Do Not Believe in the “CSI Effect”

March 29th, 2012 by admin


Courtesy Hot Rod Homepage via Flickr

Criminal justice schools across the country have seen an increase in their student bodies due in large part to what’s referred to as the “CSI effect.” The CSI effect is credited to the surge of interest in the criminal investigation field that’s linked to the popularity of the numerous crime scene investigation shows that have rocked television for the past several years.

Referring to the first of the megahit series to really focus on forensic science, the CSI effect glamorizes a very difficult and taxing career. According to the South University’s Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Stuart Henry, the CSI effect communicates to students that careers in forensics and criminal investigation are abundant and plentiful. The truth of the matter is the field of crime scene investigation and other similar career paths are highly specialized and competitive with only the top percentile receiving lucrative job offers after graduating from a criminal justice college.

If you are interested in attending a criminal justice school, it is important to take a good honest look at your intended career path. A thorough college search can yield important information that debunks the CSI effect. The fact of the matter is a career in criminal investigation is not nearly as simple as it is on television. It takes hard work and an incredible amount of dedication, not to mention talent and a specialized education that is often not even touched upon in any of the television shows.

This is not to say that a career in crime scene investigation is impossible to achieve. While conducting a college search for criminal justice schools, ask the advisors, professors and students close to graduating what the reality of this career field is. Such information is invaluable and will help to dispel many of the myths perpetuated by the CSI effect. The advisors at a criminal justice school may even have direct experience with working in the crime scene investigation field, and their advice will help to further guide your decision.

While a career as a highly specialized crime scene investigator may seem impossible, there are plenty other careers in this field that are attainable. A criminal justice college will be able to offer potential students courses in law enforcement, as well as probation officer classes. While not as glamorized as crime scene investigators, police officers are dearly needed, and there are plenty of job openings. A college search will reveal which schools offer courses in law enforcement, which is oftentimes the first step toward a career in criminal investigation. A criminal justice college will be able to direct potential students toward the proper studies to achieve a degree in this field by starting at the bottom. There is no quick and easy way to become a well-respected crime scene investigator, so finding a good criminal justice school is crucial to help you attain your future career path.

The CSI effect takes a very difficult and time-consuming career and polishes it up to be more palatable for the television audience, so it is important to be realistic about your goals. There is an increased demand for graduates from criminal justice schools, whether it is in law enforcement, investigation or other similar branches. As long as students are realistic about the actuality of a profession versus what’s shown on TV, they should not be disappointed by the CSI effect.

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Online Criminal Justice Degrees Are Multiplying

December 16th, 2011 by Clifford

online-criminal-justice-degrees - ts-57279784Written by featured author Clifford Blodgett. Check out his Google+ profile to learn more.

Today’s world – from the small areas off the beaten path to highly populated city centers – is under the constant threat from crime and terrorist activities. As 9/11 certainly proved, terrorists can often strike at any time and at any location. Seeing such disasters unfold and the criminal issues that pop up in the daily news has spurred many altruistic and caring people to study for a criminal justice degree.

Over the last few years, both online and on-campus criminal justice colleges have seen a tremendous uptick in the amount of applicants who are interested in studying for criminal justice degrees. This growing popularity has even affected the number and variety of criminal justice subjects offered at major universities and colleges as they too are trying to accommodate the growing number of students eagerly wanting to study criminal justice.

Criminal justice colleges are providing students both young and old with an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of how the complex criminal justice system works and the necessary knowledge they‘ll need to contribute to their communities.

A criminal justice degree isn’t just a pathway to a rewarding, exciting and stable career in the field of criminal justice; it’s also the framework that can be used to improve the peace and safety of their community. Given the gravity of what criminal justice involves and the fact that the field is steadily growing in popularity among young and adult students alike, new criminal justice programs are popping up at colleges and schools around the country.

Many interested in a criminal justice degree are finding that it’s more convenient to study through a credible online school. Being willing to seek a criminal justice degree online can give adult and nontraditional students the opportunity to pursue a career they believe in while still maintaining the other responsibilities that are a part of their busy lives. Online programs are growing in popularity and often offer the exact same curriculum and resources as the on-campus programs available at brick-and-mortar criminal justice colleges. You can get the same excellent information and education while still balancing a job, a family, a life.

