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Study: Stricter Border Enforcement May Lead To More CBP Corruption And More Local News

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A new study from San Diego State University finds stricter border enforcement creates a greater climate for Border Patrol corruption. Plus, in order to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, organizations are exploring scuba diving. And, mental health advocates are encouraging San Diegans to think about behavioral health as part of National Mental Illness Awareness week in an effort to fight the stigma around behavioral health disorders.

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Monday, October 7th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up a new study, find stricter border enforcement creates a greater climate for border patrol, corruption and veterans with post traumatic stress disorder. Find help in an unexpected place.

Speaker 2: 00:18 Go down there, kind of forget about things that are going on in your life and just focus on the fish, the wildlife, and being under the water. It's an extremely relieving

Speaker 1: 00:26 that. More coming up right after the break. Thank you for joining us for San Diego news matters. I'm Deb Welsh. A new study from San Diego state university finds that stricter border enforcement creates a greater climate for border patrol corruption. KPBS reporter max Rulon Adler spoke with the sociologist behind the study.

Speaker 3: 00:51 It's unclear whether customs and border protection has more or less corruption in its ranks than any other law enforcement agency, but one thing was clear to Dr. David Yoncha when he looked up eight years of data of CBP misconduct. The higher the security at the border, the more likely border patrol agents will be complicit with crime.

Speaker 2: 01:09 Smuggling is a, is a very risky business. So for smugglers it's a very good strategy to try to find officers and develop a relationship with them for for a long term.

Speaker 3: 01:21 Yon sheds also found that the length of time in agent has been with CBP changes the type of corruption they engage with. While newer agents more often engage in drug smuggling, which involves simply waving a car through checkpoint agents with more experience tend to work with human smugglers where false documents need to be signed and processed with CBP test by the Trump administration to staff up in the coming years. [inaudible] thinks it's important that CBP continue to monitor new hires well after they've begun the job.

Speaker 2: 01:49 It seems that the first few years are critical. So icing day should focus on, on the new hires are to do more. Uh, re-investigation, uh, repeating background checks

Speaker 3: 02:00 in a statement. CBP told KPBS that even after hiring agents continue to receive training that promotes accountability to the agency's mission. Max Loveland, Adler,K , PBS news,

Speaker 1: 02:11 mental health advocates are encouraging San Diego [inaudible] to think about behavioral health. This week. KPBS reporter Terran Minto says mental illness is more prevalent than people might expect. October 6th through 12th marks. National mental illness awareness week. It's an effort to fight the stigma around behavioral health disorders. Katherine Nocari out leads the national Alliance on mental illness in San Diego. She hopes the awareness campaign prompts the average person to discuss their mental health struggles. You know, maybe you didn't know that. I've dealt with anxiety most of my life and just be able to start that conversation in a very gentle way as well. For the record and [inaudible] doesn't have a diagnosis but experiences. General anxiety statistics show one in five people have a behavioral disorder and many more. No, someone who does. Taryn mento KPBS news 18 retailers have declared bankruptcy this year that includes household names like Payless shoes, Barney, Charlotte ruse, and now forever 21 KPBS.

Speaker 1: 03:14 As Sarah [inaudible] says, that doesn't mean forever 21 is going out of business forever. 21 was once a fast fashion powerhouse, but now it's filed for bankruptcy. It released a letter to shoppers promising a comeback after a reorganization. Forever 21 is shutting down a majority of its international stores and 35% of its domestic stores, including three here in San Diego, SDSU marketing, lecturer and cofounder of bottom line marketing. Miro COPEC says that the closures are due to changes in how young consumers shop. They're buying online with other brands that have a more fun, uh, user experience. They're buying vintage clothes, so they're going to second hand shops. And then the last big trend, which forever 21 it really goes against, is they're really looking at eco friendly and sustainable clothing. COPEC says the tariffs that were applied in September mainly affect apparel items. So by next year, all the clothes in stores will be more expensive.

