Cost of Justice

Justice is an impartial legal ideology supported by a specific set of judicial guidelines, protocol, and societal expectations. The correctional phase of justice is responsible for inspiring change and rehabilitation from within the minds of those it has convicted in a court of law.  The cost of justice does not encompass the areas of state and federal facilities alone, but it also involves law enforcement, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and institutional programs.  Justice can only be achieved through policy, revolutionary program implementation, and community support.
The state prison system is responsible for providing inmates with the tools needed to incite inner change and rehabilitation.  Prison is no longer viewed as just a form of judicial discipline, but is seen as an opportunity to make positive changes.  The financial cost to facilitate a state run prison is excessive.  According to the United States Department of Justice, the state prison system is responsible for housing 304,332 inmates, both male and female.  State prisons provide several levels of security for the inmates processed including low security, local jails minimum security, for low risk offenders medium security, secured risk offenders and maximum security, for high risk and dangerous offenders.  Taxpayers and state funded grants are the main sources used for running state prisons.  Federal funding is allotted to a state based on statistical information provided though reports to the justice divisions.  Prosecutors earn 651 per case, and defense attorneys make only 196 per case.  Jury members only earn ten dollars per day of service.  The calculated cost sustained to house one inmate annually is 22,650.  Other additional fees are as follows  medical care for one inmate is 8.41 per day mental health care is 3.75 per day and meals are 1.08 per meal per day.

Counseling, inmate work programs, and educational programs have been applied within the state prison and vary in cost.  It costs an estimated 4000 for an inmate to participate in a work release program.
The federal prison system is about as costly to run.  In 1996, federal prosecutors and public defenders earned a salary ranging between 43-50,000, and federal judges received a salary commensurate of 60-80,000 annually (United States Government Accountability Office, 2007).  Jury members earned thirty dollars per day of service.  The federal prison system is weighted with an annual cost of 22,632 per inmate, and the fee to employ one correctional officer was roughly 23,000 (United States Department of Justice, 2010).  The federal prison system reported a ratio of correctional officer to inmate at being 103.  Probation and parole officers earned relatively decent salaries ranging between 23-69,000 annually, and some of these salaries included housing.  Federally run prisons have found ways to cut some of the operational costs by mounting payphones within the facilities.  The revenue brought in by the inmates using these payphones has been reported to be in excess of 15,000 per inmate (Cohen, 1998).  Each facet of running a federal prison is costly, but these costs must be incurred in order to protect society and meet the judicial standard of justice.
Both the state and federal prison systems are inconvenienced with the rising number of inmates being committed to the facilities.  In 2001, it was approximated to cost 38.2 billion dollars to run the prison system in the United States with a recurring cost of 3.3 billion for inmate medical care.  The federal prison system spent 26 billion dollars on educational programs, while the state level prison system spent 126 billion dollars on educational programs including college level courses.  This is astronomical considering that most law abiding American citizens cannot afford to attend college.
The astounding cost of justice is more than just time and aggravation spent in a courtroom.  The real costs are incurred on the inside.  Prisoners are afforded luxuries on the inside that most decent Americans do not receive from the comforts of their own home.  Inmates enjoy newspapers, education, healthcare, counseling, work programs, meals, laundry service, cable television, and visitations from friends and family.  Although the current prison system is encouraging rehabilitation over discipline, this theory would only indicate that justice has become too soft.  This theory holds true especially when the taxpayer is burdened with the continued cost and maintenance encased in running a facility.  Justice is not being achieved when viewing it from the long-term perspective.  Changes must be made in the judicial system with regard to sentencing and mandates to be enforced upon inmates.  Inmates should not be given a free ride for their maladaptive behaviors because this essentially leaves society to absorb the cost and pay for everything.  Society should not be punished for an inmates wrongdoing.

Is the Quasi-Military Approach to Policing the Best Approach

It is increasingly felt that the traditional quasi-military type of organizations for the police departments is outmoded in the twentieth century. There are writers who clamor for some kind of liberalization of police organization so that the police officers in action have more room to make choices and decisions as they seem fit and not be unduly constrained by regulations and orders received from above. This, it is felt, could pave the way for more efficiency in the police work. However, we will argue in this paper that the quasi-military type of organization is very essential to uphold the spirit of the police job and sustain many positive aspects of the culture associated with it. There are certainly numerous negative aspects to the police system and culture of today, but these have to be and can be addressed in other ways rather than by changing the whole model of the organization.

During the 1950s, professionalism was the watchword of the day. Officers were encouraged to function and behave in a strict, legalistic fashion. As police departments moved forward in the shift toward reform and away from corruption of the political era, the personality of the individual beat officer was no longer emphasized, and officers became cogs in the larger police organization. Officer-level attitudes and values during the reform era were significantly influenced by the shift to professionalism.

The Encyclopedia of Police Science, Vol. 1, Jack R. Greene (editor)

Professionalism leads to efficiency, but it can come at the cost of creativity. This is the basic dilemma faced by the organizational philosophy of the police force. The patrol officer may be just a cog in the machine, but it is indeed a mighty machine that he belongs to. And a considerable portion of that might can be attributed to the quasi-military structure of the police department. A quasi-military organization can be defined as an organization similar to the military along structures of strict authority and reporting relations.

Police departments in America and throughout the world are typically based on a strictly hierarchical and military model of organization. By its very nature the task of policing bears much similarity to a nations military force while the military seeks to protect the country from external enemies, the police is fighting the internal enemy in the form of criminal and socially disruptive elements of the society. The police is engaged in a war too, the constant war against crime. The police too places a great emphasis on continual tactical training and preparedness just in the way military does. Both these lines of occupation involve considerable risk to life and limb, and demand readiness for violent physical encounters. It is only natural then that the police have long adopted a quasi-military style of operation and organization. The U.S. police are technically a civil organization but because of the nature of the work involved the police departments need to be quasi-military organizations.

However, in the increasingly complex world of today there is a plenty of need and scope for the exercise of discretionary skills like problem-solving and decision-making on the part of the lower-cadre officers who are the ones that most directly and extensively come into contact with the everyday world of crime. They would often need the freedom to act on their own initiative at the spur of the moment, taking important decisions on their own accord. But in the quasi-military structure of the police such freedom could be lacking in some significant measure. The constraints on individual initiative, flexibility and creativity could curtail the efficiency of the quasi-military police department, according to some experts in this field. The long-persisting quasi-military type of organization in the police departments is criticized on various grounds and is seen as being antiquated and out of tune with the ethos of the twenty-first century.

In support of the traditional quasi-military type of organization though, I would like to cite an irrefutable historical fact. During the twentieth century, the Second World War marked the real transition into the modern age. The war years themselves witnessed an intense outburst of collective effort and creative endeavor that paved way for incredible levels of innovativeness and productivity on both Allied (the US and the UK) and Axis sides (Germany and Japan) in their desperate bid to win the war. Yet all this creativity was happening within a rigorously militaristic framework. (Japan as a whole was in fact a quasi-military culture, and Germany of that epoch came close). This fact demolishes the notion that a military-style organization is inherently detrimental to creativity. One of the main arguments against the traditional quasi-military approach to managing police organizations is that it does not foster a creative approach to problem-solving and even tends to quash creative ideas and individual initiative when they emerge spontaneously as in solving crimes. Such an observation may have some truth to it, but there is no intrinsic necessity for creativity to be sidelined in a military-style organization.

In fact, the US military is one of the foremost cutting-edge research organizations in the world (thanks largely to the enormous funds at its disposal) and is constantly on the lookout for innovations. So much so that in the not too distant future a soldier-less battlefield where only remotely operated machines engage the enemy forces in a science fiction type scenario is envisaged by the military.  Therefore one cannot dismiss the efficacy of a quasi-military approach to policing by claiming that a rigid structure of organization simply does not allow scope for creativity or technological progress.  Both creativity and efficiency can co-exist within a quasi-military framework, in principle, though in practice there could be several avoidable snags that could obstruct both of these, thereby hampering progress.

