Archive for September, 2010

N J High School Sports Association under Scrutiny

The state’s Commission on Investigation has just issued a scathing report on the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association entitled Time Out. This document “…revealed that longstanding primitive fiscal and accounting practices combined with what can only be described as a cavalier approach to oversight…reflect a culture of lax management that invites waste and abuse.” (p.3) News articles can be read at:  The Star-Ledger, Philadelphia Inquirer, Asbury Park Press, Press of Atlantic City, Bergen Record, and newjerseynewsroom.

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Wealthiest Zip Codes

The 500 wealthiest zip codes are enumerated in Forbes; New Jersey places 32 locations in this listing. Come to this site –  OpenCongress  – to find what zip codes have contributed the most to political campaigns, whether Democratic or Republican.

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Governor Christie Unveils Education Reform Package

At a townhall meeting in Old Bridge, Governor Christie unveiled his plans for reforming the education system in New Jersey by, among other items, changing the tenure system for public school teachers. His entire presentation is available in a series of videos on YouTube. And his office has provided a press release summarizing his views;  his reform agenda for education can also be perused. He has also signed Executive Order 42 establishing the New Jersey Educator Effectiveness Task Force to be comprised of nine members who are to investigate “…how best to measure the effectiveness of teachers and school  leaders, based on defined parameters.” NJEA offers a dissenting view along with links to studies supporting its stance. As of this writing, the NJSBA has not posted its reaction to its website, but comments embedded in the news articles below give us some indication of its opinion. Additional news can be found at: NJ Spotlight, New York Times, Bloomberg, Asbury Park Press, Star-Ledger, Bergen Record, statehousesteps, and PolitickerNJ.

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International Criminal Justice Statistics

This entry is prompted by the latest release of the FBI’s Crime in the United States, an annual report detailing trends in crimes throughout the country. Statistics can  be broken down by state , by county  and by municipality. Overall, crime is trending downwards. Previous reports back to 1995 are also online, along with other valuable FBI titles. New Jersey has its own Uniform Crime Report; previous volumes in the series can also be accessed. International criminal justice statistics are more difficult to come by. We recommend trying these documents: European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics – 2010 (this is the fourth edition of  this irregularly published title; previous editions are here); International Statistics and Crime and Criminal Justice, published in 2010;  and State of Crime and Criminal Justice Worldwide(this was a paper presented at the 12th United Nations Conference on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Salvador, Brazil, 2010). Other papers include a discussion guide, papers on Africa, western Asia, Asia/Pacific, and on a variety of other topics.) Other sites of major importance are: United Nations Surveys on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems which published its 11th edition for 2007/08 and includes statistics on homicides, burglary, theft, etc. from around the world; victimization surveys for African countries available from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime; from King’s College, we have the World Prison Brief in which you will find that, for example, foreigners make up 72% of Saudi Arabia’s prison population while the United States’ federal prisons operate at 162% of capacity; the Overseas Security Advisory Council issues Crime & Safety Reports for all countries detailing crime threats, road safety, terrorist actvities, and political unrest; this site –  Crime and Society: A Comparative Criminology Tour of the World presents a rather comprehensive overview of each country listing among other topics criminal codes, the court system, and incidences of crime, although this last category is somewhat dated; still quoted is this World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems but it must be used with caution as much as the information is current only through the early 1990s; and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service has hundreds of full text documents on international crime. Last, but not least, there is the European Institute for Crime Prevention (HEUNI) which has published such valuable titles as: Victimisation Surveys in Comparative Perspective, Crime and Criminal Justice Systems in Europe and North America 1995-2004, What Does the World Spend on Criminal Justice?, and National Criminal Justice Profiles of European countries. Update (5-23-11): Crime statistics for Australia are available courtesy of the Australian Institute of Criminology. Update(7-20-11): Crime statistics are interspersed in this conference proceedings volume on Policing in Eastern and Central Europe. Update (11-11-11): Canadian statistics are available from Juristat (Statistics Canada). Update(11-30-11): Drug  statistics are available from the “Statistics and Data” section of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Update (1-19-12): Crime in England and Wales (Home Office). Update (3-15-12): Comparing International Criminal Justice Systems (UK. National Audit Office, February 2012. A MUST READ!) Update (3-15-12): 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (US Department of State. Contains individual country reports.) Update (11-26-12): The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has a publications section replete with information and reports. Update (7-31-13): Police-reported crime statistics, 2012 (Statistics Canada); Update (10-11-13): Directory of Family and Domestic Violence Statistics, 2013 (Australian Bureau of Statistics); Update (7-21-14): Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending March 2014 (Office of National Statistics); Update (8-20-14): Crime and law enforcement: a quick guide to key internet links (Parliamentary Library of Australia);  Update (11-10-14): Sixty-Five Years of International Criminal Justice: Facts and Figures (Tilburg University); Update (10-21-15): Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending June 30, 2015 (Office of National Statistics);

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Homegrown American Terrorists

We have already listed recent reports and studies in an earlier blog entry on the above topic. Now comes this heavily documented report from CRS – American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat. This is MUST reading. The report contains a wealth of information culled from a multitude of sources; altogether there are more than 600 notes attached to this 128-page report.

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Who Are America’s Wealthiest?

This list – The Forbes 400:  The Richest People in America – should answer the question. Each entry is accompanied by a brief biography, and you can search by industry as well as state of residence. Find out how many live in New Jersey. BTW, all on the list are worth at least $1 billion. See how these people compare to the list of  World Billionaires.

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Health Reform Timetable

Today, September 23, the first provisions of health care reform kick in. To keep abreast of the new initiatives, please consult this timelime from the Commonwealth Fund; this is an excellent place to keep informed as is the Kaiser Family Foundation. Specific news sites on health include:  Kaiser Health News, Health News Review, and Beyond the Headlines.

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