Bulletin Reports Mobility of Criminal Groups, Identity Theft, Gang Resistance Education, and Evidence Collection Guidelines
Mobility of Criminal Groups
In this study, the main objective is to identify push and pull factors to help explain how and why criminal groups, organizations, and general organized crime patterns are present across a variety of settings (e.g., geographical locations, criminal markets, and legitimate industries). Push factors refer to forces that drive criminal groups from a setting. Pull factors refer to forces that draw criminal groups to a setting. There is a distinction between contexts where offenders organize around available opportunities (the strategic context) and circumstances where opportunities induce greater organizational levels among offenders (the emergent context). The present exercise indicates that opportunities matter more than the group itself. What the authors demonstrate is that the problems concerning geographical locations, criminal markets, and legitimate industries that are vulnerable to organized crime are persistent and stable over time. On the other hand, groups that seize such opportunities are transient and often short-lived. Aside from reviewing past research of such factors, the authors also apply the general understanding that emerges from analysis to critically assess case studies that reflect popular images of organized crime threats. The concluding section identifies the key issues to address within this area.
For more information on this report (NCJ 236707), access the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s website, http://www.ncjrs.gov.
Deter, Detect, Defend—Avoid Identity Theft
This toolkit from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is for use by organizations working to raise awareness and educate people about the dangers of identity theft. The toolkit includes a 24-page booklet with information on how to plan and organize a Protect Your Identity Day workshop. These workshops can be used by local government officials and community organizations to educate people on the dangers of identity theft and how to protect themselves from becoming victims. The toolkit also includes a DVD and a CD-ROM. The DVD contains videos available for television broadcast on the theme of deter, detect, defend—the three Ds of identity theft protection. The CD-ROM contains videos on the three Ds for use in computer broadcasts and downloadable materials for use in planning and hosting a Protect Your Identity Day.
To read the full report (NCJ 236428), access the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s website, http://www.ncjrs.gov.
Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (G.R.E.A.T.)
The Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (G.R.E.A.T.), taught by uniformed police officers, is a school-based life-skills curriculum designed to enable youths to make sound decisions, be accountable, resist peer pressure, and establish positive attitudes toward law enforcement. The goal of the program is to prevent violence and gang activity. The instruction focuses on four areas: middle school, elementary school, summer, and families. The school sessions offer skills-based classes that focus on changing attitudes and behaviors. The summer component presents fun, constructive activities that add structure when children are on their school break. The G.R.E.A.T. families segment provides group interaction and activities for parents and children. For more information go to http://www.great-online.org.
The Importance of Evidence Collection Guidelines in Developing a Prosecutable Case
FBI Crime Scene Forensic Documentation Guidelines should be routinely applied to every crime scene regardless of size or complexity. The narrative reviews each crime scene guideline and identifies the documentation that the prosecutor should anticipate being present. Omitted guideline citations should be questioned because they may imply a defect in the forensic evidence acquisition process. These omissions may provide points of attack by the defense and, consequently, present a reasonable strategy. The FBI documentation guidelines include steps for proper crime scene evidence collection:
- approach scene—discusses the initial approach to the crime scene by the first responder and requires noting temperature and other environmental conditions, any artifacts that may represent evidence, and locating potential witnesses;
- secure and protect—discusses protecting the crime scene in its pristine form;
- preliminary survey;
- guideline narrative description—the survey taken to support the management, organization, and logistical elements of the crime scene;
- photograph scene—examines how to portray the crime scene evidence through photography;
- sketch scene—explains how a crime scene sketch provides spatial relationships that supplant and complement the two-dimensional photographs;
- physical evaluation of the scene;
- continuing evaluation of the evidence—evaluations that are ongoing throughout the scene processing;
- conduct search;
- collect, record, mark, and preserve the evidence;
- conduct final survey; and
- release the crime scene.
To read the full report (NCJ 236848), access the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s website, http://www.ncjrs.gov.