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5 Myths About the Criminal Justice Field

SMYTHS ABOUT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE FIELD If crime shows have taught us anything, the criminal justice system is all about brilliant serial killers, high-speed pursuits, instant lab results, and quickly resolved cases. We've compiled a list of a few common myths about working in the criminal justice field. MYTH: INVESTIGATIONS USUALLY COME WITH SHOOTOUTS AND CHASES POINT OF FACT: Most car chases involve actors, not law enforcement. OF THE 461,000 LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN THE US - 92 died in the line of duty last year L47 were killed intentionally 40% O 96% of police departments factor public of agencies require the pursuit to end safety in their pursuit policies once the suspect has been identified MYTH: JUST LIFT THE FINGERPRINTS AND..CASE CLOSED! POINT OF FACT: Fingerprint analysis is a much more challenging exercise than seen on TV. Just over 1 IN 4 lab cases Experts estimate there include identifiable fingerprints are approximately 1,900 SOLVED! MISTAKEN FINGERPRINT MATCHES Per year MYTH: SERIAL KILLERS ARE EVERYWHERE POINT OF FACT: Murders by serial killers are far from the norm. 1% 81% of all homicides involve one of all homicides are victim and one offender committed by serial killers 15% of homicides involve 1 victim and multiple offenders The remainder involve 2+ victims MYTH: EVIDENCE IS EASILY OBTAINED AND QUICKLY PROCESSED POINT OF FACT: While it's more reliable than other investigative findings, tangible evidence is more fragile, harder to retrieve, and less prevalent than other forms of evidence. LESS THAN 1% BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE 2/3 of the biological evidence can take months to process collected from homicide crime of all serious crimes are successfully scenes is examined solved with DNA AUTOPSIES TAKE 2-4 HOURS TO Cameras used for surveillance can typically record for 24-72 HOURS PERFORM, AND IT MAY BE UP TO before overwriting footage, meaning investigators may lose critical 6 WEEKS BEFORE FULL RESULTS information if they don't act quickly. ARE RELEASED MYTH: CRIMES ARE SOLVED (OFTEN IN 60 MINUTES!) POINT OF FACT: If the suspect isn't already identified, most cases require additional detective work to find out "whodunit". The average time from incident to arrest is 36 DAYS SOLVED! Approximately 40 of crimes are ever closed Compared to 97 % of cases in TV crime dramas Homicide clearance rates (percentage of crimes in which charges are brought or arrest(s) made) have fallen from 91% in 1965 to 64% in 2008 1965 91% 2008 64% WHILE A CAREER IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE FIELD MAY NOT BE AS ACTION-PACKED AS A GRITTY TV DRAMA, THE POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY IS VERY REAL. HTTP://ONLINE.CCJ.PDX.EDU/ SOURCES: 1/nij/grants/231977.pdf,pdf 1/nij/grants/231977.pdf 0000 D0X D0XX

5 Myths About the Criminal Justice Field

shared by monsieurnavarro on Jun 26
Society today has an obsession with crime. Television shows that showcase crime solving tend to make us all feel like amateur detectives. But much of what we see and think about the Criminal Justice s...


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