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Annual Editions: Criminal Justice, 11/12
1. What Is the Sequence of Events in the Criminal Justice System?, Report to the Nation on Crime and Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, January 1998
This report reveals that the response to crime is a complex process, involving citizens as well as many agencies, levels, and branches of government.
2. Plugging Holes in the Science of Forensics, Henry Fountain, The New York Times, May 12, 2009
A report on the work performed by crime labs in the United States found that many forensic disciplines—including analysis of fingerprints, bite marks, and bullet markings—are not grounded in the kind of research that is the mark of classic science; but DNA was an exception.
3. Picked from a Lineup, on a Whiff of Evidence, John Schwartz, The New York Times, November 4, 2009
Dogs’ noses have long proved useful in tracking people, and the police rely on them to detect evidence of drugs and explosives, and to find the bodies of victims of crime and disaster. However, the methods of a Texas dog handler have come under fierce attack and are the basis of lawsuits.
4. Organizational Learning and Islamic Militancy, Michael Kenney, NIJ Journal, April 2010
Terrorists with knowledge and practical experience are more likely to carry out successful attacks than those lacking both of these essential qualities. However, some extremists are more informed and experienced than others. How do terrorists get the experience they need to carry out acts of political violence?
5. The Death of the War on Drugs, Lawrence T. Jablecki, PhD, The Humanist, September/October 2009
Our war on drugs has created the still widely held belief that the users of illegal drugs are enemies to be conquered and destroyed. Fortunately, a fast growing number of Americans are starting to believe that this war and its harsh penalties are costing us far too much in both human and fiscal terms.
6. The Wrong Man, David Freed, The Atlantic, May 2010
After the horror of the 9/11 attacks, the United States was rocked by a series of deadly anthrax attacks. As the pressure to find a culprit mounted, the FBI, abetted by the media, found one—the wrong one. Federal authorities blew the biggest anti-terror investigation of the past decade, and nearly destroyed an innocent man.
7. Universal Policing: Counterterrorism Lessons from Northern Ireland, Justin Schoeman, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, April 2010
Lessons learned from counterinsurgency efforts in Northern Ireland incorporate fundamental principles both universal to people across the globe and capable of cutting through cultural lines. Therefore, they could be applied to similar battles against terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.
8. Telling the Truth about Damned Lies and Statistics, Joel Best, The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 4, 2001
We should not ignore all statistics or assume that every number is false. Some statistics are bad, but others are useful. Joel Best thinks that we need good statistics to talk sensibly about social problems.
9. The Face of Domestic Violence, Sarah Elizabeth Richards as told to her by Amanda White, Ladies’ Home Journal, March 2010
This is a first-person account of a young woman, a victim of domestic violence, who stayed with a husband who beat her over and over again. She explains what she went through and why she believed it would all get better.
10. Death by Gender, Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Dissent, Spring 2010
In "honor societies," girls and women are denied the protections that outside affiliations and affection might provide. Deviation from the rules imposed by male authorities may label a female as "contaminated" and elicit harsh sanctions—including death. Girls and women must be tightly controlled because their value in the marriage market depends on their "virtue."
11. Elder Abuse Emerges from the Shadows of Public Consciousness, Philip Bulman, National Institute of Justice, NIJ Journal, April 2010
Two recent studies shed light on the prevalence and detection of an often overlooked crime—elder abuse. Law enforcement officers are becoming increasingly aware of the problem, and now have solid forensic studies to rely on. Moreover, the public is also growing more aware of this previously hidden problem.
12. Options for Reporting Sexual Violence: Developments over the Past Decade, Sabrina Garcia, MA and Margaret Henderson, MPA, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, May 2010
Developments in the field and changing social expectations have made law enforcement agencies reconsider and refine their processes for working with victims of sexual violence. "Blind reporting" can give victims of crime a safe haven to file a report at the same time that it removes that refuge from their assailants.
13. The U Visa: An Effective Resource for Law Enforcement, Stacey Ivie, MEd and Natalie Nanasi, JD, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, October 2009
Congress created the U visa, available to immigrant victims of a wide range of serious crimes, recognizing that many of these individuals, with temporary or no legal status, fear that assisting law enforcement could lead to deportation. The U visa can provide an avenue to legal status for immigrant crime victims.
14. Victim Satisfaction with the Criminal Justice System, National Institute of Justice, NIJ Journal No. 253, January 2006
New research suggests that victims of domestic violence who initially turn to the criminal justice system for intervention may be so dissatisfied with the outcome that they do not call the police the next time they need help. The research also showed that women who chose not to report new incidents of abuse were likely to have experienced sexual abuse as children.
15. Policing in Arab-American Communities after September 11, Nicole J. Henderson et al., National Institute of Justice Research for Practice, July 2008
Researchers found that many Arab-Americans were troubled by increased government scrutiny of their communities following the September 11 attacks; some were more afraid of law enforcement agencies than of hate crimes. Adding to their stress, public suspicion of Arab-Americans has led to an increase in false reporting.
