Offenders Banned From Social Networks With New Law

Do not talk to strangers – one of the lessons that we teach our children to keep them from harm’s way. But what if the stranger is somebody whom the child trusts? Sexual offenders use manipulation, deception and emotional blackmail to lure their victims and force them to concede to their will. Most sexual abuse cases occur between persons who are in a relationship, but in which one of them use their power for their own sexual gratification. For instance, a professor who promises his student good grades if she gives in to his sexual advances.

Sexual offenders commit their crime in premeditation – that is, they plan, choose and groom their victims before the sexual crime or abuse is committed. As a result, victims often feel powerless, betrayed and afraid, making them incapable to report the crime, often lasting for years and years of abuse.

Now, they have been using chatrooms, social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, and even mobile phones to seek and choose their victims. Some would pose as children inside the chatroom and befriend their victims. Others use Facebook or MySpace to post their photos. Another form is texting or among teenagers, “sexting” – in which they use mobile phones to send messages or pictures with sexual overtones. Whatever the medium, it has become easier for such offenders to seek victims, especially with the virtual anonymity which mobile devices and the Internet websites and chatrooms gives them.

To avoid this, a new federal law in the state of Illinois has been passed to ban registered and known sexual offenders from social networking sites. This is the first law of its kind which takes a proactive approach in preventing sexual crimes from happening. But the issue here is the unfairness of the justice system against convicted sexual offenders. In the United States, after those convicted of such offense have served time, they are required to register in the government database of sexual offenders’ profile. This is to allow the public to identify such people in their locale or geographic area and to protect themselves and their children. However, the problem with this is the discrimination and prejudice that arise from individuals labeled as such. Unlike murderers who can get parole after serving time and can move on with their lives, sexual offenders have more difficulty doing so precisely because people still treat them as criminals. This creates a problem for them when finding jobs, getting married or mingling with the community.

Thus, is banning sexual offenders from websites a sign of discrimination or a matter of crime prevention?

Criminal Justice Colleges – How to Choose the Best One for a Successful Career

Do you dream of making a career out of maintaining law and order in the society? Then perhaps you should start with finding and enrolling in one of the Criminal Justice Colleges in your region.

Nowadays, with the ever increasing rate of crime, the job market in the criminal justice department seems to be touching the sky as well. On the flip side, the infinite amount of job opportunities has motivated a vast array of colleges to open their doors to students across the United States. All justice educational institutions are beefing up their programs to suit the specialized requirements in public safety and law enforcement.

Today’s Top Criminal Justice Colleges

According to recent statistics, the top ten colleges operating in the US are:

  1. American University
  2. Arizona State University
  3. CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York)
  4. Florida State University
  5. George Mason University
  6. Indiana University
  7. Michigan State University
  8. Northeastern University (Massachusetts)
  9. Pennsylvania State University (University Park)
  10. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (Newark campus)

How to Find the Best Colleges

If you are still confused and wondering about where to start your career and how to search for a school, then here are a few quick links which can help you make your decision.

1. Organizations and Associations: There are numerous organizations and associations in the United States which guide students regarding the different school options available. When choosing from various colleges, you can easily discuss your preferences with the people of such organizations to get their advice. Nowadays, university offices also provide lists of schools having specific programs. Thus, you can easily choose a college according to your own eligibility criteria.

2. Education Counselors: These are experts who have extensive knowledge on the subject of your choice and can help you find and choose the right school. Their primary job is to steer you in the right direction based on how and where you want to study.

3. Local libraries and archives: These are just like storehouses of information and can sometimes be the other best place to find the information you need. They contain various books which store information on different criminal justice colleges, and can give you a number of options to choose from.

4. Internet and websites: Everybody has access to the internet these days. Not only does this medium inform us of the various accredited college listings throughout the US, but it also helps us gain access to additional information such as the admission criteria and the courses offered.