For those who feel a strong sense of justice and want to make a difference in society, criminal justice degrees can lead to satisfying careers with a variety of job opportunities, and there are more and more solid training options to get you on your way.

Featured Online Criminal Justice Degrees

National American University Online Criminal Justice DegreesUniversity of Phoenix Online Criminal Justice DegreesPost University Online Criminal Justice Degrees

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Anders Behring Breivik and the Insanity Defense

July 27th, 2011 by rebeccac

Early this week, the lawyer representing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik implied that he would be seeking the insanity defense for his client.

It’s probably surprising to very few people – after all, what other options are left to a man charged with defending someone who executed one of the most devastating peacetime attacks on a nation as benign as the Kingdom of Norway? Who confessed to both the bombing and the shooting after letting himself be apprehended?

Almost every legal system in the world, save for Sweden, has a provision for an insanity defense, exempting defendants with mental health problems from responsibility for their actions and therefore shielding them from full criminal punishment. But there are a lot of elements to an insanity defense* that have developed over the years, and it’s worth a look to try and estimate whether even this tactic will be sufficient to try to explain the terrible acts he committed.

(*For the sake of this article, we’ll look at the U.S. insanity defense – mainly because the author couldn’t learn Bokmål quickly enough to read up on Norwegian law.)

Insanity defense through the ages
Exemptions for the criminally insane can be documented all the way back to the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi from 1700 BC. The ancient Greek and Roman civilizations also had similar qualifications, so there is a long and entrenched history for this argument in all sorts of legal systems. In general, they all relate to the lack of mens rea (“guilty mind”), which essentially claims that the crime itself isn’t enough, that the criminal must also have – on some level – a guilty conscience about it.

However, the definition of who is considered too insane to be responsible for whatever crime was committed varies and is often being argued and changed. Under 13th century British King Edward II, a person was insane if their mental capacity was no more than that of “wild beast.” After 1500, it was on the juries to acquit the insane and then refer them to the king or queen for sentencing of detention.

In 1843, the British House of Lords created the M’Naghten Rules, which continue to shape the insanity defense even today. They weren’t so much actual laws as a set of questions that served as a guideline and sought to determine if, because of mental illness, the criminal either (a) didn’t know his action was wrong; or (b) didn’t understand the nature of his own actions. Many U.S. states still use versions of these rules to determine legal insanity.

Other developments have come and gone through the years. The idea of “irresistible impulse” was introduced to expand the M’Naghten Rules to cover those who understand that their actions are wrong but lack the mental capacity to stop themselves. Broader arguments for the definition of legal insanity were introduced in the 1950s but set aside a few decades later in another case. The latest clear development was The Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984, put into place after John Hinckley, Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity after attempting to assassinate President Reagan. It returned more strongly to the M’Naghten Rules as a basis for legal insanity and making it the responsibility of the defense team and expert witnesses to prove the existence of severe mental illness.

Insanity defense today
While it may seem like every time you turn on the television some high-profile criminal is pleading insanity, it’s actually neither very popular nor terribly successful in the United States. In 2001, Frank Schmalleger did a study of eight states and found that less than 1% used the insanity defense, and of those cases, only 26% were successful. On top of that, the majority of the insanity defenses that won did so only because the defendant had a previously diagnosed mental illness.

So even though the use of this defense is rare in the U.S., media exposure makes it seem like it’s everywhere. Traditionally, cases where the insanity defense is pleaded suddenly become much more interesting to the viewing public and get much more air time on news channels. It’s a tricky situation and one seen by many in the public as just an excuse by defendants to try and wiggle out of going to prison in favor of going to a mental health facility instead.

What about Breivik?
Yes, what about him. An admitted domestic terrorist who systematically killed 76 people, many of them teenagers at a youth camp. His lawyer has already made public statements saying that Breivik was on drugs at the time of the attacks, that he believes what he did was necessary and that he is fighting a war. The consensus seems to be that these statements are laying the groundwork for an insanity plea. If Breivik’s lawyer proceeds with that argument – and Breivik agrees to it, which is a question in and of itself – what is the likelihood that he will be effective?

