Power and Leadership

Power motivation is often referred to the “reasons, intentions, and objectives that underline the use of power” (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).  Studies showed that the motivations of many leaders culminate into 3 categories (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012) The first is a socialized power motivation, or high achievement motivation, which has leaders in law enforcing working/seeking to leave a positive impact on the department’s operations as well as administration (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).  The second motivation is called personal power needs, or a high power, which is basically the desire to be in control and the reasons for this motivation are often selfish (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). The final motivation is affiliation needs, which is a “desire to be liked and accepted” (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). This as a motivation is debatable as it puts a stronger forces on acceptance rather than impacting events (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

Basically a Leadership Skill Mix is a breakdown of a law enforcing department and the skills associated with each level(Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).  The three skills are: 1) human relations, which involve the capacity to interact/engage with other people and levels in a positive way, 2) conceptual, which is having the ability to understand ant to interrelate various parcels of information whether unrelated or not immediately necessary, and 3) technical skills (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). Technical skills tend to vary greatly depending on which level of the department is being looked at. The skills can include budgeting, management, planning and decision making (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

There are three models to the decision making theory that are said to be the most basic in the majority of literature (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). Rational model revolves around the idea of economic initiatives; we must work harder to obtain the chance to make  more money(Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012) There are 3 assumptions regarding this model: 1) that a person has complete knowledge of all the alternatives available to him/her, 2) that a person has the ability to order preferences according to his/her hierarchy, and 3) that a person has the ability to choose the best alternative (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). The second mode is the incremental model, which actually a modification to the rational model (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).  This was due to Lindbolm citing that the limiting political factors involved in department administration prevented the model from being “rational,” but has the department take a “series of incremental steps” to ensure the safety of the department and the public (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). Thirdly, there is the heuristic model, or the “gut-level model,” where the “crucial element of humanism in decision making” comes into play (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). This approach has been criticized for its simplicity and being nonscientific, as it put a firm focus on emotion rather than logic and reasoning (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

When making a decision regarding ethical issues, there are several steps that need to taken. First, an ethical issue has to recognize and acknowledged (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). When doing so decision makers look to see the possible damage to individuals as well as the community (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). The second step is to ensure the facts are checked; making sure that they are relevant to the problem at hand (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).  Next, the decision makers must decide if “individual or groups have an important stake in the outcome” (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).After evaluating the steps and everything involved, the decision makers then can act on their decision.

Works Cited:

Swanson, Charles R., Territo, Leonard, Taylor, Robert W. (2012) Police Administration: Structures, Processes, and Behaviors. (8th) Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ.




Damian Anderson

Professor James Earhart

Soci 216

28, February 2016


If a survey would take places measuring the benefits of poverty, it is presumed that a majority would like insist that poverty isn’t a beneficial circumstance. There are plenty of arguments on why people are in poverty but the ideas and solutions to take one out of poverty are scarce in comparison. It is better to skimpily identify the problem and then focusing on solving the problems, and that should remain to be the focus.

There are three types of poverty. First there is absolute poverty. This type of poverty, mostly seen in other countries, “refers to the lack of resources necessary for well-being” (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 174). Second there is relative poverty which is the lack resources compares to other populations (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 174). Thirdly, there is extreme poverty where people are living on less than $1.25 a day. (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 174).  Generally, povery in America is determined on whether a house hold spends 1/3 of their income on food however measuring poverty can vary depending on the number of members in a household (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 175).

As with any social problem there are different perspectives when addressing the problem. Structural-functionalist view poverty as the result of “economic institutions that fail to provide sufficient jobs and pay” as well as educational institution failing to equip individuals with the needed skills for employment (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 176).  Karl Marx presented a conflict theory regarding poverty, as it comes from the business owners’ domination over the workers (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 177). Symbolic interactionist view that the label of “poor” will give one an identity of being lazy, immoral, irresponsible, and personally deficient (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 179).

