Archive for Criminal Justice

Forensic Science – Some Recent Works

“Furthermore, forensic science, as currently practiced, is stressed and inadequately supported. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ latest census of publicly-funded crime laboratory[sic] reports significant casework backlogs. Important discussions on DNA mixture deconvolution, statistical interpretation, and language for reporting and testimony need Federal attention.”

– Victor Weedn, Professor of Forensic Science, George Washington University, in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, March 28, 2017 entitled To Examine the State of Forensic Science in the United States.

A generally acknowledged landmark study was issued by the National Academies Press in 2009 – Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. Called a “blockbuster” in one publication, this highly influential document has been cited numerous times in the literature.  Additional forensic-related reports have been published by NAP

The FBI Laboratory Services contains valuable documentation, among them the Handbook of Forensic Services (Revised 2013).

The Government Accountability Office offers many reports/testimonies on forensic science, even one on nuclear forensics.

The Homeland Security Digital Library has hundreds of relevant reports.

The National Criminal Justice Reference Service offers a separate section on forensic sciences.

The National Institute of Justice has its own Forensic Sciences page replete with links.

New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences houses practitioner-based presentations.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has forensic manuals online.

Links to various forensic science organizations are here.



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Latest FBI Crime Statistics Released

The 2017 edition of this annual report has been released; much of its statistical data is widely used by the media and academic researchers. Also consult the Crime Data Reporter that offers continually updated facts and figures.

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Congressional Misconduct Database

As developed by GovTrack,  “This page lists 372 instances of misconduct and alleged misconduct by Members of the United States Congress from 1789 to the present and is updated as new information becomes available.

The investigations, settlements, and resignations listed on this page do not imply guilt in the absence of a conviction, guilty plea, etc. We include investigations even if the Member of Congress is exonerated because the investigation and exoneration are themselves important events. Conversely, investigations that end without a guilty determination do not imply innocence.”

Links to outside sources, including CRS reports, are included.

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2017 Report of New Jersey School Bullying/Crimes Released

The formal name of the report is Commissioner’s Annual Report to the Education Committees of the Senate and General Assembly on Violence, Vandalism and Substance Abuse in New Jersey Public Schools, and according to the latest iteration, crime statistics have gone up 5% from the previous year of 2014/15. Bullying is down (16), but other reported crimes are up (9-10). School district data are found in Appendix D (D2+).


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Online European National Criminal Codes

A vast number of  current criminal codes have been gathered together; many of them have been translated into English. A good starting point for international law.

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FBI Latest Annual Report on Crime

It looks like violent crime is up, as are murders, according the 2015 Crime in the United States just released by the FBI. This iteration, while showing an uptick, still has data indicating that crime is down relative to prior years. See this Brennan Center report as well.

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Closure of Private Prisons

This recent report from the OIG of the Department of Justice – Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Monitoring of Contract Prisons – calls for the eventual phase-out of private prisons, stating “We found that in a majority of the categories we examined, contract prisons incurred more safety and security incidents per capita than comparable BOP [Bureau of Prisons] institutions.” (ii) A recent study explores the world of private prisons: Federal Prison Population Buildup: Options for Congress (CRS, 2016) argues that “Research that reviewed the results of state and local efforts to privatize correctional systems generally found that it is questionable whether privatization can deliver lower costs and whether services provided by private prisons are comparable to services provided by public prisons.” (6) Many excellent references accompany this report. Additional literature can be perused here.


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