A Peek Inside Custom Agents InformationJanuary 12th, 2010 by Site Administrator
One of the growing sectors within the country’s Homeland Security program is that of Custom and Border Patrol agents. Currently, one of the most heightened goals of customs agents is to ensure that the borders are protected from any illegal activity and contraband through securing the borders. However, customs agents are also in charge of assessing normal goods that pass between borders and ensuring that the goods have been appropriately paid through the fines and duties.
The United States has prided itself on its open status of welcoming people from every background, although the past few years have shown a heightened security on this melting pot society. While it may seem unfortunate that we no longer trust every person who enters our country, we can feel secure that custom agents protect our borders both from potential terrorists and from deadly weapons or drugs. Becoming a customs agent is no easy task, and involves becoming a member of the largest law enforcement unit in the country, an honorable position to be sure. Customs agents are forced to deal with unstable situations on a daily basis in order to continue protecting the American public from harm.
Border towns are the most susceptible to infiltration, and therefore customs agents are typically positioned in towns near the Mexican and Canadian borders. Mexico poses the biggest threat for customs agents, due to the heightened drug violence in the country. Additionally, while the borders have become more secure in the past years, there are still a number of people who sneak their way across the border, indicating that potential terrorists could do the same. Customs agents now have the heightened burden of checking every person’s passport, even if they only went across the border for twenty minutes. Only a few years ago, this was not the practice, but new security measures have been put into place to further protect our borders.
While customs agents have recently busied themselves with the threat of terroristic threats and potential weapons of violence, there are still daily drug and human trafficking seizure which they play a part in. Many people do not know that one of the major traffic stops exist an hour from border towns, in which customs agents ensure that there are no illegal aliens nor drugs in the car, thereby further ensuring that they will not make it out of the 60 mile radius of the border. Becoming a customs agent is not the future for every person, but it can be one of the most fulfilling occupations because each day you further protect the country against illegal drugs, weapons, or potentially dangerous immigrants. While the country continues to be welcoming of citizens from every country, we have taken heightened precautions in light of our international situation and customs agents are at the forefront of this domestic battle.
Legal Options for an Amicable DivorceApril 9th, 2009 by Site Administrator
By Katie Wilson
Divorce is a process that doesn’t just wreak havoc on your emotions, it also wrecks your finances and leaves you in debt more often than not. To minimize these impacts, you and your spouse could try and reach an amicable divorce, one that lets you separate as friends and also saves you quite a large amount of money. If you’re looking for legal help, but still want to keep your battle out of the courtroom and the prying eyes of the public, here are a few options that allow you to divorce amicably:
• Hire just one lawyer: While both husband and wife cannot retain the same attorney, if they’ve already agreed to go in for a divorce that’s not acrimonious and have reached a satisfactory conclusion as to the division of property and custody of children, if any, one of them can hire a lawyer to take care of the legal aspects of the divorce. The attorney takes care of all the paperwork and handles the court-related issues pertinent to the divorce. The spouse who retains the attorney is required to draft a document that prohibits the attorney from doing anything that is likely to cause friction between husband and wife and ruin the amicability of the divorce. Hiring one lawyer who is on the same side as both husband and wife as opposed to two who are on opposite sides and hence likely to prolong the case is bound to save the couple a large sum of money.
• Go in for a collaborative divorce: In a collaborative divorce, both husband and wife hire their own attorneys, but the legal representatives are required to sign a contract that states that they will work with each to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement. If such a settlement is not reached, the lawyers must withdraw from the case, a clause that removes the possibility of either or both lawyers trying to initiate litigation in order to gain a higher fee.
• Go in for dispute resolution: Dispute resolution allows you to settle your differences outside court. There are two forms, both of which feature a third party, neutral arbitrator – Arbitration in which the decree of the arbitrator is binding, that is, both husband and wife must accept his or her ruling as they would in a court; and Mediation where they’re not required to accept the decision of the arbitrator if they’re not satisfied with it.
Does a Breach of Ethics Count as White Collar Crime?April 9th, 2009 by Site Administrator
By Katie Wilson
The AIG scandal has the nation in a righteous uproar; the question that everyone is asking is this – with the company reporting losses in the fourth quarter to the tune of $61.7 billion, the largest loss in the corporate sector till date, and when $175 billion of taxpayers’ money was handed out by the Obama government to keep the company afloat for the sake of national interests, how is it possible that AIG gave out bonuses worth $165 million to its top derivative traders?
The money given to them was to be used to turn the company’s fortunes around, not to make the fortunes of the top brass in the organization. As President Obama put it, the initial collapse of the company was caused by recklessness and greed. The executives at AIG, instead of being grateful for the financial rescue and working harder than ever before to restore the company to its glory days, they’re only thinking of grabbing all they can and lining their own pockets from the bailout money – more displays of their greed and recklessness.
Could this blatant lack of ethics be considered white collar crime? Yes, it can. Because, in effect, it means that the traders at AIG are robbing the taxpayers to pay themselves huge bonuses that they are not worthy of in the first place. How does a company that reported the largest loss in corporate history justify paying its executives fat bonuses? How does AIG justify using the taxpayers’ money to pay out salaries and bonuses when the future of the company is at stake? Maybe they’re just doing what the head honchos at General Motors, Chrysler and Ford did when they flew down in the private jets to seek a bailout for the auto industry from the government?