Rebecca Vallas and Melissa Boteach proposed 10 ways of solving the problem of poverty; however some have some issues themselves. A few of the ways they suggested included: creating more jobs, raise the minimum wage, increase the earned income tax credit for childless workers, support pay equity, provide paid leave and paid sick days, establish work schedules that work, and expand Medicaid (Vallas, Boteach, The Top 10 Solutions to Cut Poverty and Grow the Middle Class). The solutions sound great on paper; however it would require much government overseer for these ideas to work, however some seem problematic. For example, raising minimum wage will work momentarily, but once cost of living is adjusted a larger poverty group is born. Work schedules that work is also a foolish idea as many business (fast food restraints for example) are open nearly 24 hours a day, thus shifts have to vary among coworkers.

The solution to poverty is education and skills. Once someone gains a proper education the doors open wide for potential opportunities. However, not everyone is going to have available access to furthering educations due to high school costs (discussed in an early paper). There are organizations that help assist those stuck in poverty meet certain needs.  Feeding America, largest domestic hunger relief program, provides meals to more than 200 food banks in all of the 50 states (Rozzi, Top 10 Non-Profits Fighting Poverty). Another similar organization is Meals on Wheels, whom “provide visionary leadership and professional training and to develop partnerships that will ensure the provision of quality nutrition services to seniors in need (Rozzi, Top 10 Non-Profits Fighting Poverty).  Though providing nutrition and meals may be a temporary solution to what seems like a permanent problem, it is a start.

What is the solution to poverty? The solution to nearly every problem faced is proper education. When we are properly educated, whether through high schools, GED programs, or colleges/universities we are opened to a new world. The best way to fight poverty is improving the education system offering more specific/hands on classes rather than teaching student how to take a test. When students succeed, our nation will succeed.

Works Cited

Mooney, Linda A, Knox, David, and Schacht, Caroline. Understanding Social Problems. Stamford: Cengage Learning. 2015. Print.

Boteach, Melissa, and Vallas, Rebecca. American Progress. Web. 2014.

Rozzi, Giulia. TakePart. Web. 2009

A Look at Narcotics Anonymous

There is an epidemic occurring across this nation, as well as many others, when it comes to drug use and drug addictions. No one ever plans to become in addict but the sad truth is that many end up with this effect due to drug use. Drug use occurs for multiple reasons. For some it is because of curiosity to reach a new high, but with other it may have resulted from physical injury which required pain medication, and from there an addiction had been birthed. Now, has it been handled with Narcotics Anonymous?

First, considered how government has handled the drug problem thus far. To combat addiction and street drug, a number of efforts were taken such as the War on Drugs established by Richard Nixon in 1971 (Drug Policy). This legislature passed for tougher actions against drug related criminals such as maximum sentences (Drug Policy). However, this war hasn’t been as fruitful as some would have wished, and that is why it is important to focus on treatment rather than punishment. That is why options such as Narcotics Anonymous are needed.

The question that needs to be asked is, what are narcotics? Youth On Drugs identify narcotics as drugs derived from seedpods of the opium plants. These drugs can have 2 effects: pain reduction and creating a state of well being (Youth On Drugs). Narcotics can be created naturally or synthetically. Examples of natural opiate include: opium, morphine, and Codeine; example of synthetic opiates include: methadone, meperedine, and pentazocine (Youth on Drugs).  Symptoms of drug abuse can include the following: isolation from those not using drugs, spending time with people whom do get either drunk or high, not having many and always asking to borrow some cash, arriving late to their job, not having a job due to being let go, not paying attention to hygiene, always seem to be tired, uncommonly private about their possessions, lying when asked about drinking or using other substances, and finally, often trying to sneak away to use (Rehabs).

Narcotics Anonymous is an association or recovering addicts that is community based and can be found internationally (NANJ). Considered to be one the largest and oldest, originating in 1947, recovery support groups and hold an average of 20,000 meetings per week around the world (NANJ). Inspired from Alcohol Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous (NA) began near Los Angeles, California and spread across the United States over a period of 20 years (NANJ).  The original pamphlet described the group as a fellowship of men and women who are recovering from drug addiction (NANJ).  The group is open to all drug users and no member restrictions exist. This means there is no discrimination of a member based on religion, gender, race, ethnicity nor any other characteristics. As so, it provides individuals in society that may have been rejected by other institutions a chance to belong.

