Book Review: Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse

Published date01 September 2005
Date01 September 2005
Subject MatterArticles
Miller and Richard Tewksbury, considers the ultimate adultification of youth—those sen-
tenced to death for crimes committed as minors. Although relatively rare (22 executions
between 1985 and 2002), the authors debate capital punishment as deterrence and retribution
and describe trends in public attitudes and state statutes.
Chapter 8, by Eric Fritsch and ToryCaeti, provides an excellent history of youth incarcera-
tion and changing answers to the question of whether incarceration of youth does more harm
than good. Approaches are usefully broken down into three periods: the traditional model
based on parens patriae (1899 to 1960s), a due process model (1960s to 1980s) that sought to
address the apparent nonbenevolence of the system, and the current punitive model. Each is
linked to changing assumptions about culpability, causes of delinquency, and the roles and
goals of state intervention. They conclude with controversies over residential placements,
boot camps, and incarceration in adult prisons.
The vast overrepresentation of minority youth, at every step in the system, is taken up in
chapter 9 by Donna Bishop. She documents overrepresentation of African American, His-
panic, and Native Americanyouth in police targeting and surveillance, referral to the juvenile
system, detentions, charging, adjudication, disposition, incarceration, and transfers to the
adult courts. Reviewing evidence in favor of the “differential offending” and “system bias”
explanations, it is concluded that both play a role and that policies addressing structural fac-
tors, such as poverty, residential segregation, and family disruption, are likely to be most
effective in reducing minority overrepresentation. Differential representation and treatment
by gender is considered in chapter 10 by Ruth Triplett, Dianne Carmody, and Peggy Plass.
The authors point out that despite the rarity of their offenses, girls have historically been
treated in a paternalistic manner. In particular, they are vastly overrepresented for status
offenses—behavior not considered criminal when committed by adults (e.g., running away
from home). They also note that such status offenses are often the result of victimizations,
such as physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. The authors conclude by describing encourag-
ing trends toward the deinstitutionalization of status offenses and greater recognition of the
unique needs of females in the system.
The concluding chapter by Alida Merlo and Peter Benekos places the prior chapters in
international context by contrasting the U.S. system with those of Canada, Sweden, Russian,
and Japan. They conclude that although other countries are moving toward more punitiveand
adultified systems, none are as harsh in their treatment of youth as is the United States. This
includes higher incarceration rates, longer sentences, and being the only country to sanction
the capital punishment of youth.
Raymond R. Swisher
Cornell University
Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse, by Lisa M. Najavits.
New York: Guilford, 2002. pp. xiv, 399.
DOI: 10.1177/0734016805284502
Most researchers and clinicians who study or treat people with substance use disorders
(SUDs) or post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSDs) agree that there is a link between the two
Book Reviews 251

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