Perhaps now that you are well aware of some of the ways to choose between the different Criminal Justice Colleges in United States, you can now make a much more informed decision and choose a college that best caters to your individual needs.

Why You Should Get a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice

Some people come online aspiring to join the rank of professionals in the criminal justice field. And who can blame them. It is an exciting career field to join. Some of the professions are indeed noble professions.

Imagine being an FBI agent. This profession puts you in position to protect America and its citizens.

Another one is homeland security. This criminal justice career puts you position to fight terrorism and terrorists. You will be doing combat and matching wits with the bad guys that are trying to hurt America and American citizens.

But did you know one of the best ways to equip yourself for the above careers and others in the criminal justice field is to get a bachelors degree in criminal justice? In this article, I will cover why you should get a bachelors degree in criminal justice.

They are as follows:

1. A bachelors degree in criminal justice will help you get hired. Increasingly, the basic educational requirement for a career in many criminal justice professions is this degree. If you don’t have it, you won’t even be considered for a job unless you have years of experience to offset this educational requirement.

And guess what? The experience needed to offset this educational requirement is military or law enforcement experience. So, if you don’t have military or law enforcement experience, I advise you now to start looking into schools that offer bachelors degree in criminal justice. This way your dream of joining some criminal justice professions will not die prematurely.

2. Getting a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice will help you make more money than somebody with an associate degree or high school diploma. A bachelor degree holder makes about $59,000 per year compared to an associate degree holder that makes about $40,000 per year and a high school diploma holder that makes $26,000 per year.

Not that your math is bad, but I can not help but point out that this is a difference of $19,000 per year over an associate degree holder and $33,000 per year over a high school graduate. This kind of salary difference should be motivation enough for somebody to seriously consider getting their bachelors degree in criminal justice.

3. Somebody with a bachelors degree in criminal justice will get better promotion opportunities than an associate degree holder or high school graduate. This is just a fact of life.

Let’s take your typical police department as an example. It is no secret that making detective is one of the career progressions any police officer will desire. But increasingly, a bachelors degree is becoming one of the requirements for attaining the rank of detective. Sure, somebody with high school diploma or associate degree can still get be detective with years of experience, but it is difficult to pass up that police officer with a bachelors degree that wants the position also.

The above are just a few of the reasons you should consider getting bachelors degree in criminal justice. There are other reasons. Covering all of them will be a little too much in this short article. If you want to find more reasons to get a bachelors degree in criminal justice, I will advise you do more research on it. You can do this by visiting websites that deal with the subject in more detail.

We Need a Justice System, Not a Legal System (an Inside Look)

In the United States, above all things, the legal system should be fair, but instead, it is big business.

Additionally, engaging the legal system should not be a major financial decision, but for millions of people in America, it is. Yet, it is also difficult to imagine that this grim reality was one of the original goals defined by those apt gentlemen who created and signed the Declaration of Independence as they chased the dream of a country that could consistently provide the opportunities of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in equal doses to all.

Unfortunately, the legal system that has evolved in the United States, does guarantee equal protection, representation or opportunity to each and every citizen. Perhaps, upon being founded, the legal system should have been foregone and instead replaced by the notions of a justice system. In a justice system, the fair assumption would be that justice as determined by reasonable peers, would prevail. In stark contrast to a justice system, the modern legal system permits those individuals with the most money to prevail. And this, quite simply does not often lend itself to any form of justice, regardless of how remote that form may long to be.

If a person Googles, “average cost per hour for an attorney”, that person will learn that an attorney in rural areas may earn between $100 and $200 per hour, while the slicker, big city attorneys are in the average range of $400 to $600 per hour. Extrapolating this information over a 40 hour work week for one year, the lowest paid full-time lawyers on the attorney totem pole are earning over $200,000 a year ($100 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = $208,000). When considering this dim reality, it quickly becomes obvious that the average citizen does not possess the means to pay even the cheapest attorney for any significant length of time.