The bureaucratic form of organization evolved around the mid-nineteenth century at the height of the industrial revolution in order to promote efficiency at work place. The German sociologist Max Weber studied bureaucracy and delineated most of its advantages. The military organization is the epitome of bureaucratic structure. During the 40s and 50s the police organization in the US also adopted the principles of scientific management propounded by Frederick Taylor that sought to mechanize the work place employing a hierarchical framework with a view to maximize productivity and efficiency. Back then this was in tune with the times. In the subsequent decades, though,  it began to be gradually felt that the bureaucratic model of heavily vertical and rigid structure was becoming outmoded and unsuitable to the times of tremendous progress and innovation both of which greatly depend on the individual initiative. The bureaucratic model was perceived to be oppressively mechanistic, and even dehumanizing. Hence, in the 80s and 90s a number of commercial enterprises began to experiment with less hierarchical and more flexible forms of organization with a participatory style of management and have seen considerable success as a consequence. In the police organizations too there has been some experimentation with alternative models such as community policing, albeit rather sparingly so far. Particularly, in the 1980s police departments in some parts of America have tried to relax the rigidness of their organization albeit with unsatisfactory results. As such, they had to move back to the old structures. By and large the traditional hierarchical, military model of policing endures.

There are some very valid reasons for this and it is not just because of inertia and resistance to change. Nonetheless one can still ask the question It may be that the quasi-military model has demonstrated some considerable advantages which overweigh the negative aspects, it may be that some degree of creativity and individual initiative can be allowed within the scope of this model too, but what is the need to retain it if alternative models can be evolved that can allow for more efficiency and creativity Maybe we should reexamine the alternatives in a more systematic manner than had been done in the past in order to arrive at proper conclusions. Certainly there is always room for change and evolution in any sphere of human activity, however we should also reconsider the basic rationale of quasi-military model of policing so as to better understand the reasons for its persistence.

To begin with, however, the point needs to be clarified that a quasi-military pattern of police organization does not in any way suggest the paramilitary police forces employed by autocratic regimes and police states to crush the liberties of their citizens, and even in democracies during emergencies. The term quasi-military simply refers to a hierarchical and highly disciplined style of organization and need not imply oppression of any kind imposed either on the police officers themselves or on the citizens, although it is used in such contexts sometimes in the literature. The quasi-military aspect is perfectly compatible with a thriving democracy such as the US or the UK. The term quasi-military is a rather broad term with many shades of connotation and varying degrees of emphasis on the quasi aspect and the military aspect. The police cannot be anything but some form of military, given the nature of its work, but what is being debated is how much of quasiness and how much of militariness would make for an ideal balance in a country such as the United States.

 The outward features that readily make a layman associate police with the military are the elaborate uniforms, guns, the titles of rank such as officer, sergeant and lieutenant, and the disciplined mannerisms such as saluting a higher-cadre officer. Beneath this outward structure, what makes the police closely resemble the military is the authoritarian chain of command, where orders flow from top to bottom and have to be dutifully implemented, and all that goes with such an authoritarian style. The actual chain of command in the police bureaucracy goes usually on the following lines Chief  Assistant chief  Major  Captain  Lieutenant  Sergeant  Officer.

 Because of the quasi-military nature of police operations, the primary method of organization is by formation of rank,  notes Stevens. This chain of command is generally seen as the hallmark of the quasi-military structure of the police organization. But there is nothing particularly unique about it. Most organizations are based on some form of hierarchy, with command-level personnel, middle-level management, lower-level management and line personnel. Perhaps what makes the police organization considered as military-styled is the more rigid adherence to the hierarchy and not the hierarchy itself.

However, where the police come closest to the military is at the very heart of the matter and the spirit of the things both the police officer and the army officer consider themselves as soldiers and warriors in service of their country. General Pattons adage Duty, honor, country can be applied to both a sincere policeman and the military official. It is in fact this noble trait of placing the country and welfare of people above and beyond oneself that is the mark of a true soldier.  

As remarked in the passage quoted at the beginning of this essay, the policeman may be just a cog in a huge machine, but that is just one way of seeing it. Deep down, a solider would have to efface his personal identity so that his existence can be integrated into a higher cause. That is precisely the reason why a police officer during an encounter or a soldier in the battlefield does not terribly hesitate to sacrifice life and limb in the line of duty  as incredible as it may seem to a layperson. After all  an outside observer with a healthy ego may think   no job is of more value than life itself.  But then to a thoroughbred soldier, his job is not just a job, it is a calling from a higher realm, just as it is for a devout monk. Therefore a soldier does not mind being a cog in the machine if that is the best way he can serve his country. The uniforms, the discipline, the training, all have their own highly practical uses, but beyond that they aim at toughening up the soldiers mental outlook so that his individuality is subdued and he becomes something of an impersonal force. Critics see this as dehumanizing, and it could be so under certain circumstances, but in other circumstances it also could also be ennobling.

The impulse that drives a soldier at heart is in fact very similar to the one that drives a true artist or a scientist. For an artist, at some point, his art becomes much greater than his life or person, and for a scientist the truth becomes all. The self becomes insignificant and the meaning of being is found in a higher purpose of life. Instead of dehumanizing a person, this transcendence of self is what makes us truly human, otherwise we remain merely animal, primarily concerned with our own wellbeing all the time or at the most that of our near and dear ones. Albert Einstein (1935) said, The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self. Taken in the right spirit, this is what the military training and milieu aims at imparting. The whole outward military structure, order, paraphernalia and regalia are deep down targeted at inculcating the military philosophy and values, which are somewhat spiritual in their essence. Herein lies the deeper relevance of a quasi-military approach to policing. It is needed, beyond all the other more easily identifiable uses and purposes, to train the soldier inside a policeman, to bring the warrior out of him. If a scientist is a soldier for the Truth and the artist a soldier for Beauty, the policeman is a soldier for the Good. Truth, Beauty, Good  these are eternal values.

The true policeman never hesitates to risk his life if need be in fighting the bad elements of the society. And that is the reason why the policeman has become an archetype of hero and one of the most commonly used protagonist in Hollywood movies. Children especially love policemen, and a great number of young boys dream of becoming police officers when they grow up (whether they stick to their original ambition is a different matter). True policemen, their stories and sacrifices, in Hollywood and real life, tend to inspire with a great zeal to fight evil, and the police officer has become a symbol of good in the perpetual fight between good and evil.

Such glorifying of the police officer and his job, despite the element of truth in it, is of course rather simplistic and idealistic. In real life, police are also often associated with corruption, incompetence, brutality, arrogance and such negative aspects, and this is the case not infrequently even in the films. Unfortunately such a view is not unwarranted. But it would be nave to suppose that the solution to this lies in changing the military-styled structure of the police department into a more civilian-type structure. Things could only become much worse then. Changes to the system are needed, but the system as a whole need not be changed, because the police is tied up with the military deep down in the very spirit of things and the nature of the job.

The quasi-military approach is the best approach to policing because it can provide both freedom and responsibility in the optimal measure. Critics of this system bemoan that direct orders  which can be disobeyed only at the risk of severe discipline and chastisement  become all important in this system, and as such and there is no room for maneuvering for individual officers when they need to take decisions and act on their own. In this point of view, police officers toward the bottom of chain are portrayed as lackeys to their superiors, capable of and needed to only execute the orders they receive from above. This dismal picture of police chain of command is simply not true.  When dealing with murders, burglaries and other crimes, police officers at the precinct level have all the freedom they need to act on their own, and do not wait upon the orders from superiors from every step they take, as if they were automatons programmed by their masters. The first few hours after the happening of a crime are very crucial for nabbing the perpetrators and there is simply no time for bureaucratic-type orders to pass down the chain of command for every move. The officers take their own decisions most of the time, and are taken to the task by the superiors only when they do something grossly wrong. Answerability to the superiors makes way for accountability and responsibility and is not intended to constrain the freedom of police officers acting on the field. Interference by the superiors usually happens only when warranted. As Stevens remarks, Lieutenants tend to be morale specialists who do not exercise regular supervision, but rather are called in when a street officer is having a problem. Their talent and leadership come into play when something unexpected happens.

Sometimes it may happen that the police officer in action may receive orders that may compel him to act otherwise than he may seem fit, but such a thing happens in every type of organization because every organization is to some extent or other hierarchical. There is nothing wrong in receiving orders from above, as long as such orders are based on better judgment. Hence, orders received from above could work for good or bad depending upon their situational validity in the same way as decisions taken by the acting officers themselves could be sometimes wrong and need not always be right. In a quasi-military structure of organization, precedence is given to orders received over the field officers decisions in cases of conflict because of the commonsensical assumption that the superiors have more experience and judging ability. If these orders turn out to be unwise or inappropriate, the fault is with the individual persons and not with the system itself which is a very logically sound type of organization. In his criticism of the quasi-military structure of police organization Panzerella (2003) points out that Although police forces promote from within, many police leaders have climbed the bureaucratic ladder and have little operational experience. Obviously, here the problem is not with the bureaucratic structure itself but with inexperienced officers being promoted to higher cadres. Such a practice can be rectified without any need to change the system itself.