16. Racial Profiling and Its Apologists, Tim Wise, Z Magazine, March 2002
Racial profiling cannot be justified on the basis of general crime rate data. But, according to Tim Wise, "unless and until the stereotypes that underlie [it] are attacked and exposed as a fraud, the practice will likely continue. . . ." The fact remains that the typical offender in violent crime categories is white.
17. Our Oath of Office, A Solemn Promise, Jonathan L. Rudd, JD FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, September 2009
We participate in ceremonies and follow instructions without taking the time to contemplate and understand the meaning and significance of our actions. It is significant that law enforcement officers take an oath to support and defend the Constitution and not an individual leader, ruler, office, or entity, such as the President, or Congress, or the Supreme Court.
18. Police Investigations of the Use of Deadly Force Can Influence Perceptions and Outcomes, Shannon Bohrer, MBA and Robert Chaney, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, January 2010
When a police officer kills someone in the line of duty—or is killed—it sets in motion a series of internal and external reviews and public debate that normally does not end until several years later when the civil and criminal court trials are over. Often, it is not a law enforcement shooting that generates negative consequences, but how the agency handled the incident.
19. Judging Honesty by Words, Not Fidgets, Benedict Carey, The New York Times, May 12, 2009
Forensic scientists have begun testing interrogation techniques they hope will give police interrogators a kind of honesty screen, an improved method of sorting doctored stories from truthful ones. It focuses on what people say, not how they act, because liars do not fidget any more than truth tellers.
20. Behavioral Mirroring in Interviewing, Robert Dreeke and Joe Navarro, MA, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, December 2009
Whether preparing for an interview or meeting with an informant, investigators should spend a significant amount of time planning for the most important part of any human interaction—creating and building rapport. One of the most powerful ways of doing this is isopraxis—mirroring another’s behavior.
21. Keeping Officers Safe on the Road, Beth Pearsall, National Institute of Justice, NIJ Journal, April 2010
Preliminary data for 2009 show that for the 12th year in a row, more officers were killed in traffic incidents than from any other, including shootings. Emergency lighting used by some departments is based on tradition and opinion, rather than science.
22. Illegal Globally, Bail for Profit Remains in U.S., Adam Liptak, The New York Times, January 29, 2008
The bail bond system is a very American invention that is almost universally rejected by other countries; it dominates the pretrial release systems of only two nations—the United States and the Philippines. This article discusses arguments for and against this method of ensuring that defendants appear for trial.
23. The Forfeiture Racket, Radley Balko, Reason Magazine, February 2010
Municipalities have come to rely on confiscated property for revenue. Police and prosecutors use forfeiture proceeds to fund not only general operations, but junkets, parties, and swank office equipment. A cottage industry has sprung up to offer law enforcement agencies instruction on how to take and keep property more efficiently. And proceeds are enriching attorneys who don’t even hold public office, a practice that violates the U.S. Constitution.
24. When Our Eyes Deceive Us, Dahlia Lithwick, Newsweek, March 23, 2009
Being part of a system that identified and ultimately convicted the wrong man became another form of victimization. Our eyewitness identification process is unreliable at best and can be the cause of grievous injustice.
25. The DNA Factor, Sarah Hammond, State Legislatures, June 2010
Lawmakers are expanding the use of forensic technology to battle crime by expanding their DNA databases. DNA analysis is regarded as the "gold standard" of forensic science; the procedures, however, still are vulnerable to human error.
26. DNA’s Dirty Little Secret, Michael Bobelian, Washington Monthly, March/April 2010
A forensic tool renowned for exonerating the innocent may actually be putting them in prison. Juries are rarely, if ever, presented with evidence on the high probability of coincidental DNA matches. And when defense attorneys see DNA evidence, most of them assume the case against their client is airtight and start praying for a plea bargain.
27. Confessions and the Constitution: The Remedy for Violating Constitutional Safeguards, Carl A. Benoit, JD, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, April 2010
In the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity, one non-scientific technique continues to play an important role: the confession. However, because confessions obtained in violation of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments are subject to the remedy of suppression, investigators should ensure that they have complied with the demands of the Constitution.
28. Justice and Antonin Scalia: The Supreme Court’s Most Strident Catholic, Julia Vitullo-Martin, Commonweal, March 28, 2003
The author of this article sketches a picture of a Supreme Court justice who can be provocative and even shocking on race, and combative on issues that usually call for compassion, such as the death penalty.
29. Violence in Adolescent Dating Relationships, Ernest N. Jouriles, PhD, Cora Platt, BA, and Renee McDonald, PhD, The Prevention Researcher, February 2009
The teenage years mark a time in which romantic relationships begin to emerge and these relationships can serve a number of positive functions. However, for many juveniles, there is a darker side: dating violence.
30. America’s Imprisoned Kids, Ari Paul, The American Prospect, May 11, 2007
The United States currently imprisons over 2,000 people who have life sentences without the chance for parole, for crimes they committed when they were juveniles, far more than every other country combined. Race and politics play an important role in this trend, although there are some signs of change in the prevailing political culture.