Upon further examination of the facts, we must consider salaries and wages. The minimum wage varies from state to state. As per the 2016 National Conference of State Legislatures, two states have now passed laws to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. California was the first state to pass such laws. This state has now formally required employers to pay $15 per hour by January 1, 2022. New York quickly followed suit, passing legislation requiring employers to pay $15 per hour by July 1, 2020. This means that once the minimum wage is actually increased, earners in each of these states, will be able to afford an inexpensive rural attorney for 39 days by spending an entire year of wages earned ($15 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = $31,200 annually / $100 per hour for an attorney = 312 total hours / 8 hours per work day = 39 days). However, if someone in a big city needs to hire an attorney and is making $15 per hour, that person can afford an attorney for less than 10 days by spending an entire year of wages earned ($15 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = $31,200 annually / $400 per hour for an attorney = 78 total hours / 8 hours per work day = 9.75 days). Clearly the minimum wage earner will not have fair or adequate representation, for any real length of time in the current legal (not justice) system, against any sizable entity whose coffers may be ever so scantily lined with rotting cash.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the real (inflation adjusted) median household income in the United States was $51,939 (or $24.97 per hour) in 2013. The United States Consumer Law Attorney Fee Survey Report for 2013-2014, published statistics on attorney’s fees by geographical region. It also separated small firms and large firms into different categories. The lowest average hourly rate available from any law firm in the United States, is $253 (available in the Pacific States of AK, HI and WA), which is billed by small firms. Whereas, the biggest average hourly rate required by law firms in the United States is $546, billed by large firms in North East (CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, RI and VT). This means that the average American income, at the cheapest average hourly rate in the United States, would be able to afford legal representation for less than 26 days ($51,939 annually / $253 per hour for an attorney = 205.29 total hours / 8 hours per work day = 25.66 days), while the lowly, average, full time attorney billing $253 per hour earns $526,240 per year ($253 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year).

And, if a person happens to be in need of legal representation or was falsely accused of a crime and is in need of a defense, that person faces a painful reality. But, don’t forget that this pendulum swings both ways, just ask O.J. Simpson, who perhaps bought his way out of a murder conviction by spending an exorbitant amount of money on attorney fees.

Also, please be aware that this disparity does not stop with these details. Moving away from the low and average range for attorney’s fees, forces our attention only in the upward direction. A large group of attorneys easily make over $1,000 per hour and many of those proponents of a fair legal system claim to bill at double that amount. For example, the notorious bankruptcy attorney Theodore Olsen (although I bet all of his friends just call him Teddy the Bankruptcy Bear) is on record for billing $1,800 per hour, according to court filings in the LightSquared Inc., wireless network bankruptcy case filed in 2012. But the thick, brown, gravy train doesn’t stop to even glance at that billable fee as it trucks on down golden plated tracks. Berge Setrakian and Ralph Ferrara were both reported to make approximately $12.5 million in 2011. Again, simple math tells us that a person earning $12.5 million, who works 40 hours a week for 52 weeks per year, is earning $6,009.62 per hour, which makes a teacher’s salary pale in humble comparison.

Additional figures that do not bode well for most Americans in need of legal representation are the following supplementary facts. As per the U.S. Embassy.gov website, the average time for a jury trial is 4 days for civil cases and 5 days for criminal cases (at least, in 2009). However, cases do not start in trial and they often take a substantial amount of time to get there. To help illustrate this point, a person must first be arraigned. After arraignment, the preliminary hearing phase usually takes 5 to 6 days. In the case of misdemeanor charges, the next step in the legal system is the motions and hearing phase. This typically takes 3 months, but may also exceed 2 years, during which time an attorney is billing the client to file court documents and respond to documents filed by the opposition’s legal team. Based on this reality, the average American may run completely out of cash long before the case ever makes it to trial, in which case, justice is not part of the destination and possibly never even made it onto the legal landscape map.