But then the system itself is blamed for everything. Egon Bittner, another noted critic of the quasi-military form of policing, says that the quasi-military structure of police organizations leads to the abuse of force and misconduct. The truth is quite the opposite. Abuse of force and misconduct can happen anywhere, but a quasi-military form of organization is the best safeguard that such abuses are minimized. In reality, most of the problems associated with police arise from lack of accountability or lax accountability, and not because of excess accountability as the critics claim. That is to say, the police department can become more efficient and the actions of police officers more justifiable if the police organization sticks more closely to the quasi-military form and not deviate from it.

One of the widely-publicized cases of police injustice and the deficiencies of our law-enforcement agencies is the story of Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, two innocent men, who were framed in a murder case by the police of a small Midwest town, Ada, and later given life sentences. The highly popular novelist John Grisham (2007) wrote an entire best-seller on this case, title An Innocent Man. This murder happened in the early 80s, possibly during the time when some parts of America were experimenting with more lax and creative approaches to policing. For years, the police of this small town investigated separate murder incidents of two young girls, made all the blunders they could possibly make, and arrested two persons for one murder and another two teenagers for another murder, all of whom were innocent. The police officers involved in this case went so creative in fact that they invented a novel technique of interrogation that depended on dream interpretations. The foolishness of these police officers was also documented in another book titled The Dreams of Ada by the New York Times journalist Robert Mayer. Such atrocities could be committed by the police obviously because of lack of accountability. This is what can happen if police officers are given the freedom to work and investigate cases in the way software professionals write code at Apple, with minimal supervision and accountability.

I have been in the military and I believe that without that structure that the military had the United States would not have the best military in the world. The police organization needs to move a little closer to the military structure and not away.  Changes are happening in the military too, and the police departments can implement such changes in their own organizations. Therefore I can agree with Panzarella when he says that The quasi-military model of police command is outmoded even as a military model. The contemporary military may provide a more apt model for the necessary task of reinventing police leadership.

The police and the military share a deep structural and spiritual bond.  

The Juvenile Justice System

The juvenile justice system was formed in the early 1900s by child savers. The system was formed to help andor aid those teens who have somehow gotten off the straight and narrow due to various obstacles. Those obstacles may include but are not limited to living in poverty, dysfunctional family, peer pressure etc. Although the juvenile justice system was designed to help teens, some believe that the system was formed to take away teen rights and independence. Over the years, a lot has changed including the amount of teen violence and crime. Is the hike in teen violence a reflection of how effective Americas juvenile justice system really is Many argue that the answer is yes.

The amount of teens entering the juvenile justice system every year is very alarming. Some believe that the number of teens entering the system each year and the high number of repeat violent offenders can be attributed to the lacks sometimes even laughable punishments handed down by judges. Since teens are tried differently from adults and so many rules and regulations must be adhered to, are the law makers hands tied Due to public outcry and a need for change to the juvenile justice system reform is on the horizon, but what type of reform is needed to correct an outdated justice system This paper looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the juvenile judicial system.    Introduction

Juvenile criminals have been a national issue in the American society for many years. The concern over young individuals being involved in major criminal acts has been shared by different stakeholders including the federal and the states governments. There concern over juvenile offenders has peaked in the last two decades of the 20th century which has created the need to reconsider how juvenile criminals are treated by the judicial systems and the best ways of dealing with these underage offenders. However, although juvenile delinquency has significantly reduced since late 1990s, a solution to young people involving themselves in major crimes has not been reached. Since the establishment of juvenile judicial systems in the early 20th century, a good number of young Americans have been tried in the criminal system. Moreover, today a good number of young people are subjected to judicial systems due to repeated crimes which have attracted heated debate of whether these juvenile criminal systems really serve the intended purpose.    

Juvenile Judicial Systems
Juvenile judicial system is a separate judicial system in the United States which was established in the early 20th century to take care of the interests of juvenile offenders. The main goal of juvenile judicial system is to protect juvenile offenders from the destructive sentences in criminal courts and giving room for rehabilitation of the offender based on the juveniles conditions and special needs. The system focuses of the juvenile offender as an individual with special needs and the assistance that can be offered to the offender. On the other hand, the criminal courts focus on the criminal act the individual has committed. The proceedings of a juvenile court are therefore informal where the judge acts in the best interest of the juvenile offender. Initially, the juvenile judicial proceedings were not open to public and the records were confidential to prevent the interference of rehabilitation and reintegration of the juvenile offender into the society. The criminal courts systems were therefore very different from the juvenile judicial systems in many ways. The language used in juvenile judicial system was quite different where the juvenile offenders were charged with delinquencies and not criminal acts. Moreover, the juvenile were never declared guilty of the offence but were adjudicated delinquent. Rather than the courts sending them to prison, they were sent to rehabilitation and training institutions or reformatory schools.      

From the initial practices of the juvenile judicial system, there were tensions on social welfare as opposed to social controls. Tension of what should be given more priority between the interests of the juvenile offender and the punishment for the offence committed, incapacitation and protection of the society from the criminal acts has always been an issue when dealing with juvenile offenders. This tension has changed over time with various changes in the jurisdiction of the juvenile courts and the changing society and it is still a major issue today.

In a report released in 2005, the startling data of the number of young people was revealed. The report claimed that the United States judicial system deals with over two and half million cases of juvenile offenders in a year. This is a very large number of children being accused in American courts. The figure indicates that almost five thousand children are charged with delinquency every day. This worrying statistics have attracted a heated debate on whether the juvenile judicial system is able to deter American youths who are about ten percent of the American population from committing crimes. According to the report, it was estimated that over fifty percent of all American youths will end up being tried in the juvenile courts if the trend continued. Two thirds of those tried would be convicted delinquent. Most of the juveniles adjudicated to residential placement are incarcerated for long enough such that they spend their early adult life in the facilities which may negatively or positively affect their lives.

Over the years, the process of graduating to adult status has changed significantly. The transition from high school life through college to the working life has transformed dramatically. For this reason, many young people are finding it hard to get into their feet which make them get involved in criminal activities easily. For individuals who have passed through the juvenile judicial system, the process of attaining adult status becomes even more challenging. Very few juvenile who have been incarcerated at one point in their life attain a high school diploma. In 2005, the percentage of juvenile who have ever been incarcerated by the juvenile judicial system was estimated to be about 11 percent against the national average of 74 percent in the same year. Life becomes harder for those released from the correctional facilities since only about a third of them either goes back to school or get employed after they are released. A youth who has ever been charged with delinquency in a juvenile court is more likely to be unemployed, become a dependant adult or have an unstable family. Moreover, there are many cases of these youths being arrested and charged again at some stage of life.

The juvenile judicial system was formed on the basis that children are different from adult and should not be treated equally as adults in the criminal systems in case they are involved in criminal activities. They are not culpable and competent to be tried in a normal criminal court. The juvenile judicial system was therefore supposed to serve as a surrogate parent. The original intention of the juvenile judicial system was not mare punishment but was also expected to offer a second chance to the delinquent youth through rehabilitation and make them better members of the society. With the changes in the society however, the juvenile judicial system has changed significantly shifting from rehabilitative system to a more punitive system. Although punitive measure against violent crimes cannot be argued out, many people are for the argument that it is unfair to the importance of rehabilitation in any case involving juvenile delinquency. The need to strike a balance between punishment and treatment of the juvenile offender is the best approach in dealing with cases of children turning into criminals.

In the last two centuries of the 20th century, and more so in the 1980s, there was a high increase in the number of juveniles involved in violent crimes all over the United States. In response to this trend, there were some legal reforms in different states which aimed at changing the approach of cases involving violent juvenile offences. These was necessitated by the need for juveniles involved in serious crimes such as murder to be subjected to more punitive sentences for the safety of the society. This diverted the rehabilitation and diversion oriented juvenile judicial systems to punishment oriented approach. This change from rehabilitation oriented to punishment oriented juvenile judicial system was adopted by seventeen states where the purpose of juvenile judicial system was redefined to include the society welfare and accountability of the offender. The changes were based on the ideal belief that the current system was too lenient on juvenile offenders who involve themselves in serious and violent crimes and were a security threat to the society just like other adult criminals.