The recovery program focuses on members participating in activities which have been known as the 12 Steps (NAJA).These steps include: admitting a problem, seeking help, self appraisal, confidential disclosure, amending harm done and working with other addicts seeking recovery (NAJA). A part of the 12 steps in called a “spiritual awakening” though NA is considered nonreligious, but that has been debatable (NAJA). In the meetings, the participants tell personal experiences and share ways of adjusting or coping with the recovery process (NAJA). In these meeting however, there is no therapist or professional besides the sponsor; allowing other member to the ones assisting each other in transition. This gives member the feeling of actually engaging in the group rather than have someone “preach” over them.

The sponsor main responsibility is to assistance to newer members of the group (NAJA). Depending on the person, sponsor can vary in methods; depending on the personality of the individual. Some provide a compassionate and loving style while others use sheer brutal honesty (Narcotic Anonymous World Services, 2004). Sponsors are obtained by simply asking; however some newer members lack trust in others and the idea of a sponsor is scary (Narcotics Anonymous World Services, 2004). Places to find sponsors can include: NA meetings, NA service meeting, and NA convention (Narcotics Anonymous World Services, 2004). Factors in considering a sponsor can include: mutual understanding of struggles and achievement, gender of the sponsor, and beliefs systems (Narcotics Anonymous World Services, 2004).

The mission of Narcotics Anonymous contains no hidden agenda, but to help in the recovery of members as stated above. Its entire focus is addiction recovery and avoids being involved in other topics outside its “circle” (NANJ).The issues avoided include: religious, civil, medical, social, drug legalization, criminality, law enforcement, prostitution, and HIV/AIDS infections (NANJ). These issues would only distract the member from its main concern, which is the group’s well being. This well being will allow the individual to become a “productive member of society” (Kurtz and Fisher, 2003).

As stated earlier, the meetings themselves are conducted by the members of the group. There is an identifiable structure needed for these meetings though otherwise they would get out of control very easily. Two of the structures are open and closed. An open meeting is a group where both addicts and non addicts; in other words, anyone is able to attend the meeting (NA Maine). The attendees can include judges, families and friends. A closed meeting is only intended for addicts themselves (NA Maine). There are 3 different categories of meetings which are: discussion, step-study and testimonial. Discussion are considered informal can consist of question and answer session among the members (Peyrot, 1985). The discussion allows much participation from the members. The step-study meetings are also known as literature meetings, where the members of the groups discuss one of the 12 steps and what meaning and personal impact it holds (Peyrot, 1985). Testimonial meeting have a quest speaker give a testimony based on overcoming a addiction through the use of NA, and other members are able to provide their own testimonials (Peyrot, 1985).

Statistically, narcotics present some numbers that are, simply put, terrifying.  In 2009, it was recorded that 1.6 million people over the age of 12 were addicted to cocaine (Rehab).  It was also found 23.5 million people were seeking help though AA or NA, which accounts for 9 percent of the population of people over the age of 12 (Rehab).  When accessing rehab statistics, it was shown of the people participating in rehabilitation: 17% sought help with marijuana, 40% sought help with alcohol abuse, and 20% sought help for heroin addiction (Rehab).  In regards to ER visits, 98% were the result of prescription drugs; which number more than 4 million visits (Rehab).

Of those whom are in NA, over half of that percentage is men ranging up to 57% compared to the 43% of women (NA).  The highest percentage of participants ranged between the ages of 51 and 60 years old. These make up 31 percent of NA members. Concerning the other ages, the following percentages include: 20 year olds made up 1%, 21-30 ages made up 12%, 31-40 year old made up 18%, 41-50 year olds made up 28%, and 61 years and older made up 10% (NA). Of different ethnicities, white Caucasians make up the highest percentage (76%) of members followed by African Americans (13%), which is followed by Hispanics (5%) and any others make up the final 6% (NA).  These statistics sadly show that they are no immunity to addiction and that anybody, no matter the ethnicity or gender, is accepted in to NA.