31. The Long View of Crime, Pat Kaufman, National Institute of Justice,NIJ Journal, April 2010
The wide-angle lens of longitudinal research is a powerful tool for sorting out some of the chicken-and-egg, "which came first" issues at the heart of criminal research. Many studies shed new light on, or even skewer, time-honored criminological theories. It has been learned that of all the role transitions examined, marriage most effectively and consistently reduces deviance.
32. Jail Time Is Learning Time, Signe Nelson and Lynn Olcott, Corrections Today, February 2006
The number of adolescents who enter courts is approximately the same as those who enter college each year. Many are incarcerated. This article describes the education of adolescent inmates who lack adequate cognitive, career, and stress management skills as well as English language proficiency.
33. Lifers as Teenagers, Now Seeking Second Chance, Adam Liptak, The New York Times, October 17, 2007
The United States was the lone dissenter in a vote on a United Nations resolution calling for the abolition of life imprisonment without parole for juveniles and young teenagers. Legal experts say the European systems emphasize rehabilitation, while the American stresses individual responsibility and punishment.
34. Preventing Future Crime with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Patrick Clark, National Institute of Justice, NIJ Journal, April 2010
One form of psychotherapy stands out in the criminal justice system. Cognitive behavioral therapy reduces recidivism in both juveniles and adults; it has been found to be effective with substance abusing and violent offenders; and probationers, prisoners, and parolees. Therapeutic approaches based on counseling, skill building, and multiple services had the greatest impact in reducing further criminal behavior.
35. Interviewing Compliant Adolescent Victims, Catherine S. Connell, MSW, and Martha J. Finnegan, MSW, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, May 2010
When adolescents do not see themselves as victims, investigators will have challenges in conducting the investigation and interviewing these victims. By staying focused on the juvenile as a victim, the interviewer avoids inflicting additional trauma, or inhibiting disclosure, or instilling in the adolescent a fear of not being believed. Interviewers must also learn about state and federal statutes regarding child protection issues.
36. Inmate Count in U.S. Dwarfs Other Nations’, Adam Liptak, The New York Times, April 23, 2008
The United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.
37. Prisoners of Parole, Jeffrey Rosen, The New York Times, January 10, 2010
In many states, the majority of prison admissions come not from arrests for new crimes, but from probation and parole violations. A judge in Hawaii decided to try something new with convicted offenders with drug problems who had been sentenced to probation. The HOPE program, if widely adopted as a model for probation and parole reform, could make a surprisingly large contribution to reducing the prison population.
38. American Politics: Democracy in America (Blog): The Perverse Incentives of Private Prisons, W.W., The Economist, August 24, 2010
The argument for private prisons is that they will save taxpayers money, but the reality may be that private prisons in Arizona so far cost more on a per-prisoner basis than do public institutions. Some argue that firms in the prison business reap profits by billing more than their initial lowball estimates. It is also important to distinguish between "privatization" and "contracting out."
39. Prison Inmates Meet Socrates, Lawrence T. Jablecki, PhD, The Humanist, May 1, 2000
Opinion polls confirm that the majority of Americans believe that the primary purpose of prisons is to keep criminals out of society. The public wants offenders to be incarcerated for most of their sentence, and they want them to be better persons with more education and/or a trade when they are released.
40. One Clique: Why Rivals on the Streets Become Allies behind Bars, Sharrod Campbell, Corrections Today, February 2009
Race is one of the strongest commonality factors among prison inmates. This primary division is often broken down into other groups or associations, and this is where many "security threat groups"—gangs—are formed.
41. The Professor Was a Prison Guard, Jeffrey J. Williams, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 6, 2007
Working in prison gives a kind of adult education that cannot be acquired anywhere else. The author learned about the importance of loyalty, knowing that a co-worker "had my back"; but he also found that loyalty can be corrosive in the workplace. He compares working in academe with his job in prison and finds some similarities.
42. Supermax Prisons, Jeffrey Ian Ross, PhD, Society, March/April 2007
The isolation, lack of meaningful activity, and shortage of human contact take their toll on supermax residents, often leading to severe psychological disorders. Several corrections and human rights organizations question whether these prisons are a violation of our Constitution.
43. The Results of American Incarceration, Todd R. Clear, The World & I, December 2003
Any answer to the question, "What do we get from imprisonment?," has to recognize that U.S. imprisonment operates differently than it does in any other democratic state in the world. The author discusses the American war on crime—with the resulting 600 percent increase in prison populations—proposing that our prison population results mostly from U.S. policies enacted to deal with crime, and much less from crime itself.
44. Partnering with Law Enforcement, Ashbel T. Wall II and Tracey Z. Poole, Corrections Today, April 2008
There are several underlying assumptions that must be in play if prisoner reentry is to be effective. All of them support the argument that corrections and law enforcement must come together to further a number of important ideas.
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