Legal experts have said not so good. The nature of the attacks themselves suggest months, maybe even years, of preplanning in order to effectively execute, and none of his behavior during the event seemed to imply anything other than full and methodical control, which undermines any claims to impulsive or temporary insanity. When you pile onto this his political writings, his confession that his actions were horrible but necessary, and his prediction that many would see him insane afterward, it’s going to be a tough sell all around.

But in a country as proudly free and democratic as Norway, where even monsters and madmen have the right to a fair defense, it might be the only chance Breivik has got.

What are your thoughts on the insanity defense? Is it a valid legal protection? And does Breivik stand a chance with it or with any defense?

If you’re interested in this topic, you may also be interested in getting more involved with the law and justice system through criminal justice school or paralegal school. Start your college search at US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter .

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How Bad Are Bath Salts For You?

May 11th, 2011 by Clifford


Last year in Louisiana, bath salts were outlawed by an emergency order after the state’s poison center received more than 125 calls in the three months. The salts often contain mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV, and cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates and suicidal thoughts. These bath salts are sold legally at convenience stores and on the Internet as bath salts and even plant foods. However, criminal justice investigations are finding they aren’t necessarily being used for the purposes on the label.

This month the Louisiana House will debate whether they should permanently make buying and selling bath salts illegal. The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Ricky Templet, said the people selling the products are no better than drug dealers. “I buy bath salts for the house … but when was the last time you had to buy a straw to be able to use your bath salts or a pipe?” Templet asked.

Sold under a variety of names, including “Ivory Wave,” “Ocean,” “White Dove” and “Hurricane Charlie”; these salts appear at convenience stores and head shops across Louisiana. Templet’s legislation would put the ban into state law. Investigations by many criminal justice and Police professionals have provided information to push the bill forward. If these type of criminal justice investigations interest you go to and find criminal justice.

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Is The World Safer Without Osama Bin Laden?

May 2nd, 2011 by Clifford

making the world safe after osama bin ladenAl Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in a military operation yesterday. The operation occurred one day after the U.S. learned of his location. Known as the mastermind of the largest terrorist attack in American history, his death ended a decade long manhunt for the architect of the Sept. 11, 2001. The question that keeps being asked though is are we really safer now that Osama bin Laden is gone?

Bin Laden’s ordered attacks left nearly 3,000 people dead and dramatically altered U.S. foreign policy and the nation’s sense of security. But how do you become part of a safer world, now that his death has changed the global security picture?

Could this be the right time to select a criminal justice career? Your future could reside in selecting the right criminal justice school, to find opportunities that exist in the criminal justice industry. provides aspiring criminal justice professionals with current, reliable and informative career information and job descriptions designed to help them make an informed decision when it comes to selecting a career in criminal justice or law enforcement.

Criminal justice careers range from paralegal and private investigators to criminologists, FBI agents, federal law enforcers, and police officers. Whichever area your interests lie, can recommend the top criminal justice schools in your area. Our criminal justice school guide below will give you the resources you need to begin a criminal justice career.You are only a click away from embarking in a new career.

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Weird Laws – Legally Insane, America’s Bizarre Laws

April 12th, 2011 by admin

In the tradition of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” American lawbooks’ old-timey legalese often sits around collecting dust … until someone finds it and posts it on the Internet.  Read each states weird laws – just think: you could be breaking the law and not even know it!

Alabama: Dominoes may not be played on Sunday. Concurrently, it is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church. Guess you’ll have to play mahjong clean-shaven, then!

Alaska: You cannot view a moose from an airplane, nor can you push a live moose out of a moving airplane. But then, why would you want to if you can’t watch it falling?

Arizona: Donkeys may not sleep in bathtubs. You’ll have to whip out the hideaway bed. Also, if you’re attacked by a criminal or burglar, you may only protect yourself with the same weapon the other person has. Here’s hoping for a bendy straw swordfight!

Arkansas: Keep the locks long, ladies, because teachers who bob their hair will not get raises. And in Little Rock, dogs aren’t allowed to bark after 6 PM. Good thing the postman’s already delivered the mail by then!

California: Residents of this state are guaranteed sunshine – like typical vague lawspeak, though, it is not specified how often. Also, in Carmel, men cannot go outside while wearing mismatched pants and jackets. Stay indoors, fashion victims!

