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Criminal Justice: Suicide among the U.S. soldiers

Suicide is regarded to be an issue of public concern in the contemporary American society. Rapid growth of its rates has led to the necessity of new research approaches and prevention initiatives implementation due to the age patterns, gender, marital status, race, religion, and even military belonging. A classic instance of suicide as a discourse in sociology dealing with the mentioned above aspects is Emile Durkheim’s Suicide: A Study in Sociology. French sociologist has concluded that suicide rates depend on sociologically based stimuli, which differently affect men and women, youth and adults, soldiers and civilians, the main population and minor ethnic groups etc. The given coursework aims at discussing the rates of suicides committing by the soldiers and African American teenagers and its explanation within the Durkheim’s approach.

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Statistically, this year, there were more deaths from the suicides among the U.S. soldiers than form the injuries on the battlefields. In 2012, there have been 154 registered suicides among the active-duty troops. It means that the number of suicides is one tragic event per day (Mail Online, 2012). The reasons for the increase are not fully investigated, although the assumptions are viewed in the possible post-traumatic stress disorder, inappropriate use of prescribed medications, combat exposure, financial problems, or personal psychological state. Although the Afghanistan War gradually winds down, the suicides within the troops are increasing. “Among all branches, the number is up 22 percent from a year ago, and July was the Army’s worst month” (Mulrine, 2012). In July, the Army counted 38 occasions of suicides among the soldiers. According to Durkheim’s classic sociological study, the suicide rates are higher in peaceful times than in times of war. This is proved by the numerous examples in the historical time span, and the Afghan sample is not an exception. Thus, suicides are more numerous among the soldiers than among the civilians.

Currently, suicide is the most frequent indicator of death rate among military forces. “From 2004 to 2009, the suicide rate within the force doubled” (Mulrine, 2012). Suicide prevention conferences are held in order to implement the mental fitness of troops besides the physical one. Nonetheless, military suicides continue to increase day by day and become an epidemic. According to the Pentagon report, one million troops prepare to leave the military concerns by 2017. “The rate among these veterans is higher than for active duty service members” (Mulrine, 2012). Besides, those who have recently failed in relationship are among the soldiers prone for committing suicide. It was also described by Durkheim in the section of single people. The suicidal rate of such people is higher than of those who are married or in a relationship.

Concerning the ethnic minorities, African Americans are more prone to kill themselves than the Whites. “It was believed that after dealing with slavery and the attendant legacy of institutionalized racism as well, Black communities blighted by gangs and drugs, there was nothing that African Americans could not handle emotionally” (Hill-Wagner, 2010). In addition, suicide rates are higher among the young African American man than women, which is another proof of Durkheim’s theory. In order to prevent the increasing rates of suicides among African Americans, “NOPCAS was formed to stop the tragic epidemic of suicide in minority communities” (Hill-Wagner, 2010).

Statistically, African American males in the age between 15 and 24 are at a particular risk, because a suicide is the third cause of death within this ethnic group. “Perhaps Black males are in jeopardy because they bear the brunt of crime and drugs in the African-American community” (Hill-Wagner, 2010). Moreover, African American males are regarded to have a higher rate of being jobless and involved in criminal activities than other representatives of society.

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