Blindspots 1.2: Whatcom County Jail Trauma Research Study Episode 2
It’s about discovering the false pre-assumptions that people make about an arrest.
Joy had no idea she herself would have blindspots even after years of researching the issues and working with people.
For example, she discovered that most people who get arrested go through such a dramatic arrest shock and jail trauma (before they ever even go to 1st Appearance and before they meet their Public Defender) that they are struck speechless – and can’t even talk about it. Not only are they silenced by the police and the courtrooms by warning: “You have the right to remain silent…” it is almost impossible for them to speak on their own defense, for the system is set up to not provide any opportunity to question anything, nor to get help if the system is not protecting anyone.
It is difficult to comprehend the impact, and they can’t make sense of it…it is almost like they have a split-reality experience. This caused Joy to start looking closer.
This study yielded some new information and wake up calls on how mental illness symptoms can be caused by this extreme shock. Even if people did not have those symptoms before the incident, virtually all of them feel the impact during the process and “don’t want to talk about it.” It causes deep fear and an inability to think straight.
Joy found that typically most people running the system just assume that the mental distress and emotional illness symptoms they often see in court pre-existed the arrest. And she also found that many of the professionals working in the system end up with trauma themselves, and don’t want to talk about it either.
It is a false presumption, and to not talk about it creates a blindspot at all levels. This is the 2nd in the series episodes.