Colorado: For residents and visitors alike, rocks in state parks cannot be mutilated. It would appear the trees are fair game, though. And in an act of rebellion, Colorado mattress owners are allowed to rip the tags off their mattresses. Touché, Centennial State.

Connecticut: Bionic bikers beware: you can be stopped for cycling at speeds over 65 MPH – pedal faster! Mush! Mush! And, maintaining its status as a questionable vegetable, pickles are only officially considered pickles if they bounce.

Delaware: Drive-in theaters cannot show R-rated movies. This begs the question: do drive-in theaters show any movies anymore? Also, one cannot fly over a body of water without sufficient supplies of food and drink … do backyard pools count?

Florida: In an architect’s nightmare, all doors in public buildings must open outward. We brazenly ask: doesn’t “outward” depend on the direction from which you’re approaching the door? Furthermore, showering naked is considered an offense. This gives new meaning to the phrase “bathing suit,” we suppose …

Georgia: Never use profanity in front of a dead body in a funeral home or coroner’s office – save it for the cemetery. It’s also advised that you not carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket on Sundays. What about your front pocket? Jacket pocket? Breast pocket?

Hawaii: Residents who don’t own boats may be fined. But while you save up to buy one, don’t keep coins in your ears – that’s not allowed!

Idaho: Hershey’s could make a killing here – it’s illegal for men to give their sweethearts boxes of candy weighing less than 50 pounds. Talk about a sugar buzz! Men and women alike are also prohibited from fishing on camels’ backs – in Boise, on giraffes’, as well.

What do you think – are any of these still applicable to any situation? Would you like to be part of a team that enforces law? (We hope not these!) Think about starting a Criminal Justice program! In the meantime, lets move on to the rest of the states weird laws!

To recap the high points, there’s a lot to do with interacting with animals – moose and planes, donkeys and bathtubs, giraffes and fishing … the list goes on. We imagine there will be more forthcoming, so let’s dive right in to more weird and bizarre state laws!

Illinois: The English language is not to be spoken, but an alternative isn’t recommended. Us, we think Klingon or Navi. In Chicago, it’s forbidden to eat in a place that’s on fire. Take your s’mores elsewhere!

Indiana: While it’s thankfully not during the summer, lawmakers’ decision to forbid baths from October through March may have ultimately been a bad call. On the other hand, some may be happy to know they can get out of paying for a dependent’s medical care through prayer.

Iowa: In Marshalltown, horses can’t eat fire hydrants. In the Dubuque city limits, hotels must have a water bucket and hitching post out front. In Ft. Madison, firemen are required to practice for 15 minutes before attending a fire. And to cap it off, all one-armed piano players must play for free. We think they should at least get 50% pay.

Kansas: In Lawrence, no one may wear a bee in their hat. We wonder who would want to wear a bee anywhere! And this law sounds like a complicated math problem: if two trains meet on the same track, and neither shall proceed until the other has passed, how do the trains ever move again?

Kentucky: Have ducklings for sale? You can only dye them blue if there’s more than six. Also, in Owensboro, women can’t buy hats without their husbands’ permission. All you single ladies, you better get a ring put on it if you want to wear one.

Louisiana: For biters, chomping someone with your natural teeth is simple assault, while gnawing on your victim with dentures elevates to aggravated. You’ll also be fined $500 for having a pizza delivered to someone without them knowing.  Maybe you should stick to crank calls – is your refrigerator running?

Maine: In Wells, cemeteries cannot contain advertisements. There went our plan for tombstone billboards! And in the least politically correct law yet, shotguns must be taken to church in the event of a Native American attack.

Maryland: While dandelions are okay, residents cannot have thistle in their yards. And in Baltimore, it’s illegal to take a lion to the movies. Good thing! We wouldn’t want to be the one to tell it to stop texting during the show.

Massachusetts: Iowa has competition for most weird laws. For instance, mourners at a wake cannot eat more than three sandwiches. Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are locked. Gorillas aren’t allowed in cars’ backseats. Bullets may not be used as currency. And tomatoes cannot be used in clam chowder. Residents better do their research before they do … um, anything.