Though in the United States there have different juvenile judicial systems, they vary from states, counties and municipalities. The federal system however had jurisdiction over some criminal cases such as criminal acts committed on Indian reservation or other public places like in a national park. The federal juvenile judicial system is also distinct. However, there are some restrictions which are provided by the juvenile justice and delinquency act. This act requires that juvenile offenders must be detained or incarcerated in different facilities with adult offenders. Despite the regulation of this act, the laws in a particular state oversee the structure of the juvenile judicial systems and rehabilitation facilities in the state. However, the differences between juvenile judicial systems in different states are not very wide and they are similar in many ways. In many states, different legal reforms in the interest of the general public and the offenders have affected violent juvenile offenders where the law makes it easy and some times mandatory for a juvenile offender to be tried as an adult offender. The law in this case changes the decision making process where the prosecutor decides where they try the juvenile offender and the judge has a wide range of sentence options. Moreover, an option of juvenile try proceedings andor criminal records may become open to the public in some of these cases.

Changing the law concerning the trial of juvenile offender has however not translated into direct changes in the legal practices. There are various factors that limit the trial of juvenile offenders in the normal criminal systems. These factors include the belief that a good number of juvenile offenders can be treated and rehabilitated and be integrated back to the society without subjected to punitive criminal sentences. Tougher, incarceration measures of juvenile offenders stress the judicial systems budget and cause overcrowding in facilities. Moreover, research on best practices in juvenile judicial systems indicate tough penalties on juvenile offenders have little gains on reducing recidivism among juvenile if there are no attempts to incorporate rehabilitation and treatment in the process of incapacitation. It should also be noted that in some cases, practices in the juvenile justice systems are not in line with what was imagined when the laws were formulated. An alternative juvenile judicial system has for example been under experiment in some jurisdictions where restorative justice has been proposed. Restorative justice is different from the traditional model which emphasizes on rehabilitation of the offender with the current changes that advocate for punishment and accountability of the offence. Restorative justices main focus is the welfare of all parties involved that is the victims of the offence, the juvenile offender as well as the society.

Over the years, there have been many changes in the juvenile justice systems but varying structures in different states, difference in information on case proceedings and incarceration of young offenders and little national data makes it difficult to analyze the effectiveness of juvenile judicial systems. Although some states analyzes and publish information about their judicial systems including juvenile cases, in majority of the states, no data is readily available for comparative study. However, policies related to juvenile crimes in the United States are generally moving towards treating young offenders as adults. Despite this, it is indisputable that some young people grow and live in settings that do not allow proper development into adults who are acceptable in the community. These setting make them more likely to be delinquent as compared to other children who grow in a supportive environment. Punishing these juveniles punitively for their delinquency rather than providing rehabilitation services has been viewed by many as unfair. Laws that directly affect juvenile delinquency and juvenile judicial system should always consider the development of the juvenile. The law must provide a balance between providing the right environment for the development of the child and the social desire for criminals to be accountable for their acts. Although the juvenile judicial system is based on the fact that juvenile offenders need support and education to develop into better members of the society, all criminal activities irrespective of who commits them should be condemned.

Juvenile crimes are largely influenced by cognitive aspects of the childs life and the social features of the surrounding. For this reason, effective juvenile judicial system should also consider these factors. For example, sociologist and human development scholars argue that children below seven years of age have not reached the age of reason and cannot devise a criminal intent which makes them not accountable for their delinquency. In common practice, juvenile judicial systems do not involve trial of children below ten years of age. Moreover, cases of children below ten years being arrested are very rare. However, youth aged over 16 years are considered to have developed enough cognitive abilities and experienced enough to be accountable for intentional criminal acts. There is no argument in a seventeen years old teenager being accountable for criminal acts he or she has committed especially if it was a violent crime. The most controversial issue has been how to try offenders between the age of ten years and sixteen years. Many public policies such as education policies, medical care and alcohol control policies support the belief that teenagers have not attained the status of an adult based on their capacity.

Despite there being a juvenile criminal system in the United States, the system has not been effective in deterring young people from committing crimes. This has been the trend in other countries such as Canada and European countries which have similar systems. A good number of young people being tried in juvenile courts have previously attracted arguments on the effectiveness of the rehabilitation facilities provided by the systems. The number of serious criminal acts involving juvenile offenders has increased since late 1980s, which have caused a lot of worries among criminologists. There is a common belief in the society that the young people of the modern generation are more violent and can be controlled while other people believe that the juvenile judicial systems are inadequate in dealing with violent adolescence and is in fact doing harm to them. In reaction to this inadequacy of the juvenile judicial system, the law makers have made these systems more punitive and provide provisions where juvenile criminals can be transferred to the normal criminal systems. The data available on the level of violent criminal acts among the juveniles form the basis of changes in these laws.

Today, young people commit more crimes that they did twenty years ago. Crimes committed by young people today are more violent than it could have been imagined when the juvenile criminal courts were established. There are many cases of children assaulting other children in schools or public places and even more surprising cases where children physically attack their parents and even kill them have been reported. There is also a trend where a young person is repeatedly committing the same crime despite efforts to provide rehabilitation services. The trend is however more prevalent in low income areas and areas where adult crime is high creating the link between juvenile delinquency and the influence of the environment.    

Whether the rehabilitation of the juvenile offender will gain fruits or not depends on whether the child leaves the juvenile judicial system mature enough and having acquired skills to face the challenges of life. Otherwise, the individual will leave the system more hardened or with no abilities to deal with the increased challenges of life and thus is more likely to be a criminal in the future. A good juvenile judicial system will provide rehabilitation services and give skills which can secure the victim a job after release because he is unlikely to go back to school. The basic assumption by the public that people mature with age is not necessarily true. The development of individual autonomy, ability to socialize with others and self direction which are indications of maturity are dependent on the environment to which the individual is exposed to. The ideal environment where an individual can develop into maturity is in a family of supportive parents, right peers, good role models and the general society. When a young individual is charged with delinquency and put under juvenile judicial system, normal development of the individual into maturity may be arrested. The system may not provide the best environment to aid development of the individual into an adult and in many cases have had a negative influence.

The juvenile judicial system was established over a century ago with an aim of taking care of the delinquent youths welfare. The system was formed to protect young people from the punitive sentences in the normal judicial system. However, the rate of increase in juvenile crimes including violent crimes has been very high over the last two decades. Moreover, many young people going through the system have been reported to have had a criminal life after release. The factors have attracted a heated debate on whether the juvenile judicial system is of any help to juvenile offenders. The ability of the juvenile judicial system to deter juvenile delinquency or rehabilitate delinquent juvenile has been a controversial issue leading to changes in the judicial system. Therefore the leniency of the judges in the juvenile judicial system contributes to the high number of delinquent youths.

Management of Police Personnel

This article discusses the makeup of the departments within a police force.  It tells of the many disciplines contained within the walls and how the key to their effectiveness is good management.  Good management is recognized in how management treats personnel.  Police personnel management is totally committed to the police force in dealing with all departmental operations.  The entire process is overseen with a fine tooth comb by both managers and supervisors in the selection of recruits, the training that is provided, and the continuance of support that never wavers.

Police personnel fill many diverse departments within the force.  These departments
include the areas of public safety, community relations, law enforcement, human resource management, and information and fiscal management.  In order for these various departments to run effectively takes good management and supervision, which consists of those having good people skills.  It is vital to the success of the department that the management team is totally committed to the entire process starting with recruiting, training, and the provision of ongoing support to all police personnel.

Recruiting and Budget Cuts
The importance of management and supervision within a police department is what makes the system work. This in itself is monopolized by the many budget cuts that impact in light of recruiting efforts within local areas.  Federal grants help to meet the costs of new recruits and training however the ability to locate qualified applicants is another issue that must be met.  One of the screening criteria is that of indebtedness, an applicant cannot be in debt, nor can they have any history of drug use.

The staffing efforts are also impacted due to military need, such as officers who are in the reserves and National Guard.  This short staffs a probable already limited staff in supplying communities with the services they are to receive.  A reason that the infrastructure is so hard to maintain is due to short term budgeting practices.  This strategy is in effect because of the annual and biannual planning of government departments in which the police force budget derives.  The costs of recruiting, and training police personnel takes most of the budget that it allowed annually for the entire site to run.  This makes it extremely difficult for managing expenses and it is customary to be hit with budget cuts.

Inability to Meet Force Management Objectives
Complications with budget cuts and inadequate strategies are directly affecting at the local, state, and federal level.  The use of the militaries system in budgeting and training expenses may well be an example that local police forces could adopt.  The centralized planning structure used by military personnel has a proven track record of success.  Their strategy is built on a long term scope, that allows for beneficial staff planning and estimations of future personnel needs.

