Criminal Justice Schools by State

DUI & Police Training

Keeping drunk drivers off the roads is a never-ending battle for both private organizations like MADD as well as for the police officers who have to perform DUI or field sobriety tests. Drunk driving kills one person every 39 minutes each year in the United States, and repeat offenders are often part of this number of deaths.

There are tools a court can use in order to stop a repeat offender from driving drunk. Breathalyzer units may be attached to a car’s ignition, disabling the car if the offender’s blood alcohol level (BAL) is above a set limit. There are even some breathalyzer devices that will do “spot checks” on the individual as they are driving, automatically stopping the car if they do not comply with the breath test, in case they try to beat the system and continue to drink and drive after their initial breath test.

A Police Officer’s training in DUI arrests and field sobriety tests can vary according to their own local laws and regulations. Some of the methods for determining whether a person is sober or not include the “one leg stand,” counting backwards or reciting a part of the alphabet. Police officers are trained to observe the results of these tests, and by their findings, can proceed with further testing, including breathalyzer tests, or arrest a suspect on the suspicion of DUI.

With the high number of fatalities related to people driving under the influence of alcohol, police officers are challenged more than ever to keep sobriety on the roads. Through technology and field sobriety testing, the number of people who drive under the influence of alcohol will continue to decrease, keeping our roads, families and friends safe and sound.

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Fingerprinting Technology

When it comes to crime scene investigation, there are many different ways that a Crime Scene Investigator can link the crime in question to a potential criminal. At a crime scene, sometimes there are obvious clues that point to the perpetrator, but many times, it takes a professional team and advanced technology to piece together evidence in order to find and convict a person who has committed an illegal act. Placing a suspect at the scene of a crime is a big step in any investigation, and the methods in which that link may be established range from DNA to hair samples to fingerprints. Since fingerprints are unique to an individual, fingerprinting has long been used as a way to link a suspect to a crime scenes and criminal acts. While not a perfect science, it is a valuable tool in the quest to solve crimes.

Fingerprinting technology has advanced beyond identifying criminals. It is now possible to use fingerprints to detect drug use or provide a means of security through fingerprint security systems. Police officers and crime scene investigators can also use portable fingerprint scanning devices in order to immediately identify potential suspects. It is this ability to identify people or illegal substances at the scene of the crime that can help expedite arrests and even convictions, as well as rule out others as suspects.

There are many reasons to utilize new fingerprinting technologies and gadgets to help solve or deter crime quickly and efficiently. Technology is advancing the methods of identifying people, driving new security devices and even helping the fight against illegal drugs, all through the study of fingerprints.

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Fraud Management

When a crime is committed against another person’s body or personal items, it’s a tragedy that echos throughout the respective community, creating a localized environment of fear and vigilance. So-called “white collar” crimes like fraud affect everyone, leading people into a false sense of security and impacting them on a financial level. Fraud, in insurance, banking, online or otherwise has a significant impression on the way that we all live our lives and it pays to be aware of this increasing problem.

fraud managementThe three main occupational fraud categories: asset misappropriation, fraudulent statements, and bribery and corruption are pervasive and increasing as the Internet helps create an environment of anonymity. Criminal justice and Fraud Management professionals are aware of the problems that fraud can cause and can help stop the crimes before they happen, or collect evidence needed to convict the perpetrators. Businesses are thought to lose 5% of their revenue due to fraud, and those losses can be passed down to consumers by increasing prices, affecting more than just the original victim of fraud. Fraud Management Specialists are able to help combat these types of criminals by educating the public, tracking down information to help indict or convict those who commit fraud and keeping on top of the ways that fraud can be perpetrated.

In order to fight against those who seek to commit fraud in any of its forms, specialists who can identify and prevent potential ways fraud can occur are needed. The safety and security they provide through their efforts help everybody increase their own feelings of security and well-being in the face of crimes that affect us all.

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Mediators Without Borders

When you think of mediation, does your mind automatically go to family law issues or corporate settlements? Mediators are involved in all aspects of conflict resolution, from divorce to human resources issues to corporate arbitration and beyond. Mediators are peace-makers, in every sense, and their jobs can go far beyond local or national laws. Many mediators begin as legal conflict resolution specialists, but with their knowledge and skills, it is possible that a mediator can affect change on a global level, as well.

Mediators Beyond Borders is an organization of mediators, negotiators, dialogue facilitators and more who are dedicated to helping communities across the globe find a way to prevent, manage, resolve and heal from conflict They began their mission in 2007 as Mediators Without Borders and began their first campaign in Liberia, trying to help liberate former child soldiers from a refugee camp. This project remains their largest international cause to date and today they are still actively providing mediation and conflict resolution services to lawyers, tribal chiefs, students and others in the area. Since the Liberia project, Mediators Without Borders has continued to provide conflict resolution in the U.S., Africa, the Middle East, South America and is even involved with the UN Climate Change Conference and has projects developing all over the world.

While the "normal” definition of mediation may seem advantageous on a small, local scale, the potential for a mediator to help facilitate compromise globally is an outstanding opportunity, giving the mediator, and the world at large, the tools to enact peace.