Michigan: Women must ask their husbands’ permission before cutting their own hair. And in Detroit, willfully destroying your old radio is prohibited. Thankfully we all have MP3 players and cell phones!

Minnesota: No one may cross state lines with a duck atop his or her head. All bathtubs are required to have feet. And mosquitos have been officially declared a public nuisance. I’m sure that will have them all running for the hills – they know when they’re not wanted!

Mississippi: Ever the revolutionary state, here a man cannot seduce a woman by lying and saying he will marry her. There went that traditional pickup strategy! Also, private citizens may arrest anyone who disturbs a church service. We think that might be a little too much power to overlord with …

You can learn more about upholding the law and the ways it impacts your community (in much more normal ways than these do!) by enrolling in a Criminal Justice school!

More totally crazy laws await! Read on to find out what state doesn’t allow duels and which one fines people for flirting. It may not be the ones you think!

Missouri: Single men between 21 and 50 must pay an annual tax of $1. Remember to claim that on your return in April, guys! And in Mole, frightening a baby is a legal violation. No more surprise peek-a-boo, it seems.

Montana: It’s illegal to have a sheep in the cab of your truck without a chaperone. It would appear that the sheep can be in the passenger seat or backseat, however, without supervision. And in Excelsior Springs, “worrying squirrels will not be tolerated.” It is not clear whether this means squirrels are not allowed to worry, or people are not allowed to mess with squirrels.

Nebraska: Parents may be arrested for letting their children burp in church. New ammo for kids looking to torture their moms and dads! It’s also illegal for bar owners to sell beer unless they are simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup. What about putting beer in the soup? Toe the line, barkeeps!

Nevada: “Driving” a camel on the highway is not allowed, so you’ll have to find another mode of transportation through Death Valley. In Elko, everyone walking the streets is required to wear a mask. Our vote is for Guy Fawkes.

New Hampshire: Tapping your feet, nodding your head or in any way keeping time to music in a tavern, restaurant or café is against the law. So much for karaoke Thursdays! And, in keeping with many states’ strange Sunday bans, citizens are not allowed to relieve themselves while looking up. No, seriously.

New Jersey: Drivers are required to warn people they pass on the highways before they do so. Yes … isn’t that warning called a turn signal, and don’t most people use it? And, going along with car courtesy, people aren’t allowed to pump their own gas – it must be done by an attendant. Keeping that ’50s feel alive, Jersey!

New Mexico: We’re not sure how it’s determined, but according to state law, idiots may not vote. Probably a wise decision! Also, women in Carrizozo aren’t allowed to appear unshaven in public. Mystery shrouds what area(s) must be shaved, however. We hope not all of them …

New York: As one of the more modest states (ha), law dictates public etiquette pretty hardcore. Women cannot be on the street wearing tight clothing, citizens cannot greet each other by putting their thumbs to their noses and wiggling their fingers, flirting is punishable by a $25 fine, and people in elevators are not allowed to talk to anyone but instead must fold their hands and look toward the door. True story.

North Carolina: Bingo games can’t last more than 5 hours unless they’re held at a fair. Concurrently, serving alcohol at bingo games isn’t allowed. I’d say that’s obvious – who would want to play bingo for more than 5 hours without drinking something?

North Dakota: Need a reason why there aren’t any major sports teams in this state? It’s because beer and pretzels can’t be served at the same time in any bar or restaurant. North Dakota: keeping Buffalo Wild Wings in business. It’s also illegal to fall asleep with your shoes on … we wonder if this is related to the no-beer-and-pretzels thing. Is passing out with shoes on okay?

Ohio: Illegal activities include getting a fish drunk and participating in or conducting a duel. Also, in Canton, if you lose your pet tiger, you have to notify the authorities within an hour. We somehow think that a stray tiger might get noticed pretty quickly …

Oklahoma: Keep your face to yourself! Taking a bite from someone else’s hamburger is not tolerated. It’s also illegal to have the hind legs of farm animals in your boots. Are front legs okay, we wonder? In addition, people can be fined and/or jailed for making ugly faces at dogs. Who knew they were so sensitive?