The way the military works in meeting management objectives is to assess anticipated demand for military personnel.  They then specify their anticipated need for future staffing needs tying this data into a projected need for resources.  Taking this information they use force shaping to meet the organizational demands.  This strategy would be cost effective for recruitment expenditures of police personnel and could ultimately be tied into local government strategies in a unified effort.  The results would be an organized system that could support police management with regard to budgetary requests in strengthening relationships with legislative and executive planners.

The main points of the article as follows maintain that managers and supervisors in alignment with police personnel are constructed as a family unit.  Each individual is provided training and a commitment for success that is not taken lightly.  This assures the success of the departments amidst financial hardships that negatively impact, resulting in an overall strain to management in the ability to expand and grow as needed.  This limits communities in which they work from receiving the quality of service they well deserve.  It negates forces from acquiring recruits that meet the strict guidelines required, thereby creating a shortage of available police personnel in which to service the communities as required.

Serving on the front lines, personnel are a police departments most important and most valuable resource.

With personnel playing this critical role, the process of personnel selection, training,monitoring, and support is key to a successful police department.

Police departments today face many issues in recruiting and retaining high-quality employees.
The nature of policing has broadened to a more diverse range of missions requiring a complex set of skills from officers.

In addition, responsibilities for law enforcement agencies at all levels are changing in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In short, the expanded responsibilities for local police require an expanded set of police skills and perhaps a different type of officer.

The population from which police agencies recruit has also changed in the past Several decades. Some trends may restrict the potential labor pool while others may increase it.

The present study is an effort to identify planning tools that might be adapted by police agencies to address some of the recruiting and retention challenges they face.

My overall reaction to this article is that it is well written in describing the workings o
the police force and the importance of how the selection process mandates types of personnel defined as being police personnel material.  It defines the duties of police management and supervision.  The article makes it clear that without proper management skills in regard to those being managed the types of services expected from local police departments would be highly inadequate in regard to police personnel skills.  It points out that police departments are impacted frequently with budget cuts, and if it werent for the spending of the majority of budgets on recruiting and training, communities would be in a lot of trouble.

What could have been explained or examined in depth would be why police agencies do not incorporate the strategies of the military in regard to budgets and personnel.  The infrastructure of the military is a well organized and systematic process that ensures accountability and reliability.  It gains support within itself in provision of making financial budgets cover expenditures effectively without budgetary cuts.  They accomplish this by budgeting for future needs as well as current by using projected scopes and tying that into the process.  It sounds like they use a process in which they shave their budgets vs. cutting them like police enforcement does.

I agree that local police enforcement should take into consideration, how this process actually works.  A strategy should be developed by police personnel management in testing the ability for the military process, to see how it would work for police management and the benefits derived for police personnel.

12 Angry Men

Societal details are prototype of activities that differentiates a communal assemblage, which comprises of sanctions, principles, and customs. In the motion picture, 12 Angry Men, the adjudicators as an assembly is an exemplar of an ethnicity in which societal particulars can be depicted.

12 Angry Men (1957) is an insightful film, demonstrating different societal psychology theories and attitudes through the representation of 12 middle-aged Americans, bearing similar and different prejudices, ideologies, cultural differentiation, personal fears, weaknesses, indifferences and judgments. These men were assigned the duty to come to a decision for a teenager on a murder trial and how the varied opinions and assessment of the jurors gradually alters from the ballot of culpable to not culpable as the movie progresses
Juror 1 liked to be in authority and lead the initial proceeding. However he did not have the leadership qualities and was sensitive about his control over the matter. He did cast his vote in favor of being culpable numerous times however he changed his vote, together with two other jurors, to formulate the totality of nine to three for exoneration. Juror 2 was unconfident about his individual opinions and easily influenced. Juror Two alters his ballot to not culpable, together with Jurors 6 and 11. Juror 3 was a very narrow-minded, discourteous and prejudiced man. His fight with his own son resulted in his resentment towards young people and rebelliousness till the end. Juror 3 was the final person to proffer for a culpable outcome. Juror 4 was intellectual and egotistical he displayed a combination of being both composed and prudish. He observed the case reasonably without letting sentiments interfere. He is the very last person in the panel of adjudicators to alter his ballot. Juror 5 appeared to be a reserved person who has grown up in the slums hence, his vote against the accused was actually estrangement from his past. He was the second person to change his vote to, not at fault. Juror 6 was a stern, indecisive man who found it safe to follow the mainstream opinion. He was more of a heeder than a conversationalist. Juror 7 was a gregarious person and a huge baseball fan. His indifferent attitude was shown in his impulsive vote of guilty after which he rushed to attend the evening game. Juror 8 was a solicitous person who shows courage in selecting not-guilty for the accused. This decision also displayed his sense of responsibility as a member of the jury who wishes to give ample consideration to both angles of the trial. Juror 9, a retired man who was sensitive, understanding and fair minded but he too initially, was exposed to coequals pressure. He was the foremost Juror to alter his vote to not culpable, affirming that he required a complete debate of the lawsuit, as Juror 8 had asked for. Juror 10 was a bitter racist, who was very class conscious and extremely intolerable and revolted towards the lower class. He considers stoutly that the accused was at fault he bickered on the proceedings vehemently, and was one of the very last to propose for an accountable decision. Juror 11 was a watchmaker and a recent migr who held pride and respect in the democratic and judicial system of America. Subsequent to hearing the grievance of Jurors 7 and 10, Jurors 11 modifies his decision to not at fault. Juror 12 was a well-dressed, easy-going person he did not care much for beliefs and passion. He alters his vote back to guilty after the unwavering evidence provided by the lady who saw the assassination being committed. But later on after Juror 4 and 9s opposing point of views he was easily swayed to alter his ballot back once more to guiltless.

Twelve Angry Men is a fantastic movie that sensationalizes the deficiencies present in the U.S panel of adjudicators system. Concurrently, it conveys the significant message that for the reason that we are humans and not machinery, it is in the character of things that righteousness commands such a system.

Paper No. 2

This is a quantitative research which used different measurements to analyze the collected data. The dependent variable is self-control which was measured using a scale of 17-point self-report on hyperactivityinattention. The subjects were asked to answer a series of eight statements relating to impulsivity, distractibility and inattention. This variable was coded in such a way that the higher the score on the scale, the higher the level of self-control.

The independent variables were parental composition, household size, family structure and parental monitoring. The following were measured parental nurturance, a 29-point scale with five questions parental monitoring, a 21-point scale with four items and parental rejection or negligence, a 29-point scale with seven items.

The target population was a large-nationwide sample of Canadian children. The data came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), Cycles 1 and 3 conducted by Statistic Canada. Respondents to the survey were parents, teachers and children and information about social, biologic and economic characteristics were gathered. From Wave 1, respondents were 13,439 households and basic demographic information about each household member was gathered. Random selection was made of one child aged 0 to 11 living in the household was made. The Parent Questionnaire, Child Questionnaire and General Questionnaire were administered to the person most knowledgeable (PMK) about the child. Random selection was also made of children who belong to the same economic family and the PMK completed the Child Questionnaire for each child. Furthermore, self-reported data from Cycle 3 of the NLSCY was collected from respondents who were 10 to 15 years old.  From the

NLSCY sample, 5,539 participants in this age bracket but with the elimination of missing cases using listwise deletion resulted in a working sample of 3,927.

A human subject consideration is that of the relationship between parental supervision and delinquent behavior.  An example was cited to wit where the parent might state that he or she is not always aware of his or her childs whereabouts, the child might believe that the parent does in fact monitor his or her behavior at all times and as a result, the child might take care to engage in activities that could result in disapproval or punishment.  This is the reason why self-reported data was used because it is believed to childs awareness of parenting and parent-child relations were more relevant to the research.

Despite having a large national sample, there are weaknesses to the sample. The weaknesses are related to secondary data analysis. First, it was said that it would have been more ideal if there are broader indicators of self-control. Another weakness cited was in the used of cross-sectional data, causal inferences may pose a problem. The causal inference cited in particular was that parental behavior influences child behavior, which subsequently affects parental behavior.

The strength of the research design is the problem is that because of the fact that there is no universal measurement of self-control, the general theory contentions were tested against several measurements as was cited above. In the concluding statements, it was noted that the study has provided a substantial contribution to the research general theory on crime and more specifically to the sources of self-control.

