szeto, McDonald, & El-Bassel, 2018). Regarding mental health, instances of trauma and self-harm behaviors manifest more commonly within marginalized and heavily policed or incarcerated populations (Chaudhri, Zweig, Hebbar, Angell, & Vasan, 2019; Opitz-Welke, Lehmann, Seidel, & Konrad, 2018, p. 4). 60% of Black Americans in prison have issues with substance abuse that are exacerbated due to lack of access to treatment (Rowell-Cunsolo et al., 2018). Incarceration has been linked with higher rates of mental and physical health issues (Hinterland K, 2018). Regarding mental health, instances of trauma and self-harm behaviors manifest more commonly within marginalized and heavily policed or incarcerated populations (Chaudhri et al., 2019; Opitz-Welke et al., 2018, p. 4).
The health damages of incarceration extend beyond the individual and inflict collateral damage to family members as well. Children with incarcerated parents develop significant mental health problems. Parental criminal detention leads to anxiety, emotional withdrawal, trauma, and mental distress(Morgan-Mullane, 2018). Furthermore, without proper resources or support, 70% of these children will follow suit, entering the criminal justice system and proliferating the cycle into next generation (Morgan-Mullane, 2018).
Most upsetting is the collateral mental health damage inflicted upon children of those who are incarcerated. Criminal detention of a parent leads to anxiety, emotional withdrawal, trauma, and mental distress in a chil. Furthermore, without proper resources or support, 70% of these children are expected to follow suit, entering the criminal justice system and proliferating the cycle into next generation.
Over-policing of East Flatbush needs to end. The mental and physical traumas that are inflicted onto the majority Black immigrant residents of the neighborhood will be significantly reduced once steps the aggressive policing approach is reigned in.Reigning in aggressive policing is achievable via This can be done through policy changes and initiatives implemented by the state and local authorities executed by all government levels. Locally, the local neighborhood police precinct in East Flatbush (67th Precinct) should execute deprioritize responding to 311 or 911 complaints dispatched by gentrifying individuals who “refus[e] to assimilate to longstanding norms” (Fayyad, 2017; Zero).
State authorities should decriminalizing harmless “nuisance” behaviors, such as loitering or noise, that have previously been acceptable in East Flatbush until the arrival of the newcomers to gentrify the area (Fayyad, 2017). Empathy and accountability in policing can be improved with New York state-backed diversity initiatives that encourage increased representation of long-term East Flatbush residents within the police force (Zero). Finally, Federally-funded and executed programs should be mobilized nationwide to focus on mental and physical health issues within the justice system (Zero).
State governments should reduce the number of gentrification-related arrests by decriminalizing harmless “nuisance” behaviors that are typically subject to overly aggressive police surveillance (Fayyad, 2017). Examples of such behaviors include loitering or noise violations (Fayyad, 2017). In gentrifying neighborhoods, these activities have previously been acceptable until the arrival of the newcomers (Fayyad, 2017). State authorities can also improve police accountability by launching diversity initiatives to encourage increased representation of long-term East Flatbush residents with the police force, resulting in more empathetic policing approaches (Zero).
Locally, the local neighborhood police precinct in East Flatbush (67th Precinct) should execute cultural competence training and deprioritize responding to 311 or 911 complaints dispatched by gentrifying individuals who “refus[e] to assimilate to longstanding norms” (Fayyad, 2017; Zero).
Finally, Federally-funded and executed programs should be mobilized nationwide to focus on mental and physical health issues within the justice system.
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