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Assignment due April 10, 2014 6pm PST (Assignment 1 for Contemporary Issues class)

Back Story

The murder of Jones sent shock waves through the city of Centervale. Jason Rivers was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to six years in prison.


In a strange twist of fate, the state legislature created a new law that addressed multiyear prison sentences, as the state legislature struggled to meet budgetary constraints, by releasing offenders who serve half their sentence if the offenders had no infractions within ninety days of the time they come up for release. Rivers was released after serving three and half years in prison. Unfortunately, within weeks, Rivers brutally assaulted an elderly female in an attempted robbery and his parole was revoked.


The case of Rivers has become the “poster child” for opponents of the new legislation who argue that criminal justice research shows offender recidivism rates are very high for violent offenders. On the other hand, proponents of the new legislation stand on the claim that Rivers is a victim because he did not have adequate programming available to him during his youth that would have steered him clear of criminal behavior; he should be given alternative sanctions to address his issues.


Citizens of Centervale approach the mayor and other city officials with concerns about how the police department operates in Centervale. Some of the citizens want a transparent police department and more stringent background checks before officers are hired. This move comes on the heels of the former detective whose off-duty behavior was brought to the forefront during the murder trial of Rivers.


Citizens are concerned that crime is out of control in Centervale. Citizens are also disappointed by the new legislation that created the situation for Rivers’s release because the elderly female who was victimized in the robbery was a beloved, retired, first-grade teacher in the Centervale Elementary School. Overall, citizens are showing little support for local and state law enforcement and are demonstrating little faith in the criminal justice system after the assault on the elderly woman.


As an intern for the DA’s office, it is part of your duty to help the DA reach out to citizens in the community. The DA, the Chief of Police, and the Mayor have met on the issues raised by the citizens of Centervale. The DA’s office is planning a Citizen’s Academy in partnership with the Centervale Police Department.


The goal is not only to address the issues that citizens have with law enforcement and the criminal justice system, but also to educate citizens about the obstacles and challenges that criminal justice professionals face in trying to do the right thing for the community, while balancing numerous variables that are out of their control


Using in-text citations to cite all sources that are linked to a corresponding reference on a separate page of the report, compose a 8- to 10-page report using APA format, addressing the following:


Evaluate and discuss the totality of the situation presented here in LASA 1 and LASA 2. What patterns and cycles can you identify that relate to patterns and cycles in the trends of the US Criminal Justice System? Discuss a minimum of two patterns from the historical perspective to create a foundation for the remainder of your report on the overarching issues.

Analyze and discuss the damaging effects of corruption on law enforcement by relating this issue to the arrest of a law enforcement officer for a high-profile crime—property, violent, or white collar. Explain how an officer’s choices and behavior might affect an entire law enforcement agency, its reputation in the community, agency funding, and other community or criminal justice-related issues.

Discuss how the legislature defines criminal behavior and how money influences every decision they make for the criminal justice system’s daily functions. (Often, citizens have no idea of the events going on in their state capitals until new legislation is signed into law. This was the case in Centervale when citizens learned of Rivers’s release.) Suggest a plan on how Centervale’s criminal justice professionals can help to bridge the gap between the legislature and the citizens by bringing more awareness about legislation that might affect them before it is signed into law (that is, public safety legislation, sentencing trends in legislation, and crime control legislation).

Support your position on the early release of violent offenders from prison with criminal justice research on recidivism and other pertinent topics, such as budgetary constraints.

Analyze and discuss the citizens “fear of crime” concern that they have brought to the Mayor and other city officials from the violent crime standpoint. In addition, create recommendations as supported by research and examples for how Centervale officials, including the DA’s office and CPD employees, can work together to restore the confidence of the citizens. This move comes on the heels of the former detective whose off-duty behavior was brought to the forefront during the murder trial of Rivers. The detective used personal information he collected during investigations to purchase personal items

Assignment 2 for Police Organization Class Due April 8, 2014 6pm PST

Back Story

It is important for those who have an interest in the criminal justice system or in law enforcement to learn about some of the challenges working in a litigious society can create. Criminal justice agencies have developed methods to reduce the chances of incurring lawsuits against their officers and departments. You will glean valuable insight and learn how to begin developing clear, concise, and substantive communication necessary for criminal justice and law enforcement officers.


In this LASA, you will create a 15–20 slide PowerPoint presentation and write your script from the perspective of one of the following roles in Centervale: an internal affairs investigator, compliance officer, or similar official seeking to mitigate and improve the department by reducing the number of legal actions filed against the department. You have been asked to do this presentation in response to the following scenario:


It is common to see groups of youths hanging around various locations in Centervale. A group of mischievous juveniles hang out at a 24 hour Burger Joint on Tenth Street on a fairly regular basis and often get into Saturday night scuffles with other groups of juveniles, which require the police to respond to clear the area. The owner of the Burger Joint has become increasingly concerned about a drastic decrease in sales; however, he continued to look the other way until the scuffles escalated into full-blown fights that involved weapons, such as knives or brass knuckles.


Recently, the owner of the Burger Joint called 911 in a panic because he thought he heard gunshots fired from the parking lot area during a scuffle. Officers from the Centervale Police Department (CPD) arrived on the scene to find several youths involved in a physical fight provoked by a verbal attack, but there were no visible signs of weapons. Officer Jack Newbie just completed Taser training at the Centervale Police Academy. Officer Newbie believes carrying a “non-lethal” alternative to a firearm is beneficial for law enforcement officers.


Officer Newbie and his partner proceeded with caution when attempting to break-up the fight at the Burger Joint because reports of weapons involvement can create very dangerous situations for officers as they approach. Sam White, 15 years old, who was not actively involved in the physical aspect of the scuffle, tried to flee from the scene. Officer Newbie did not give verbal commands before firing his Taser at White as he fled. The Taser’s 50,000-volt of electric shock caused White to go into cardiac arrest upon impact, but he was revived on the way to Centervale Memorial hospital. White’s girlfriend, Rosey Green, a small-framed female, who was visibly showing signs of pregnancy, was distraught and angry over White’s condition. Green jumped onto Officer Newbie’s back, bit him on the neck and punched him in the ear. Officer Newbie’s partner, Officer Joe Flash, Tased Green during the assault. Later that evening Green had a miscarriage and lost her baby. Green and her parents are now suing the CPD for use of excessive force against a minor


The following information must be included in your presentation:


Based on your research of the history and your research of issues surrounding liability in policing today, did Officer Newbie’s handling of the situation with White and Green create a liability or potential lawsuit situation for the CPD? Evaluate how the use of force was applied in this situation with regard to White’s attempt to flee the scene and Green’s physical assault of Officer Newbie and suggest a new policy based on your evaluation in your presentation.

The CPD’s current use-of-force policy states that the amount of force any officer may use against any individual may be one degree greater than the amount of force being applied by any individual against any officer. Compare and contrast CPD’s use-of-force policy with the facts of the Green Case. In your presentation, explain how Green’s behavior, the facts of the case (i.e., dispatch: fight with weapons), and Officer Newbie’s response align or misalign with the terms of the policy.

Create a mitigation action plan (MAP) that contains three recommendations supported by the findings of current empirical research that might help to reduce the number of lawsuits that could be potentially filed against the CPD.

Does the definition of a frivolous lawsuit apply to the situation with Officer Newbie and his handling of the White Case? Analyze and discuss how a potential lawsuit filed by White against the CPD might be perceived by the court and how the CPD might mediate or litigate a lawsuit of this nature

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