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Non-lethal Weapons

non-lethal weaponsEvery day, police officers are using non-lethal weapons in order to detain or subdue people. Non-lethal weapons are considered good alternatives to guns or other weapons, keeping more people alive and police officers able to truly protect and serve. The regular citizen can also use non-lethal weapons for personal security, giving them peace of mind and keeping criminals at bay.

Non-lethal weapons are devices that are thought to cause little permanent injury, but cause pain or physically disable a person. Some prisons and correctional officers are using non-lethal weapons like the AID or Assault Intervention Device to control the prison population. Other devices used include rubber bullets, tasers and other stun devices.

Citizens may also be able to protect themselves without the use of deadly force. Inventions including pepper spray and loud whistles can help you get away from a criminal or attract attention to a situation you cannot control, or you can opt for the fashionable and utilitarian “no contact jacket” that emits a shock to anyone who dares touch it. While personal protection devices are not a guarantee of personal safety, they can be a deterrent, and they can make the user feel somewhat more protected.

The use of non-lethal weapons by police and public safety officers and the general public are effective ways to subdue criminals and bring them to justice or control situations in which a crowd has the potential to get out of control and cause damage or harm. For your own personal protection, you can always take a self-defense course to give you better control over a bad situation and eliminate the need for extraneous devices that help protect you until a law enforcement officer can arrive.

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Cyberstalking and Online Harassment

Headlines about cyberstalking and its victims and perpetrators are abundant. Cyberstalking is rapidly becoming a problem as more and more people use the Internet for work or personal pursuits, and especially as they join social networking websites like Facebook, MySpace or Twitter.

cyberstalking and computer forensics Cyberstalking, according to The National Center for Victims of Crime, is “threatening behavior or unwanted advances directed at another using the Internet and other forms of online and computer communications.” This includes harassment through forums, blogs, chat rooms and e-mail, as well as social networking websites. The organization, WHOA (Working to Halt Online Abuse), reports a steady increase in the number of cyberstalking cases they have been involved in, citing the growth of Internet usage as the main force behind the jump in numbers.

In order to catch a cyberstalker, one may need a computer forensics professional to track down the person, if unknown, and produce evidence in order to directly link him or her to the harassment or stalking. This can include collecting information such as e-mail or IP addresses, among other identifying factors and connecting to a person's home or work address in order to prove they are harassing or stalking another person.

One of the most important things a person can do is protect themselves online, where the world can have access to personal information including your home address, place of work or bank or financial information. Be smart and protect yourself and if you feel you are being stalked online, report it to the proper business and legal authorities.

Cyberstalking is a crime and it can take a computer forensics specialist to locate and help prosecute the perpetrator. Always be sure that you keep your personal information as secure as possible and report any abuses against you to the website on which they occur.

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Parking and Pets

never leave animals in your carPets are wonderful additions to any family, and require little more than food, water and an abundance of love and respect for their special health needs. Many pets love to be taken outside the house and especially driven around, but in warmer climates or during summer, it is always best to leave your pet at home in the cooler air your home can provide. When temperatures soar, animals can quickly become dehydrated and die if left in a car, even with a window cracked. Temperatures can soar, leaving the animal trapped without the ability to find suitable shelter – even if its owner has just run into a store “for a minute.” The back of a pickup truck is not a suitable alternative, either. Dogs sweat through their feet and standing on a hot truck bed does nothing to help them find relief, plus there is always the danger of flying debris or the pet landing in traffic if a driver has to brake suddenly or an accident occurs.

With the late summer heat many communities are still facing, public safety officers are now focusing on the care and well being of our beloved pets and animals. It is illegal in 14 states to leave an animal in a car, and there are many other areas with local ordinances prohibiting the same issue. Violators of animal and pet safety may face jail time, a fine or both, plus a loss of the animal itself. If you happen to see an animal in a car, it is best to try to locate a local security patrol or call a non-emergency police line for assistance.

Remember that a pet depends on you for its health and well-being. Beyond food, water and regular veterinary visits, your animal trusts you to provide it with the best care possible and keep it out of dangerous situations, including your own vehicle.

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Got Speed? Court Reporters are in Demand!

court reporterCourt reporting and stenography may seem like a career option from the past considering technological innovations in audio recording that can benefit a court room, but the options that are available to a person with the education and experience as a Court Reporter are expanding. The number of jobs for court reporters, now 21,500 nationwide, is expected to grow 18 percent from 2008 through 2018, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor rates the career prospects "excellent." It may seem that the technologically-advanced audio recording systems in use today may be able to fully document a case in court, but there is still a need for a transcriptionist with legal experience to interpret the language used by lawyers, judges and the people who take the stand. Along with the newest technologies available for audio recording, a human interpreter is needed to translate the nuances of verbal communication into documents that can be read and understood by other humans, whether in legal or other communication-based fields.

As an official Information Technology career, court reporters may also have the option of using their skills in a way that benefits the hearing-impaired community. By learning how to rapidly transcribe what is heard into text, there is a whole world of other jobs for those with court reporting experience, including working for companies who provide closed-captioning or subtitles for television and movies. The Internet is also looking for "web casting" reporters who can transcribe text instantly for online seminars, meetings, workshops and seminars.

From shorthand to stenography to dictaphones, and now with audio recording devices, a Court Reporter's job is never done. No IT device can replace the human advantage of deciphering emotion or other linguistic nuances in the court, on television, or both.

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