Vol 1 | Issue 1

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Abstracts

Education, Training and Ethical Dilemmas: Responses of Criminal Justice Practitioners Regarding Professional and Ethical Issues

Jennifer M. Allen, Bonny Mhlanga, and Emran W. Khan

All professionals in the corrections and law-enforcement field must be aware and sensitive to ethical dilemmas confronted in the course of their duties. One key skill is the ability to determine the right thing to do when challenged with common but somewhat enticing situations in criminal justice. Training and education in proper behavior and professional standards is imperative in creating ethical workers. Administrators, educators, trainers, and field professionals must include exercises that increase reasoning capacities and aid individuals in recognizing the ethical consequences of various actions or inactions. In this exploratory study the researchers sought to identify how criminal justice professionals from a variety of specialties responded to written situations involving ethical or moral actions. Additionally, the study examined the training and education provided to the respondents in the course of their jobs and/or schooling. The researchers analyzed the utility of continued education in socially acceptable moral and ethical standards within the field of criminal justice.

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Rekindling Police Burnout: Implications for the Motivation and Retention of Personnel

Gene L. Scaramella, Edward W. Shannon and Mario A. Giannoni

A qualitative research design was utilized to address the issue of police burnout as described in the pertinent literature. The goals of the study were to determine the causes of burnout among a sample of recently retired or separated police officers and what could be done to alleviate those feelings. Data gleaned from respondents produced three common themes: benefits of higher education (graduate degrees); physical separation from the policing environment coupled with critical reflection of their careers; and the art or practice of teaching traditional age students courses in criminal justice in a higher education setting. Respondents reported all of these factors combined to alleviate their former feelings of burnout and to significantly transform their previous perspectives of the field of policing. The conclusions section of the report offer sound recommendations for an improved response to the individual and organizational consequences of police burnout.

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Professional Practice Models of Criminal Justice Education in Traditional versus Online Environments

Robert D. Hanser, Joseph P. Akpan, Nathan R. Moran, and Alicia D. Wilson

This paper compares teaching in both the classroom and online environment. Data from two identical criminal justice courses offered in both the traditional and online format are examined. The researcher has substantial experience with both traditional and online educational formats at two universities; one university is a traditionally based regional university, the other institution is a large university system that offers all of its curriculum and instruction completely online. This paper examines the use of practitioner-oriented approaches to teaching criminal justice coursework in both the on-line and the traditional educational setting. Specifically, the researcher tested four main themes identified as being part and parcel to any educational curriculum designed around a professional practice model of education within the field of criminal justice. Strengths and limitations associated with this approach are discussed.

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Drug Court Interventions and the Role of Physical Fitness Programming in Client Treatment Outcomes

Eric R. Thompson

Current scientific and clinical research has shown that drug use creates temporary and long-term physiological changes within the brain. Furthermore, by stimulating beta-endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin neurotransmitters, exercise may induce the release of natural anti-addiction medications and alter the physiological effects of long-term drug use. This study examines the psychological and physiological effects of addiction and exercise to determine whether an ancillary exercise program fits into the treatment drug court curriculum. The use of exercise is based on the idea that abstinence from drugs and alcohol begins with improved physical health. Results are presented from a cross-sectional survey of 48 drug court participants on health and exercise. The study details the design and implementation of an exercise program for drug court participants.

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The Trafficking of Eastern European Women: An Ethnographic Analysis

Ronald J. Reinhardt

This study was designed to examine East European women trafficked to Cook County, Illinois for the purpose of sexual exploitation. This inquiry used an ethnographic approach in order to gain insight into the beliefs, attitudes, values, and sub-culture of the women. The information presented is based on qualitative interviews of eight Eastern European women that had been trafficked and sexually exploited. Data collection primarily consisted of in-depth interviews. Throughout the data collection process, the researcher’s experience in methods of interviewing and the use of member checks increased the internal validity and reliability of this study. Document analysis served as a means of triangulating data obtained from the interviews. Results of this study suggested that compliance benefited the subject’s survival while being victimized through forced participation in the sex industry. The various mechanisms of control and exploitation are discussed as well as the structure and operations of criminal syndicates that commit crimes associated with the sex-trade and human trafficking.

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Getting a Clue: The Ethical Failure of Higher Education to Address a Failed Investigative Paradigm

Raymond Rodriguez

In recent years, advances in the “hard sciences” coupled with the increasing incidence of post-conviction exoneration of accused parties have forced a new criminal investigative paradigm on law enforcement practitioners. Central to the new paradigm is an increased reliance on tangible, scientific evidence. The increasing importance of scientific evidence must be addressed by programs of higher education. Central to the issue is the need for change by reforming curriculum in undergraduate criminal justice higher education to facilitate the transition to the new investigative paradigm. This research explores the relationship of criminal justice curricula and the perpetuation of a failed investigative paradigm. Discussion is also presented on ethical concerns associated with the failure to reform curricula in criminal justice programs to include these inter-disciplinary investigative paradigms that will better protect the rights of the accused and will better serve society, thereby restoring public confidence in the criminal justice system.

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Managing an Office in a Legal Setting in the 21st Century

William I. Weston

This article is written with the legal practitioner in mind. Specific suggestions and recommendations are provided to improve and maintain professional relationships with clients. The use of effective office management procedures and processes will also improve the operation of a legal practitioner’s overall service delivery to clients and to the community. Among the most important aspects of effective office management in the legal environment is the use of effective client-centered office management principles. This article further explains basic principles associated with effective office management in the legal setting, covering a wide array of topics relevant to any office manager working in the legal field.

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This journal is dedicated to the men and women serving and those who have served in our criminal justice agencies. America is fortunate to have such fine and devoted professionals serving on our behalf. Thank you.

Professional Issues in Criminal Justice (PICJ), which started in 2005, has evolved from a newly established journalin criminal justice to an established peer-reviewed journal in the field.
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