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Mental health courts significantly reduce repeat offenses, jail time

Mental health courts are effective at reducing repeat offending, and limiting related jail time, for people with mental health problems – especially those who also have substance use problems – shows new research.
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Review of the landscape conservation cooperatives

Because fish, wildlife, habitats, and cultural resources extend beyond political boundaries, there is a national need to develop resource management strategies across jurisdictions and sectors, says a new congressionally mandated report.
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Contact with nature may mean more social cohesion, less crime

In a first-of-its-kind study, an international team tested social correlates of both objective and subjective contact with nature in a systematic way, revealing complex linkages between nature, social cohesion, and a variety of other factors.
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Marked decline in retailer compliance after enactment of NYC's Tobacco 21 law

In a study examining compliance with NYC's law increasing legal age for purchasing cigarettes from 18 to 21, researchers found retailer compliance with ID checks significantly decreased since the law became effective. Prior to this change, 29 percent of retailers sampled were noncompliant; afterward, 38 percent of retailers sampled failed to ask for ID when selling cigarettes to young people. Researchers also examined new minimum price laws for cigarettes and discovered a similar pattern.
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Houston-Galveston region could be better protected from impact of hurricanes and severe storms

New structural and nonstructural solutions could better protect the Houston-Galveston region from the impact of hurricanes and severe storms, according to a research paper by energy, engineering and environmental law experts.
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Study cites gap between theory and practice in natural resource management

Natural resource agencies have embraced an approach known as adaptive management to adjust and refine their management plans in the face of uncertainties. But a study finds agencies often apply adaptive management in ways that fail to promote learning, an approach the authors call 'AM Lite.'
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Movies as a tool to assess acceptability of intimate partner violence

A new study uses passages from movies to analyze the acceptability of violence against women in couple relationships. Intimate partner violence against women by their male partners is a widespread phenomenon across countries and cultures, although in varying degrees. It is the most common form of violence suffered by women, with an estimated global prevalence of around 30%, decreasing to 23.2% in high-income regions, and a global percentage of female homicides committed by their intimate partners of 38.6%, rising to 41.2% in western countries, suggest the authors.
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Everglades' alligator numbers drop after dry years

Alligators and the Everglades go hand-in-hand, and as water conditions change in the greater Everglades ecosystem, gators are one of the key species that could be affected.
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Researchers work on model to help restoration managers with decision-making

It sounds rather simple: In order to restore the original high level of biodiversity in our rivers, they should be returned to their original state. Yet, researchers have determined it really is not that easy, as efforts often are limited by historical, cultural or economic factors.
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Antarctic species threatened by willful misinterpretation of legal treaty

Some countries argue that setting up marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean would interfere with their right to 'rational use' of natural resources.
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Fish story: Analysts see nations' misuse of 'rational use' when it comes to fishing rights

The term "rational use," as applied to fishing rights in Antarctic waters, has been misused by certain countries, an analysis by a team of researchers has concluded.
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NASA studying 2015 El Nino event as never before

Every two to seven years, an unusually warm pool of water -- known as El Nino, affects the local aquatic environment, but also spurs extreme weather patterns around the world, from flooding in California to droughts in Australia. This winter, the 2015-16 El Nino event will be better observed from space than any previous El Nino.
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In dryland African regions, limiting wildlife water access can reduce water quality

Water-dependent wildlife populations in sensitive African dryland regions need continued access to limited surface water resources -- even as human development increases in these areas -- because restricting access and concentrating wildlife populations along riparian regions can impact water quality and, potentially, human health.
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Effective policing depends on public trust, science shows

Public trust and confidence in the police have remained flat for several decades despite a declining crime rate in the US, a problem that has become especially salient in the wake of recent police shootings of unarmed black men. A comprehensive new report shows that policing practices focused on respectful treatment and transparent decision making are likely to be more effective than traditional punishment-based strategies in building public trust and encouraging cooperation with the police.
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45 percent increase in mortality from law enforcement from 1999 to 2013, report shows

Between 1999 and 2013, there were 5,511 deaths by law enforcement, mostly among non-whites, a new study shows. During this 15-year period, there was a 45 percent net increase in deaths from legal intervention, and 96 percent of these deaths occurred among men, of which 78 percent occurred between ages 15 and 44 years.
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Angler education can benefit sharks

Fisher education can help protect vulnerable shark populations, a new study has found. The research showed that recreational anglers were more supportive of shark management and conservation if they had prior knowledge of shark conservation.
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Dinosaur extinction theory: New research may draw 'curtain of fire' on theories

The role volcanic activity played in mass extinction events in Earth's early history is likely to have been much less severe than previously thought, according to a study.
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Houston-Galveston region could be better protected from impact of hurricanes and severe storms

New structural and nonstructural solutions could better protect the Houston-Galveston region from the impact of hurricanes and severe storms, according to a research paper by energy, engineering and environmental law experts.
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Growing Antarctic ice sheet caused ancient Mediterranean to dry up

An international research team has resolved the mystery of the processes involved in the Mediterranean Sea drying up around 5.6 million years ago.The event, known as the Messinian Salinity Crisis, saw the Mediterranean become a 1.5km deep basin for around 270,000 years. It also left a kilometers-deep layer of salt due to seawater evaporation.
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First evaluation of new fingerprinting methods for ivory

Scientists have collaborated with imaging and fingerprint experts to validate the use of new techniques for retrieving fingerprints from ivory for the first time.
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Angry men gain influence, angry women lose influence, study shows

There have been many efforts toward making juries more diverse and representative of the population. Now that we have more women and racial minorities represented on juries the question becomes: do they have the same opportunity to exert influence over jury decisions as do white men. In a word, no. A study has focused on jury deliberation behaviors demonstrates a distinct gender bias when it comes to expressing anger and influencing people.
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Steaming out some of luminol's wrinkles

A potential rival to the storied forensics tool luminol has emerged. Researchers show that using a hand steamer in combination with thermal imaging, a visualization technique they term "steam thermography," can make even 1/1000-diluted blood spots stand out from the background. And it works in some places luminol can't.
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Genetic defense for violent crimes could backfire for defendants

As genetic evidence plays a larger role in the judicial system, psychology research is finding that genetic information is perceived in biased ways. A new study included three experiments with a total of more than 600 participants.
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Larger protected areas in the tropics, sub-tropics face higher risk of downgrading, downsizing and degazettement

Larger protected areas, especially those in high population density regions, are more likely to undergo a downgrading, downsizing and degazettement (PADDD) event, suggests a new study. Protected areas, like national parks and nature reserves, are areas designated or regulated to achieve specific biodiversity conservation objectives.
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New studies look at impact of protected areas on poverty, human well-being

A substantial fraction of the Earth is now legally protected from damaging human activities. Does this protection matter?
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