Oregon: We hope the highway patrol’s on high alert here based on some of the vehicular laws instated. Drivers must yield to pedestrians standing on the sidewalk. Drivers can’t test their physical endurance while driving a car on the highway. Babies can’t be carried on car running boards. And car doors can’t be left open longer than necessary. Is there someone hovering with a stop watch? We wish so.

So, there you have it – are you convinced yet that you should pursue a career in criminal justice? Think of the power! Think of the prestige! Think of the ticket you can write that says “$38 fine for sticking your tongue out at a German shepherd!” Wait! There are still more weird laws, Pennsylvania through Wyoming. We think it’ll be a

Rounding out our state-by-state look at weird laws are these gems. The questions they all bring to mind are, “What in the world happened to bring this into being? How are the ones like ‘Don’t shower naked’ enforced? Is it just on the honor system? Do the people who write these laws laugh while they do so?” We sure would. Now on to the main attraction.

Pennsylvania: Like sleeping on top of a refrigerator under the clear night sky? Well, too bad. You can’t. You also aren’t allowed to use dynamite to catch fish. But the real kickers? Motorists on country roads at night must stop every mile, send up a rocket signal and wait 10 minutes for the road to be cleared of livestock before they continue. Not only that, but if a motorist sees a team of horses coming toward him, he must pull well off the road, cover his car with something that blends in with the landscape, and let the horses pass. We’re supposing this is most relevant in the Pennsylvania Dutch area.

Rhode Island: It’s considered an offense to throw pickle juice on a trolley. There went Saturday night! And, apparently chock-full of cannibals, residents may not bite off another’s leg. To help reduce cannibalistic temptation, Providence has made it illegal to wear transparent clothing.

South Carolina: In Fountain Inn, horses must wear pants at all times. Well, okay – but only as long as they match their shoes! And in Greenville, at Furman University, the drinking age on campus is 60. You could turn 21 almost three times by then!

South Dakota: Sleeping in cheese factories is a big no-no. And any movies that show police officers being struck, beaten or treated in an offensive manner are forbidden. We’re guessing this one’s the most enforced law on our lists!

Tennessee: In Memphis, women driving cars is illegal unless there’s a man in front of the car waving a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians. It’s like a parade every day! However, it is legal to pick up and eat roadkill. Finders, keepers!

Texas: Criminals are required to give their victims 24 hours notice, verbally or written, and explain the nature of the crime they plan to commit. It’s like a poor man’s Minority Report! This being the case, it also needs to be said that it’s illegal to sell your eye. Vision scan identification be darned!

Utah: A clear attempt at monopolizing migratory habits, birds in this state legally have the right of way on all highways. Good thing you’ve got a giant lake for them to all visit, Utah! Also, in Salt Lake County, no one is permitted to walk down the street carrying a paper bag that contains a violin. Can it be a plastic bag?

Vermont: Wives must get written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth. Is there ever a time when a husband would say no? And in Barre, all residents shall bathe every Saturday night. We hope not all together.

Virginia: Children are not supposed to trick-or-treat on Halloween. We imagine this puts Virginia significantly below the average number of November 1 sugar comas. It’s also illegal to tickle women. Must have been some persistent guy for that law to be written …

Washington: X-rays cannot be used to fit shoes. We personally have always felt trying on shoes worked best. And in Wilbur, it’s illegal to ride an ugly horse. Isn’t beauty skin deep and in the eye of the beholder?

West Virginia: If you make fun of someone who doesn’t accept a challenge, you could be jailed for up to six months. Too bad Marty McFly lived in California – he could’ve gotten rid of Biff really quick! It’s also prohibited to whistle underwater. Would anyone hear you if you did?

Wisconsin: Margarine may not be substituted for butter in restaurants unless it is requested by the customer. We guess they really can’t believe it’s not butter! In Sun Prairie, cats are forbidden from entering cemeteries. Someone’s watched too many Stephen King movies.

Wyoming: New buildings that cost over $100,000 to build must allot 1% of funds to artwork for the building. Way to support those starving artists, Wyoming! And it’s illegal to wear a hat that obstructs people’s view in a public theater or place of amusement. We’d really like it if more states would adopt this and also make it illegal to do anything with your phone during a movie.