For business, this dynamic is even worse, because numerous states permit an individual to file “pro per” on behalf of a business. This means an individual or owner chooses to represent him/herself, even though state laws might clearly require a business to be represented by an attorney in a court of law. In systems such as these, the individual may file the case on behalf of a company and begin paying court fees only to learn at a later date that an attorney is required to move the case forward. These legal systems actually cause financial harm and damage to the suffering individual in addition to the actual damages that motivated the case to be filed in the first place. With a minimal amount of expectations, one should be able to assume that engaging the legal system, unto itself, should not inflict a greater financial wound on the already injured party, but it does.

That said, it isn’t just the structure of the laws that make a mockery of the legal system, it is also the system itself. Fortunately, in an effort to dive deeper into the vastness of this overwhelming problem, we may also turn to the US Federal Government for more insight. Twice each year, it publishes statistics on the Federal Court System. Please note however, that these statistics do not include any of the non-federal courts, such as the state and municipal courts.

First, understand that there are 9 different Federal Court Systems:
1. U.S. Courts of Appeals
2. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
3. U.S. District Courts – Civil
4. U.S. District Courts – Criminal
5. Federal Probation System Courts
6. U.S. Bankruptcy Courts
7. Federal Pre-Trial Service Courts
8. U.S. District Courts – Grand and Petit Jurors
9. the U.S. Federal Courts.

And, let’s not forget that the first court on that lists, consists of thirteen different courts:
1. U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
2. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
3. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
4. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
5. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
6. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
7. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
8. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
9. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
10. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
11. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
12. U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
13. Supreme Court of the United States (Court of Last Resort)

After a quick glance, it becomes quite apparent that an individual not only needs an attorney to understand the laws and the intention of those laws, a person may also need the assistance of an attorney to grasp the purpose of each of these courts and the appropriate place to begin seeking “justice” by filing a case in the proper court, since there are soooooo many to choose from.

Truly, it is unfortunate that a person literally has no individual rights unless that person knows the law and most Americans can’t afford to pay an attorney to know the law. So then, how free is the land of the free and the home of the brave when freedom and fair legal representation require money to attain?

Federal Law Enforcement Online

Whether you want to educate yourself about the process and mission of federal law enforcement or start a career in the field, online is one of the best ways to find your information. Educating yourself about federal law online can be easy and quick if you know the right places to go to find that information.

If you are looking to educate yourself about what federal law enforcement does for a country and how it keeps the citizens of the country safe, the best place to go is the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Associations website. This website gives you all the answers to your questions plus more. They keep you updated on news regarding federal law and give you information about specific national officers. It will also give you an idea of what it is like to be a federal law enforcement officer if you were ever thinking about becoming one.

If you are looking to start a career in this field and are looking for an education program online, you have many options. There are training courses you can take online that will better prepare you for a career in law enforcement, but the best place to start is college. Most federal law agencies will require that you have a Bachelor’s Degree, so that’s the direction that you should take. There are several universities that are completely online. For example, there is the American Intercontinental University. At this college, you can major in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Law Enforcement. With this law enforcement concentration, some of the topics that will be covered are criminology, law adjudication and corrections, as well as investigation. For this education program, you will need to go to college for four years, which will earn you a Bachelor’s Degree. Some of the careers that you can go into with this degree are Police Officer, DEA Agent, or even a Home Land Security Agent.

With Kaplan University, you can do something quite similar. You can major in Criminal Justice with an emphasis on Law Enforcement. With this university, you will get a lot of hands-on experience as well as do a lot of research. You can learn about the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and how it applies to the law system in the United States. Some of the courses you can take are Family and Domestic Violence, Homeland Security, and Crime Scene Investigation II. It’s a great place to gain education about federal law online.

Remember that with many agencies, you will have to do training programs and gain experience before you are eligible for the job. Once you are through the training however, there are many available Federal Police Jobs.