Posted by Jon Blare on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 at 4:01am.
You are a peace officer trainee assigned to your first post of duty. Your supervisor calls you into his office and tells you that he needs you to prepare content for a presentation at a local university for students in a criminal justice program. He explains that the public information officer (PIO), the individual previously assigned to give this presentation, is testifying in court and cannot leave. He further informs you that you will need to put the content together from scratch as he has never done this before.
The content is to be an overview of the criminal justice system and a description of these roles:
police officer or federal agent
district attorney's office or the United States Attorney's Office
federal, state, and local judges/magistrates
Discuss the stages (investigative, prosecutorial) at which each of the above interacts with a criminal defendant. Specify the roles of each and explain the process by which a suspect becomes a criminal defendant. Consider the following questions for your information:
When do you think the prosecutor's office should become involved in a case (pre-arrest or post-arrest)?
Do you think involvement by a prosecutor in the original stages of an investigation is a good idea?
Can a defense attorney ever become involved in a case prior to indictment or arrest?
When does a judge or magistrate's function begin? In addition, briefly discuss the sources of criminal law.
How does constitutional law affect the development of the criminal code?
What are common law crimes as opposed to actions criminalized by statute?
It looks as if what you need to do is learn how to conduct thorough and effective searches for yourself. That's what research
is. You are searching for information that is so specific that you have to be prepared for the possibility that none of it may be online. Or some may be, and some may not. In addition to searching on the Internet, you also need to make best friends with the reference librarian(s) in your local or college library.
At this webpage, you can go immediately to the search sites (first three columns across the top) -- or even better
you can scroll down until you see the section called HOW TO SEARCH THE INTERNET
. Those are the links to start with. You'll not only learn how to come up with good search terms, but also how to evaluate the webpages you get as results. Some will be good and others will be garbage. You need to know how to tell the difference.
My favorite way to search is to go to Google's advanced search page < http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en
> and put my search words or phrases into the first or second search box (either "all the words" or "exact phrase"). However, there many other strategies for searching you can use, and the HOW TO SEARCH THE INTERNET
section will help you best.
Please re-post when you believe you have answered your questions; someone here will then be able to critique your work.
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