So, that brings us to the end of these weird and crazy laws. We hope we haven’t deterred you from any possible interest you may have in a criminal justice career! You can read more at if this just isn’t quite enough for you. Tell us which one of these laws is your favorite!


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Organized Crime

April 4th, 2011 by admin

Organized Crime

There Is More To A Criminal Justice Education Than Parking Violations

Crime can be found in every corner of the world. There are some crime organizations that extend their influence into many areas of the world at once. These syndications, often referred to as organized crime families, the Mob or Mafia, and Cartels are responsible for nearly a trillion dollars worth of criminal activity each year. With a criminal justice degree, you may decide to focus on fighting this type of crime.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has distinguished 3 main crime syndicates in the world. This includes the Italian Mafia, the Russian Mob and the Mexican Cartel.

The Italian Mafia has five distinct branches:
• Sicilian Branch which mainly deals with arms trading and heroin smuggling
• Camorra Branch, the largest group, that specializes in blackmail and money laundering
• Calabrian Branch, known for bombings and kidnappings
• Saca Coronoa Unita which deals in human trafficking and extortion
• La Cosa Nostra, or the American Mafia, is the smallest group of the Italian Mafia. 80% of American Mafia members reside in New York City.

The Russian Mob is a very large organization and is involved in many different crime rings throughout the world.
• Responsible for providing submarines to South American drug dealers for smuggling purposes
• Laundering money for the Mexican Cartel
• Controlling 90% or more of the illegal gun and drug sales in Spain
• Works with Italian Mafia to control 100% of Italy’s agricultural industry
• Moves 80 tones a year of Heroin out of China
• Smuggles more than 100,000 people a year from China into America
• Is connected to nearly 30 million other organized crime members
• Is the leading backer of the Nigerian mob, which costs Americans over 2 billion a year in fraud scams
• Nigeria is responsible for 90% of the world’s heroin production

The Mexican Drug Cartel, while becoming more violent in nature recently, has generally kept their criminal activity to two main areas:
• Responsible for almost 100% of all cocaine that enters into the United States
• Over 25 billion dollars a year in money laundering.

These are serious figures, and serious crimes. With a criminal justice education you can make a difference in these statistics. A degree does not limit you, it provides you with a way to make a difference.

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The Worst U.S. College Crime Areas

April 4th, 2011 by admin


The Worst U.S. College Crime Areas

“University Crime Statistics Visualized” is an infographic featuring data on crimes committed on US college campuses in 2008. The data was collected and organized into the chart by DegreeScout. The infographic contains some surprisingly comprehensive information on the subject of crime on our college campuses. Some of the information may come as a shock to some people, while some probably won’t come as a big surprise.

The infographic begins by giving us the statistics for various crimes that occurred on campuses across the country in 2008. The offenses are categorized as “Violent Crimes,” Theft and Petty Crimes,” “Sexual Asault and Rape,” “Drug and Alcohol Related Crimes,” “Hate Crimes,” and “Special Crimes.” For the most part, this shows us statistics of these crimes without going into much detail. It turns out that there was relatively little violent criminal acts such as murder, manslaughter, and assault on campuses in 2008, while there was large number of drug and alcohol related offenses and petty crimes such as burglary and robbery. There were also many instances of sexual assault, but those statistics are surprisingly low compared to the other statistics presented.

The “Special Crimes” section deserves a special mention, as it compiles data on campus shooting incidents that occurred between 2000 and 2008. It states that there have been 65 people killed and 46 people wounded in shootings on college campuses during that time. It then goes on to give detailed descriptions on many of these shootings. There’s a distressingly long list of these violent shootings, and the accounts of the acts are indeed disturbing. It’s still makes for some fascinating reading for those who are interested in studying criminal justice.

The last section is dedicated to showing us a map of the worst college crime areas in the US. The worst offender is UC Santa Barbara in California, with 1,019 property crimes per 1,000 residents.

It’s all fascinating stuff, and it may make prospective college students think twice about where they want to continue their education.

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Crime Rates in Pro Sports

April 4th, 2011 by admin

Crime Rates in Pro Sports

Achieving the dream of playing in a professional team in the NBA, NFL or MLB does not seem to inspire some people to respect the law. In fact, the opposite seems true for some players, as the statistics of crimes committed by professional sports players reveal. Criminal justice meets the bright lights of fame when these two worlds collide.