Vehicular Homicide Investigations

Vehicular homicide according to John Malcom and John Scheb in introduction to American legal system can be defined as the criminal, deliberate or unintentional act of causing death of another person using a vehicle, or through the improper use of a vehicle.  In this, case death occurs as result of negligence of the vehicle by the driver or the driver driving under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance. This is also known as dangerous driving. The victims of this offence vary depending on a given case. They may include either a passenger traveling with driver, a pedestrian crossing the road, a cyclist or another motorist (Scheb and Scheb, p 12). An example would involve a driver who overspeeds and drives under the influence of alcohol. He hits a pedestrian as she crosses the road at a zebra-crossing. The victim suffers severe head injures, multiple fractures on the limbs and ribs and dies as result of excessive bleeding. Out of panic, the driver takes off but curious onlookers manage to get the cars registration numbers.

According to Stein (para 2), the driver is liable for prosecution amounting to felony classified as first degree murder since he drove under the influence of an intoxicant, was driving recklessly and never stopped after the accident. This driver is liable for prosecution and can face a jail sentence of between three to fifteen years.

Investigations of this criminal offence should start immediately. In Mastering scientific evidence seminar, James argues that among the investigating parties involved should include an accident investigation expert, a toxicologist (forensic scientist), accident reconstruction expert and the police force. Once the police have been called into the scene, the first attending officer also known as the crime scene officer takes charge of managing the scene. The area is barricaded and guarded so as to preserve and protect the available trace evidence. Collection of evidence should follow noting that this should be done quickly as some evidence can be affected by weather conditions e.g. skid marks which can be washed off by rain (Hooper, Dupont-Morales, and Schmidt, p 177).

A scene walk through should be conducted by the investigators so as to get first hand information. Proper identification, collection, handling, preservation and analysis should be upheld so as to maintain the quality of the collected trace materials. Examination of the collided vehicles should be carried out so as to ascertain the extent of damage.  Accident reconstruction expert should assess the damages and take photographs of the vehicles to be produced as exhibits in a court of law. The vehicles should be investigated to check whether there was some mechanical malfunction prior to the accident, by checking the mileage of the vehicle against the last date that vehicle was serviced. If the accident involved a truck with some cargo, the weight of the cargo should be noted.  Other materials to be collected and noted should include paint chips that may be at the scene and blood from the victims that may be fond on the scene of the accident and inside the wrecks of vehicles and skid marks. Skid marks are capable of showing the drivers perception and reaction to danger, and their absence indicates that the driver never perceived anything amiss until very late (Smith, p 22).

Another very important factor in evidence collection and presentation in a court of law is the witness to the accident. Here, there are two types of witnesses. One is the eye witnesses who either witnessed the accident, survivors or the first attendants who rushed to the scene after the accident- curious onlookers. Their testimony is vital as it tells of how things came into being. A strong smell of alcohol, slurred speech, unsteady feet and glassy eyes can indicate drunkardness. Breathalyzer test can also be used (Huston, pp 16). The other type of evidence is the expert witness given by the professionals involved. An accident reconstruction investigator can reconstruct the events leading to the accident to a certain degree, vehicles interior, measurements and street markings. A toxicologist can gauge the alcohol levels in the blood system or presence of any other intoxicant. An accident examination expert can identify the area of impact, the pre and post impact vehicle paths and area of final rest of the involved bodies or vehicles. There is also tire marks analysis, testing of the coefficient of friction on the roadway, testing of visibility and how far one can see and examination of traffic control devices (Devine, p 121).

Vehicular homicide is the unlawful killing of another person, both maliciously and accidentally i.e. without the intent to kill using or involving a vehicle. This is a felony committed if the driver was driving carelessly and recklessly, ran or drove away after the accident, or fled from a traffic officer, had been declared previously as a habitual violator, was driving under the influence of an intoxicant like alcohol, and dangerously and unlawfully overtook or met an oncoming school bus. Vehicular homicide is an offence punishable by law, by three to fifteen years imprisonment in the United States of America. Investigations of this type of offence are carried out by experts e.g. accident investigation experts who look into the dynamics surrounding the accident.

Crime Causation and Diversion in Texas

There are various programs that have been put in place in the state of Texas in an attempt to reduce juvenile crimes. These programs and services are organized and coordinated at the local or state level. The coordination however vary from one county to another where in some counties, the juvenile probation department is responsible for these services while in others, the prosecuting general coordinates the programs. These programs promote justice for the juvenile offenders and the approaches of specific programs have significantly reduced juvenile crimes in Texas. Some of these programs include juvenile diversion and probation supervision (CEA, 2008).

Diversion is a situation where the court, the probation department or the police choose to handle a case of juvenile crime in an informal way. Diversion may be in form of supervisory caution where the juvenile offender is first counseled by the juvenile probation department and then referred to social services. The counseling may also involve the juvenile offenders family. Diversion may also take the form of deferred prosecution where the offender enters 6-months probation where the offenders actions are monitored. In case any of the probation terms is violated, the offender is subjected to normal juvenile offender adjudication. It is within the prosecutors jurisprudence to confer deferred prosecution to any juvenile offender (Cooper, 2001). However, the juvenile probation department does not have the powers to defer prosecution unless under special condition which requires a written consent from the prosecutor. The deferred prosecution is however administered by both the court and the probation department. The types of deferred prosecution available differ from one county to another. However, informal disposition procedures are issued by the juvenile boards although these guidelines are not compulsory.  There various diversion options provided by the board which can be administered to a juvenile offender who qualifies for an informal disposition. The juvenile can be involved in community services, compensation of the victims and psychotherapy programs (NCJJ, 2006).

Probation supervision services are coordinated by the local authorities in every county. The counties administer these services through the local juvenile board. Moreover, there is a designated court which handles juvenile cases in every county. However, the state funds the juvenile judicial systems through Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. The state funds 30 percent of the cost of probation while the county funds the rest of the cost through its revenues. The terms and duration in which the juvenile offender is put under probation is determined by the juvenile court. The probation services are then provided by the probation department where there are one hundred and sixty eight departments in Texas. These departments do not serve a particular county and source funds from different counties (NCJJ, 2006).

The use of diversion and supervisory supervision especially among minors or first time offenders have worked wonders in taming criminal behaviors among juveniles. The strategy has been applied in other states with great success. Diversions and probations hold the juvenile accountable to the offence committed and is a fast and definite consequence of offence committed (Siegel  Senna, 1997). The use of probation has also been instrumental in ensuring continuous education of the offender, counseling in case of substance abuse, mental health as well as follow up services. It also gives room for family therapy which is an essential aspect of juvenile crimes prevention (Dallas County Online, 2009).


Forensic document examination field relates to study of documents as well as various materials whose content mainly include handwriting, typewriting and printing (Ellen, 200512). It exists as a discipline on its own and generally refers to the legal process of establishing the authenticity of documents that are in dispute in a court of law. It main purpose is to answer questions about a document in question through application of scientific techniques and processes (Ellen, 200513). This process is done by a specialist trained in the area known as a forensic document examiner. This term is used to refer to one who has special skills that enable himher to draw conclusions regarding documents under dispute. Their functions include authenticity verification, identification and comparison of signatures, identification of alterations and any other legitimacy concerns that may arise regarding documents (Osborn, 19299). Unlike handwriting analysts, forensic document examiners are used as expert witnesses in a court of law.

The functions of document examiners may be summarized as involving conduction of scientific examinations, making comparisons, and document analysis with the aim of
Identifying eliminating a person as the source of handwriting.
Identificationelimination of typewriting sources as well as other impressions.
Writing of reports or issuing of testimonies to understand examiners findings.
Establishing the genuineness of a document hence exposing forgery, alterations, additions or deletions.

Documents are generally part and parcel of life. They are used in business as well as personal life.  Basically any document may be subject to forensic examination once its under dispute either in an investigation or in litigation. These documents may include simple sheets of paper bearing a persons handwriting, forged cheques, business contracts or even ransom notes (Osborn, 192911). In general any document that bears marks, signs, or any symbols intended to convey some kind of message may be subject to an examination.

The aims of document examination include
Handwriting and signatures identification.
Forgery document identification.
Typewriters, check writers, and photocopies identification.
Detection of alterations, additions, deletions, or substitutions
Deciphering and identification of indented writing
Inks comparison and identification of writing instrument types.
In general it looks at indentations, paper type, size, color, thickness, Water marks, Ink  pencil, unique marks of photocopiers, physical matching, and handwriting.

Indentations refer to imprints that are left on the underlying pages when the sheets are written upon.  These writing impressions may be influenced by pen pressures as well as paper thickness. Usually ESDA machines are used to identify them (Ellen, 200518).