When we talk of white collar crime, we often close our eyes to the moral and ethical wrongdoings that take place in the corporate world and focus only on the more blatant frauds being committed. But it’s the smaller drops that slowly contribute to the larger ocean, which is why it’s the basic greed of the corporate fraudster and the outright disregard that he/she shows for the common man that add up to the mess that is AIG today.
Even as Congress debates the initiation of a law that will allow them to tax the AIG executives and recoup the money given out as bonuses, the resignation of Jake DeSantis, executive vice-president in AIG’s financial products division which sustained some of the heaviest losses, is making news again because of his open tirade against his boss for failing to “defend his staff against the venom spewed by Congress regarding their well-earned bonuses”.
A fine way to earn a living isn’t it? Report losses worth billions, beg the government for billions more of the taxpayers’ money, and then take a huge chunk of this money for yourself as a nice fat bonus. Maybe we should all take leaves out of the books of the AIG executives this recession and write books that offer advice on how to survive a global economic crisis – take a bonus out of borrowed money and pretend that all is well!
Five Top Online CJ Masters ProgramsMarch 13th, 2009 by Site Administrator
Criminal Justice degrees are a new way to enter into higher tiered law enforcement careers around the nation, including the exclusive ranks of the FBI and CIA. The higher your education is within these programs, the less competition you will have with other applicants, making a valid point for continuing your education in criminal justice. There are many opportunities for potential students hoping to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice, but the top five programs are as follows:
• The University of Maryland: Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
• The University at Albany – SUNY
• The University of Cincinnati
• The University of Missouri at St. Louis
• Penn State University at University Park (tied with) University of California at Irvine
These six schools have proved their worth to students across the nation as the highest level graduate programs for potential students of criminal justice and contain some of the highest-qualified faculty to teach the programs. Additionally, these programs have begun to offer some courses through the internet, effectively expanding their student population by attracting a wider variety of students to their stellar programs.
The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland was established in 1969, recently celebrating its 40th anniversary as a program. The program offers students the opportunity to learn through understanding the underlying studies of crime and delinquency and also boasts a top research facility in criminal justice.
The School of Criminal Justice at the University of Albany declares in its mission statement that it examines all aspects of crime, including political, economic, and cultural patterns that help define the crime. This better prepares students for a deeper understanding of the socioeconomic factors that may come into play in determining the nature of certain criminals. Additionally, the program focuses on the interactions between various criminal justice systems around the country and the way each sector works together.
The University of Cincinnati boasts another impressive facility, priding itself on its impressive research productivity, and is further recognized as one of the top doctoral criminal justice programs in the nation. This school focuses much more on the research aspect of criminal justice and provides opportunities for its students through a wide array of training and assistant programs in the research sector.
The University of Missouri Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice focus on the research behind crime and criminal intent, boasting a stellar faculty and taff. This school is one of the top ranked research institutions, and the criminal justice program is no different, offering many potential opportunities for graduate students.
Penn State’s Department of Sociology and Crime, Law, and Justice, is one of the highest ranked graduate programs in the state due to its stellar research institutions as well as its ability to attract a large population in the program. The program focuses on analyzing the crime as well as performing much fieldwork. Additionally, despite the large population, the student-faculty ratio remains low and allows students to frequently interact with their professors and learn their knowledge about the field. Finally, the University of California’s department of Criminology, Law and Society department is tied for fifth place with Penn State, and offers a new integration between criminology and law and society. A new foray into the industry, the school incorporates many top level faculty and is only one of two similar programs within the state.
Graduate programs for criminal justice students are wide-spread across the country, but achieving a world-class education from these top five schools is a different educational experience that will help prove your level of expertise in the criminal justice community. While these schools are relatively traditional classroom schools, they have each begun to offer courses through distance learning, effectively demonstrating that online education has begun to infiltrate every sector of continuing education and can now reach students all over the country.
The Enlightenment that Comes with a Masters in Criminal JusticeFebruary 11th, 2009 by Site Administrator
Criminal justice degrees are very broad undergraduate degree programs that are meant to mold into a variety of possible careers. As a result, it’s only after earning a master’s degree that students begin to find a specialized career choice and can make changes within the criminal justice system. This is particularly important in fields such as international justice, in which nations around the world are unsure how to tackle larger justice problems due to the many conflicting ideologies.
Students of criminal justice frequently find their way into law enforcement careers or justice-oriented law careers which deal exclusively with criminal law. However, students of masters programs can expand their knowledge of the justice system by being introduced to the intricacies of our own system and the differences between the many international justice systems. These are vital skills to have in a global economy, especially when many nations are become more closely intertwined. The international criminal justice system is a work in progress, as many world leaders are struggling to accept other methods of prosecuting international criminals. This is one of the leading topics within the criminal justice system and exploring more of what it entails will lead to a more thorough understanding of the international system, as well as a possible career within programs like the UN.
Additionally, other Masters degree programs in criminal justice allow students to get a better understanding of what their future could consist of in a highly specialized sector of law enforcement. Some students of higher criminal justice degree programs can go on to earn positions at the FBI or CIA. Further classes in criminal justice help prepare students to face the “seedy” aspects of the criminal justice system and understand the criminal mindset better than a bachelors degree would allow them to. Certain positions in law enforcement require a deeper understanding of the specialty you are going into, and while this may come with experience in the industry, other employers will accept a higher degree in criminal justice.
Criminal justice is an ever expanding industry because it encompasses so many different fields and positions. Crime will always be the center of the criminal justice industry, but there are other aspects that have little to do with crime and the justice system, but which still require the specialization of criminal justice. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consider a further degree if you enjoy the bachelors degree courses and the future prospects of a career.