Speaker 1: 04:11 Sarah [inaudible] KPBS news, the San Diego Shakespeare society holds his celebrities sonnets tonight at the old globe theater. KPBS arts reporter Beth OCHA, Mondo has this preview. William Shakespeare is probably best known for plays such as Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, but he also crafted more than 150 sonnets. The San Diego Shakespeare society is a nonprofit group that dedicates itself to celebrating the Bard all year long. Every October for the past 18 years, the group has staged celebrity sonnets and this year it showcases sonnets in speeches that celebrate Shakespeare's strong women. Juliet [inaudible] talks about the selection. She'll be reading from a winter's tale. I really love this piece because it's one of the greatest instances I believe in Shakespeare's works of a woman standing up for another woman and a standing up specifically to a man in authority and saying to him, you're wrong. I think it's extremely relevant both 400 years ago and today for women to stand up when you see something happening that doesn't look right.

Speaker 1: 05:18 Let the San Diego Shakespeare society expand your knowledge and appreciation of Shakespeare with celebrity sonnets. Tonight at seven 30 at the old globe theater about like a Mondo KPBS news, a growing number of programs around the country are trying to treat post traumatic stress disorder by getting veterans into nature. Even deep under the sea. Stephanie Calambini of the American home for our project reports on how scuba diving is helping some veterans healed. 38 year old Shawn Campbell is leading a scuba diving trip off the coast of Clearwater, Florida diver. Okay. Roger that joining for the are air force veteran Bob Harris and his son Justin and active duty pilot who serves in San Antonio, Texas. Campbell briefs them on their dive site and underwater military Memorial called the circle of heroes.

Speaker 2: 06:10 This is very important to me as not only a local diver. Um, I am also the content that you're going to three tours. I'm a disabled veteran.

Speaker 1: 06:17 Campbell says transitioning back to civilian life after he was wounded in Iraq was tough for him. He says diving was an outlet for him to meditate and stay active because being under water relieves him from the joint pain. He feels home land now. He's a dive master at narcosis scuba. The shop has a lot of military ties and take service members out whenever they can. Justin Harris got back from his fourth deployment a couple of weeks before the trip and says it was a much needed break from the stress of military life.

Speaker 2: 06:49 We're either flying all the time or deploying and away from our families and so this opportunity to get away from that lifestyle, go down there, kind of forget about things that are going on in your life and just focused on the fish, the wildlife, and being under the water. It's a extremely relieving

Speaker 1: 07:04 narcosis doesn't claim to be a formal therapy group, but Campbell says it's not surprising. Other organizations are exploring the use of scuba to treat PTSD.

Speaker 4: 07:14 This is an opportunity to get out again, so maybe they're, yeah, they're not out around a ton of people, but they're still getting out and they get become a part of a community that is a healthy community instead of going to like the bar are just drinking themselves into a home at home or self-medicating in any way they can do something healthy and meet likeminded people and start living life again.

Speaker 1: 07:32 These nonprofits span the country from more obvious locations like Florida to places far from the coast. It's like Phoenix and st Louis. They organized trips to dive in hotspots like The Bahamas and Mexico typically for week long retreats. Some of these groups have licensed counselors into military chaplains who volunteer to focus on trauma, and that is the ideal. That's retired army Colonel Cathy plutone, a clinical psychologist in Dayton, Ohio, who's written about military trauma. She says there's limited research on the benefits of nature-based therapies like scuba, but there's merit to them, but she says it's important to involve health professionals and even then they're not for everyone. It's very hard to put people in a challenging situation who do have PTSD or have been severely traumatized into something that may further traumatize them. For instance, getting in the water with a scuba tank may be terrifying for some people, and there are other barriers.

Speaker 1: 08:29 The VA or a health insurance company isn't going to cover scuba therapy and not everyone can pay for the expensive equipment and frequent dive trips out of pocket. Some support groups cover costs for their trips, but that's for one experience and Platoni says it can be really hard to maintain the benefits once the exotic adventures over. So you have to have something that follows the scuba therapy, which would be individual group therapy or just having some kind of contact with the other members of the group who have gone through this experience. Platoni says there is no gold standard of PTSD treatment. She says people need to be creative and cater care to the individual. So if you're like army veteran, Sean Campbell, and hanging out on the bottom of the ocean is what works best for you. I'm Stephanie Calambini in Tampa. This story was produced by the American Homefront project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting. Thanks for listening to San Diego news matters. If you're not already a subscriber, take a minute to become one. You can find San Diego news matters on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.