Paper type, size, color, thickness
This involves comparison of the materials used in the disputed document to materials of other standard document that is considered valid. This includes examining if their type, size, color and thickness match each other.

Water marks
These are recognizable images or patterns which appear in papers as various shades of lightnessdarkness upon being viewed by the use of transmitted light. They can also be viewed using reflected light on top of a dark background.

Ink  pencils
Inks and pencils refer to materials that are used to put writings on a document. Through comparison of ink used on one document to that used in another, it is possible to identify if the documents bares similar origin hence establishing its validity. Comparison of inks may be done through use of chemical and optical device techniques.

Photocopier unique marks
Examination of photocopied, inkjet and laser printed documents can be used to establish links and relation of a document under dispute to another document that is considered standard. By identifying the photocopier or printer that was used to print a document, it is possible to determine whether the document originated from a valid source or not.

Physical matching
This method applies the use of document matching apparatus in comparison of structural operations. Recent technology is based on the visual structure of the document. A documents structural information is generated and compared to similar standard document structural component.  Image point sets are generated and compared corresponding image point sets from the standard documents to establish whether they match within predetermined tolerances(Ellen, 200512).. Through these examinations, it is possible to identify and decipher alterations, erasures and any obliteration that may be present in a document (Ellen, 200526). Mostly document examiners are able to reconstruct documents that are either damaged or shredded.

Handwriting and signatures examination
This involves comparison of signatures and handwriting to known specimens with the aim of establishing authorship as well as to detect simulations.

Handwriting examination basically involves three steps namely
Analysis at this point the known specimens are broken down into pieces that bear perceptible characteristics.

Comparison the characteristics of the document in question are then compared to those from the already known specimen.

Evaluation obtained similarities and differences are evaluated to establish the ones that are helpful in drawing conclusions. Usually this is determined based on the appearance frequency of the given item.

Upon competition of the aforementioned steps, verificationvalidation may take place after which conclusions are drawn.

Documents to be examined require proper handling and storage in order to minimize deviations of expected results. Evidence handling therefore is a fundamental process that ends up determining the level of success of document examination process. Evidence handling involves preservation as well as storage, handling of wet documents as well as original document handling.

Once evidence material has been identified, the important step of collecting them and preserving them comes in to play. It is important that the officer collecting the evidence do not touch the evidence using bare hand. It is necessary that the officer wears latex gloves to move the evidence from its place of finding to the desired location. Usually, it is recommended that the items be placed in a plastic bag or envelope. Those items that cannot be stored in the aforementioned containers should be stored appropriately and consequently labeled.

The containers should bear labels clearly indicating the following
The nature of contents it bears.
Location of finding of the evidence.
Name of the people in the area at the time.
Name of persons witnessing the finding of the evidence.
Date and the time when the evidence was found.

There is always need to identify objects that might contaminate each in order to separately store them. However, it will be important to note that different types of evidence require varying handling procedures.

The officer handling the evidence must sign after handing over the evidence for storage and approve that the contents are as marked on a given specific date. The receiving officer must similarly hold the same record clearly signed by both him and the handing over officer

Evidence storage may be temporary or permanent. Once evidence is collected, its important that they are stored in a way that minimizes the risk of contamination. The method used for storage differs from one kind of evidence to another. Special focus is put on wet evidence. Its important to note that this kind of evidence contain moisture which allows for growth of microorganisms which might prove destructive or even alter evidence. Such kind of evidence should therefore not be packaged in plastic bagscontainers. In cases where such evidence has been collected in plastic containers temporarily, they should be immediately removed and left to dry once in a secure location.

All evidence must be stored in a secure and restricted area to avoid it being tampered with mostly secure cabinets or evidence safes are used. This allows for the evidence to be presented in a court examination while in a good condition through limiting third party interference.

Original documents should be handled carefully in order to avoid destructive effects on them. They should be stored in places that are free from chemicals and liquids that might be destructive to them. In comparing of these original documents to documents in question, its important that the original document is kept form damage or harm that may come its way. Its important that after the process, the document maintains its original form.

There are various techniques applied in document examination depending on the kind of examination taking place at that given time

IR and UV photography
Despite the human eye being a remarkable imaging instrument, its chromatic sensitivity is limited to the visible spectrum which ranges from wavelengths of 400 nanometers to 700 nanometers (Ellen, 200532).  Realm of ordinary digital and film photography also fall within this range. There are some instances therefore when ordinary visible light is unable to reveal the fine details of a document. It is in such instances when forensic scientists employ the use of UV an IR light.

The wavelengths that fall under 400 nanometers are denied by scientists as UV whilst those longer than 700 nanometers to about 1200 nanometers as IR (Ellen, 200532).. Photographs taken under such light reveal some hidden information that is usually undetectable using naked human eye (Ellen, 200533). The films sensitive to IR and UV wavelengths record and make images that are otherwise invisible to be visible.

Forensic scientists usually apply the use of infrared and ultraviolet imaging in solving of crimes, causes of death. The main uses of UVIR photography include Revelation of forgeries, obliterations, and alterations that are present in documents (Ellen, 200534).. They are also used in other fields other than forensic document examination in revealing of hidden details of a document.

Physical test
This involves the physical examination of documents in question with the aim of identifying any significant differences that may exist between a standard reference document and the document in question. Basically, this is what may include analysis of a paper type, thickness, size and colour. Other physical features usually those visible to the eye are subject to physical examination. Usually physical tests may include reconstruction of damaged and shredded documents. Under these tests, the document is examined for with the aim of detecting and deciphering alterations, erasures and any obliteration present.

These are electrostatic detection apparatus which are generally used to detect the presence of indentations in a document as well electrostatic writing impressions caused by other documents having been written while resting on top of the another.

This technique offers information regarding
The history and source of a document.
Documents association to other documents.
Information regarding production sequence of writing of documents.
Identification of cases where documents are produced in mass.
Identification of documents that are unrelated and were written on top of each other.
Impressed tracing guidelines identification around inked signatures.

However, some conditions can make these techniques ineffective hence the need to take the following precautions

Little handling of document as the fingerprints may destroy any writing impressions that may have been present.

Chemical finger printing agents should be avoided prior to ESDA taking place.

Excessive humidity and liquids should be avoided.

Preferably, the document should be sandwiched between two sheets of paper within either a plastic or paper wallet of which should not be written upon.

Generally, this is a highly sensitive technique which not only reveals the immediate page but shows up to two four pages above the one under investigation.

Thin Layer Chromatography and other chemical processes
This is basically a technique that is used to separate mixtures. A sample is applied to a plate after which a solventsolvent mixture is applied to the plate. Through capillary action, the various substances present ascend the plate at different rates thereby enabling separation. This technique is usually applicable in forensic document examination in analyzing whether the ink used for a given disputed document is similar to that used on the standard document upon which comparison is based. This is achieved by identifying whether the components of the inks are the same.

While it has many other purposes, its main functions in forensic document examination include identifying compounds present in a given substance e.g. inks and analysis of dye composition of fibers in forensics

This involves use of high powered microscopes to study the fine details of a document. The microscope magnifies the fine details e.g. signatures to enable the examiner to note any small alterations and differences that may exist in the detail. These details observed are then compared to those present in the document being used as the standard measure of comparison.

Oblique light
The technique just like its name involves projection of light in an oblique perspective. It can be arguably termed as the photography of indented impressions but in this case consideration is taken regarding the fact where there exist parts that lie parallel to the direction of the oblique light cast which cast little shadow there by giving imperfect images (Singla, 1990214). Such impressions can however be photographed through the projection of two sources of oblique light at right angles to each other. These results to the negatives being prepared being superimposed in the enlarger hence produce a more visible final print. This technique too can be used in order to make visible some fine details of a document under examination which would otherwise not have been visible.

Electronic Imaging
This system applies the use of specific software which ahs the ability to detect images imprinted in document which are other wise not visible in the eye. Basically its applicable I case where the standard document possesses such imprinted images. The document in question is then tested to find out if it bears the same images as the original standard one. Usually these images are imprinted using a standalone hard-drive duplicator or software imaging tools.

This involves use of optical devices to analyze the fine details of the document under examination. Te optical devices allow for viewing of fine details that would otherwise be invisible.

This involves analysis of a document using various techniques available toe establish any difference in shading that may be present in the document in question while absent in the standard document of measure and vice versa.


