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Writing in the Criminal Justice Field

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charlanna coleman

on 2 March 2015

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Transcript of Writing in the Criminal Justice Field

Types of Writing:
Research Papers
Analytical Papers
Argument or Position Papers
Investigative Reports
Types of Writing
Administrative Reports
Policy Memos
Case/Legal Briefs
Case Plans/Case Notes
Synopsis
Overview!
Commentary
Example of Synopsis...
Order of Paper
Reporting Person
Victim Statement
Suspect
Witness
Officer
Disposition
In some cases the suspect may have no comment at the arrest. The given information varies, it depends on the crime and who are the people associated with the crime.
Mr.Watson should have given you the example paper of a synopsis.

Interview Questions
Sergeant Warren Holden (20+ years in service)

1) How would you describe the type of writing that you do?
I would describe them as being short, descriptive, and precise.

2) What percentage of your time would say is devoted to writing?
When writing a statement it usually takes between 20 minutes to an hour and a half in some cases. It all depends on the situation/crime.

3) How important is the writing that you do?
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most important I would give it a 10. Because the fate of someone's life depends on what is written.

4) What is one of the most important writing skills required in this field?
Knowing how to write descriptively and properly.

"Investigating Writing in the Criminal Justice Field"
Interview Questions Continued..
Sergeant Warren Holder (20+years in Criminal Justice Field)

5) Do you know of a good resource that gives guidelines on how to do the types of writing required in the Criminal Justice field?
You can go to BLT (Basic Law enforcement Training), here you will be taught on how to write in the Criminal Justice field.

6)Are there any issues that prevent themselves in the writing that you do?
Yes there is a type of writing called "synopsis" which is broken down to specific summaries. So you have to know what information goes where.

7) Is there anything that you can expect to encounter while communicating with others in your discipline?
In this field you have to expect the unexpected when communicating with others. You never know if the person you are talking to has a mental illness, or violent behavior. Sometimes there are people who may be illiterate so it is sometimes hard to get them to understand the question that you are trying to ask.

(Warren, personal communication, February 20, 2015)
When it comes to writing in the Criminal Justice field you can not make an error. That one error can determine the freedom of a person. The information that is given must be done in a way that makes the judge, lawyer or anyone else recieving the documentation feel that they were there during the time of the arrest. In order to be this informed on a subject through writing. The writing must be precise, accurate, and detailed, in the correct way.
Documentation Styles and Requirements
Major Features of Writing...
Law enforcement officials are required by law to take note of everything that happened during an arrest. This includes the time when they were first called in to the time when they took the suspect to the station. Writing usually takes about 80% of their time. However this is not an accurate answer. Because the amount of time that it takes a law enforcement official to write up documentation for a case varies. It is required that every action that took place at the scene of the crime be documented. This can be done through many different writing styles.
Due to computers the documentation style of writing done in this field has become more of a variety. For example, incident/investigation reports, and Juvenile Contact Reports. Both of these reports can be documented by just filling in the blank spaces. However, papers such as narratives, argument papers, research papers and etc require more documentation. This can be done through documentation styles such as MLA, APA, CMS and more.
Charts
This would be one of the major features because it is one of the most required writings. Charts are very informative and detailed as well.
Synopsis
This is basically a short narrative that gives an overall view on what took place at the scene of the crime. It basically gives the details on the information that is listed in the charts.
"To protect those who are unable to protect themselves"
At a police station information must be taken from every individual who comes in this includes fingerprints.
Full transcript