Players have been arrested for betting and gambling, using steroids, bribery, violence and murder, theft, fraud, using drugs, DUIs, illegal possession of weapons, reckless driving, disorderly conduct, and sexual assault, solicitation and indecent exposure. For all three leagues, violence/murder and drug use are the most common crimes committed by players.

Steroid use has been a major problem reported by the MLB. In 2003, the MLB reported that between 5 and 7 percent of all anonymous tests on players came back positive for steroid use. Players like Mark Maguire, Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco have admitted to using steroids. Canseco went as far as claiming that 85 percent of the other players also used steroids.

NFL players seem to be the most inclined to break the law. In the last ten years, the Cincinnati Bengals have led the NFL in arrests, at over 30 arrests. They are followed closely by the Minnesota Vikings, with about 30 arrests. The top ten list continues with the Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans with about 25 arrests each. It is rounded out by the San Diego Chargers with just over 20 arrests, the Cleveland Browns, with about 20 arrests, and finally the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with just under 20 arrests.

In 2010, the NFL experienced 507 arrests of its players. Since 2000, about 1 in 45 NFL players get arrested each year and many of these arrests are the result of some form of drunken driving. The NFL players with the highest numbers of arrests are Adam “Pacman” Jones, with 6 arrests, Chris Henry and Terry “Tank” Johnson, with 4 arrests each and David Boston with 3 arrests. Since 2000, 8 NFL players have tied for the dubious distinction of having 3 arrests each.

NFL players have also served more time in jail than players in other leagues, though “Fast” Eddie Johnson, a NBA player, is serving life. MLB players have served the least time, with only Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry being convicted, serving 1 year and 11 months respectively.

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Criminal Justice Classes

April 4th, 2011 by admin

An education in criminal justice prepares students for careers in the protective services, including law enforcement, adjudication (the court system), and corrections (the prison system). A very basic definition of criminal justice is the process of crime and punishment as it relates to the application of justice for those involved in crime, both the criminal and the victim, and the law as constructed to protect society.

The study of criminal justice includes the study of criminology, although these two areas are not the same. Criminology focuses more on criminal behavior and the causes of crime. Although the degrees differ, the program of study for each will incorporate many of the same subjects. Similarly, a degree in criminal law is vastly different from criminal justice. Criminal law focuses intensely on the legal ramifications of crime. There will be an introduction to criminal law when studying criminal justice, but studying criminal law is more for those pursuing a career as an attorney, for example.

criminal-justice-classes ts_stk161427rkeAn associate degree in criminal justice typically includes courses in police administration and operations, criminal law, criminal investigation, sociology of deviant behavior, psychology, a review of criminology, and a basic study of forensic science. A bachelor’s degree would include the same subjects as an associate degree program, but with a strong focus on criminal law and procedure, as well as work on statistics, theories, and research methods. The master’s and doctorate degrees follow in this same path, with the greatest concentration of work focused on the student’s chosen specialty.

All criminal justice college degrees require the fulfillment of general education requirements. To specialize in criminal justice, the program of study will include a basic introduction to the subject, which covers constitutional aspects, procedures and agencies, and the history and development of criminal justice. The study of deviant behavior examines theories of social control, conformity and deviance, and the dynamics of deviant behavior in society, including juvenile delinquency and adult crime. A general overview of forensic science involves the techniques of sampling a crime scene and the use of physical evidence to solve cases. Some study of death analysis may be included as part of the forensic science overview. Death analysis includes an emphasis on cause, mechanism, and manner of death. The subjects studied and the amount of time spent on each will vary depending on the degree program selected.

The teaching methods for these classes are generally lecture and question-and-answer. Classes concerning forensic science often take place in a science lab and may include on-site demonstrations.

Criminal Justice Careers

The criminal justice field encompasses an extraordinary range of careers, which includes police officers, private investigations, crime lab analysis, corrections officers, and border patrol agents. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job availability in the criminal justice field should increase an average of 17 percent in the next ten years. These careers offer above average salaries and an excellent potential for advancement. Once employed, many people choose to continue their criminal justice education, and a number of employers offer financial assistance for job-related continuing education.

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