ESDA (Electrostatic Detection Apparatus)
This is equipment used in revealing of indented impressions on paper which would otherwise be invisible (Ellen, 200536). This apparatus are usually nondestructive and allows fro further testing of the document. The machine is sensitive and is capable of detecting fresh finger prints from a document. A good case in where handwritings of two persons mix, ESDA can be used to differentiate in pressures applied by the individuals in writing of the paper hence separation of one  handwriting from another.

SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope)
The scanning electron microscope is a device used to scan a finely focused beam of electrons onto a sample under investigation. The impinging electrons produce a series of measurable electron energies which are analyzed using a sophisticated microprocessor that creates a pseudo three-dimensional image or spectrum (Ellen, 200539). The spectrumimages possess unique elements of the sample under analysis. These elements are put under analysis and energy content generated. These are then put into comparison by the results obtained from the standard document.

VSC (Visual Spectral Comparator)
The machine utilizes varying light sources of varying wavelengths in order to distinguish between different inks. While the inks may look identical to naked eyes, possess distinct behaviors that help distinguish them from each other when viewed under a variety of light sources of different wavelengths (Dwayne, 200912). A good example was the case where in analyzing an alleged suicide note it was observed that under certain conditions presented by VSC, the ink used in the note became luminescent unlike the ink that was found from the black point found in the room. The analysis in this case helped identify that the ball point could not have been used.

EM (Electron microscope)
Though expensive, its an efficient gadget in analysis of fine elements of documents being compared. It helps determine finger prints that lie underneath ink in a document or even on top of the ink. With regard to the fact that ink will flow depending on the nature of paper and the finger prints on the paper. Different kinds of ink flow differently on top of finger prints as compared to bank unwritten paper. An electron microscope can be used to identify these fine details and even in some instances it can observe a finger print on top of another finger print.

Advanced UV and IR D-SLR
These are digital D-SLRs custom modified to be used in forensic and scientific use. They are able to work under both UV an IR light thereby capture certain details of a document that are otherwise not available to the normal eye (Brian, 200316). It possesses Super CCD SR II image sensor which ahs a greater dynamic range as compared to the single pixel sensors (Brian, 200316). They also have very low noise. This enhances capturing of fine details both in shadows and in the lights thus uncovering evidence not visible to the normal human eye.

Both these characteristics are crucial for those who need to capture fine detail in both the shadows and highlights in order to uncover evidence not visible to the human eye.

Magnifying glass
These are convex lenses that produce a magnified image of an object. Its basically used to critically analyze features of a document that is under examination.

Stereo microscope
This microscope  applies the se of two separate optical paths, two objectives and two eye pieces which provide slightly different viewing angles to the left an the right eyes(Brian, 200315). Given that each eyes views a different image , it is an appropriate tool for use in comparison of specimens and analyze them to note any differences that might exist between the two namely the document in question specimen and the specimen fro  the standard document..

Digital microscopes
These microscopes possess ability to be directly connected to the computer via a USB cable thus is sometimes referred to as USB microscopes (Brian, 200319). The images observed can be directly stored in the compute and stored just like other images. They offer high magnification hence the detailed elements of the document can be easily observed and compared to those of the standard document being used for comparison.

In conclusion it will be important to note that over time other devices continue to be built all aiming to be able to reveal many other fundamental features that are always present in various documents yet not visible to the human eye. Forensic examination generally borrows from other applied science disciplines principles in its attempt to solve queries regarding documents in question.

The People Are the Police, the Police Are the People

Police agencies should help in developing stronger and self-sufficient communities. These are communities in which social disorder and crime will not thrive. Community policing when effective is democracy in real action. It needs active participation of civic, local government and other business leaders, private and public agencies, churches, schools, residents and hospitals. The paper answers the question of when, how, and why Community Policing would benefit a given organization.

Community policing is fundamentally a group effort between the community and the police that identify and solve community related problems. In this scenario the police are not the only guardian of law and order, members of the community assumes active roles in the effort to promote quality and safety of neighborhoods. It has far-reaching and significant implications. The expanded view on various crime prevention and control, the new prominence on ensuring that community members actively participate in the protocol of solving problems, and the pivotal role of patrol officers in the community policing requires drastic change and initiative within any police organization. In the set up, the patrol officers, with the back up of the police organization, assists community members in mobilizing support and resources required for problem solving and improve their quality of life. The members of the community voice their grievances, give advice, and take due action in addressing these grievances.

Developing a meaningful partnership will need energy, understanding, creativity and patience of all those involved. Reinvigorating the communities is important if we need to prevent crime and develop more crucial neighborhoods (More and Miller, 2007). In most communities, it may take time to wear out barriers of mistrust and apathy so that mutual partnerships can be reached. Trust is the virtue that links and underlies the components of community problem solving and partnerships. A firm foundation of good faith and trust allows the police to forge close relations with the community hence, producing solid achievements. In the absence of trust between citizens and police, effective and efficient policing is hard to come. (Ward, 1992). Generally all police organizations are just like any other organization and community oriented policing (COP) and problem oriented policing (POP) works pretty much the same in all communities.

Why community policing
There are gripping reasons why leaders in law enforcement believe the time has already come to change the practices and policies of their organizations and corporations. These reasons are founded in the tradition of police research and policing during the final quarter of last century, in the changing nature of communities, and in the shifting characteristics of crime and violence that affect these communities. Policing strategies that worked in the past are not always effective today. The expected goal of an enhanced way of security, safety and well-being is not yet achieved. Professionals concur that there is a compelling need for invention to curb the problems in the community. Both the nature and level of crime in the society and the unstable character of various communities are some of the reasons that push police to find more efficient methods. Community policing is one of the new inventions.

Just to name but a few, communities in urban areas are suffocating with serious problems ranging from illegal drugs, murders, gang violence, burglaries and muggings. Suburban and also rural communities have not escaped unscathed. They are in the meantime noting increasing trend in crime and other community disorder. On the other hand, the social fabric of our community has changed superficially. The family which is the basic unit of the society is not as stable as it used to be. Single and working parents find it tremendously difficult to have enough time with their children. At the same time schools and churches have not been able to fill this social gap. Ethnic groups, immigrants and minorities, add to the variant nature of our communities. These groups in most cases have various interests and do pursue disparate objectives.

Benefits of community policing
The process of community policing will only benefit the community when the police operate efficiently by devoting attention and time to and admit the importance of community grievances. Groups in the neighborhood and the police in patrol need to agree on which particular problems need to be given priority. For example, police may consider robberies as the greatest problem in a specific community or area, while citizens may point derelicts that spent their night in doorways, break glasses on sidewalks, and pouch through the litter cans to be the big problem. Through community based policing, the issue with derelicts must also get early priority from the patrol police with the help of community members and government agencies (More and Miller, 2007).

Operation procedure
There is an increased difficulty in the governments in balancing budgets, which frequently pushes police departments to secure dwindling resources to curb growing problems. In this swiftly changing community, where police have to endure upcoming drug problems, increased violence and gang activities, the idea of community policing is taking root. Police officers using this approach to solve the problems of social disorder and crime, an approach that may vividly promote and maximize resources and performance, have struck a receptive chord in both local and national governments and in communities across the world. Community leaders and government are starting to recognize that they also should accept the responsibility of keeping their neighborhoods secure. (Wadman and Robert, 1990).  Communities are supposed to take a united stand against violence, crime without regarding the law, and should make a lasting commitment to increasing intervention activities and crime-prevention.

Police agencies should help develop stronger, self-sufficient communities. This implies communities in which social disorder and crime will not thrive. Community policing is a democracy in real action. (Wycoff and Wesley, 1985). It needs the active participating of civic, local government and other business leaders, private and public agencies, churches, schools, residents and hospitals. All who have a concern for the actual welfare of the neighborhood must bear responsibility for safeguarding the society. Community policing is being advocated by authorities at the higher levels of government-beginning with President and Attorney General, who usually describes it as the power sharing in policing (More and Miller, 2007). In addition, it has been the view of many that community policing may play a major role in altering the way the government services are delivered at the community level.

The implementation part of community policing calls for basic changes in the management and structure of police organizations. Community policing is different from traditional policing in the way community is viewed and in its expanded policing objective. While crime prevention and control remain focal priorities, community policing strategic plan use a broad variety of methods in addressing these targets. The community and the police become partners in addressing issues of neglect and disorder like gang, abandoned cars, and broken bottles that, perhaps not criminal, may eventually result to serious crime. Also the links between the community and police are strengthened over time. This ensures partnership will be able to analyze and mitigate the causes of crime.