by Clinical Forensic Psychologist Dr. John Huber
Austin, TX – -(Ammoland.com)- Mainstream Mental Health has identified an approach to address school and mass shooting threat concerns.
If an appropriate legal tool was in place the Florida school shooting (Valentine's Day 2018) could have been avoided. All indications are that school authorities and police involved followed current law in processing Mr. Cruz administratively through the years preceding this event.
If additional safe guards were in place this tragic event could have been avoided. Mr. Cruz posted on many social media outlets his desire to become a “Professional School Shooter”.
The main need is a mental health warrant to search and to validate the threat which has to be investigated by police. If there's evidence to support it, it has to go back to the judge, and then the judge would issue a warrant to the individual to have a Licensed Clinical Forensic Psychologist assess them primarily for potential risk of violence and other potential mental health issues. If the person refuses to comply, they can be arrested on Contempt of Court, and then the evaluation would be completed in jail.
This addresses the 4th amendment concern by involving the courts, and allowing a judge to name the concerns, and engage the process instead of flagrantly allowing law enforcement to trample all over the constitutional rights of individuals.
As you are well aware, we have a notable concern related to weapons and concurrent mental health issues. What Mainstream Mental Health, led by Dr. John Huber, have comprised, is a meaningful approach to addressing potential concerns related to threat assessments, while concurrently maintaining afforded constitutional rights. As we have repeatedly heard outcries about the power of law enforcement to prevent these heinous crimes, we believe that approaching these concerns from this aspect will help in diminishing these threats.
The way to go about this is though the following methods:
1. A Mental Health Warrant would need to be drafted by local law enforcement to investigate the potential for violence. This could be after a report was made by someone else online (i.e., threats made on YouTube comments, 4Chan, Facebook, etc.), or in the person's social circle, who has observed the threats made by the individual. This would then be reviewed and possibly approved by a judge
2. If approved by the Judge, an investigation would take place by local officials to determine the likelihood of threats, and would then report back to the courts. If no significant threat is identified, the investigation would be closed, the individual may be contacted to let them know that their actions have consequences, and to make sure they understand the implications of those actions.
If the investigation suggests the likelihood that the person in question is potentially capable of moving forward with the threats the judge would issue a subpoena and bring the individual to court.
3. If a notable threat is found, the judge could then order a risk evaluation, the individual would then have to meet with a Forensic Psychologist to assess them for being a reasonable and identifiable threat. This provision is specific, as Forensic Psychologists and are specially trained in evaluating threat assessments in a legal manner.
This could also help determine the fitness of the individual, and to identify if any reasonable concerns related to serious mental health or competency issues are present.
Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Clinical Social Workers should not be sought to perform these assessments, as their approach to this level of threat assessment is not specialized enough to ensure public safety.
4. If the person refuses to comply with the order, then the judge can order that the individual is in contempt of a court order, and then the individual can be assessed while incarcerated.
This approach addresses potential 4th amendment concerns, as there would be a lawful procedure completed instead of having other outside agencies (i.e., FBI, ATF, etc.) to have to investigate, which may take significantly longer. Having local agencies address these concerns could help mitigate the FBI backlog for investigative purposes, but could also be handled by local courts to address these concerns. Of course, elevating these concerns to the FBI or other federal agencies could be determined by the County or State level agencies to make that determination.
This also would create a process that would keep the suspected individual out of the criminal courts and in civil court similar to a commitment hearing allowing for mental health intervention and placement.
About Dr. John Huber
Texas Based – Dr. John Huber (www.mainstreammentalhealth.org) is the Chairman for Mainstream Mental Health, a non-profit organization that brings lasting and positive change to the lives of individuals that suffer from mental health issues. A mental health professional for over twenty years, Dr. Huber is a Clinical Forensic Psychologist, and he is a practitioner with privileges at two long term acute care hospitals.