Now that the demographic statics have been shown, what about others; as in completion rate and the dropout/relapse rate. Memberships within Narcotics Anonymous reach up to 2 million people in our own nation. Of the 2 million attending, it is estimated that 95 percent of those people will drop out ( ST. Jude, 2013). These people drop out for reasons such as: program isn’t working, personal commitments, ect. Another primary reason for leaving the group is because the member simply doesn’t want to stop their drug of choice (Krentzman and  Arbor, 2010). Another popular reason is that the addict wants to recover on their own (Krentzam and Arbor, 2010).

St Jude Retreats (2013) comments saying that it isn’t expected that an addict to remain sober as they are “powerless against their drug use” unless the person is resorting to some higher power. The statistics show that a low percentage, if any, of members remaining completely clean after completing the 12 step program.  An average 11.07 years is how long an expected addict will remain clean (NA). Those remaining clean for 5 years made up the highest percentage of 33% (NA). The reasons for the apparent relapses that cause member to drop out are primarily of two: difficulty staying focused and motivated, and not seeking help and comfort from others.
As with any organization cost and funds to meet that cost play a crucial role in that organization endurance. Most people believe that NA happens to be a government organized and funded initiative which is false. Besides, why does a meeting cost? There are other costs besides the meeting that are present such as help lines, meeting lists and literature (NA History). Activities that have occurred which produced financial results included group dinners, picnics and other social events (NA History). As a result, such social events began to be a focal point for fundraising. Much time and energy of the group was spent on organizing events such as dances, campout and even conventions (NA History). This however lead to certain members relying on the events themselves as the sole contributor to the group’s cost rather than the donations from the group’s members. It is essential that members focus on helping each other when support or encouragement is needed. At the beginning of the entire recovery process it is learned as a member “we keep what we have by giving it away” and the concept is carried on financially. If the group wishes work as a traditional group it needs to focus on supporting one another with experiences, revelations and finances (NA History).

How does NA compare to other programs? Since there are similarities Alcohol Anonymous seems to be an appropriate program to compare against.  For example each have similar slogans; NA: Just for Today and AA: One Day at a Time (Neptune, 2013).  Each group is trying to reach a goal. For AA it is become sober, while NA it is to be clean (Neptune, 2013).  And obviously, each consisted of relying on a “higher power” to strengthen them over their addiction.

However, the similarities aren’t all positive as AA suffers with the same problem as members face with NA. In a study of 286 students, less than half considered the AA program to be helpful (Kurtz and Fisher, 2003). 27 percent of AA members leave the program due to a lack of motivation; only a difference of 6 percent compared to NA (Kurtz and Fisher, 2003). Disregarding the study that occurred, the success rate of AA is ranged between 5 and 10 percent (NPR Staff).  Of AA member interviewed 33% claimed to be sober over 10 years, 24% claimed to be sober for 1 to 5 years, and 31% claimed to be sober under a year (Flanagin, 2014). Over 80 percent of new comers tend to leave the group within the first month and after 90 days, only 10 percent of the newcomer are expected to remain in the group (Flanagin, 2014).

Considering the aspect of the 12 step’s ideology of relying on a higher power, can/are 12 step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcohol Anonymous court mandated. The answer is no. The first amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .” thus regards courts ordering an offender to NA as a violation of the first amendment (Markham, 2009).  There have been 3 notable federal court ruling that have done such as that.  In Kerry v. Ferry, the court ruled for an inmate to be present in NA meeting or otherwise would face the chance of violating eligibility for parole (Markham, 2009).  In Warner v. Orange County Department of Probation, the offender was required to be present at NA meeting as a condition of probation (Markham, 2009). In Inouye v. Kemna, the offender’s parole officer had forced him to attend 12 step meetings as a requirement on his parole (Markham, 2009).

Though all three of these circumstances included judges and other criminal justice professionals made decision that appeared to be best for the offenders, they were still in violation of the offenders’ rights. Here the problem isn’t that intentions were right, rather that the individual at hand had been coerced into a setting that may or may not have violated personal beliefs. It can be argued that the “higher power” mentioned in the 12 steps can be any higher source of strength to a particular person, such as one’s family. However that is debunked quickly as the 12 step program’s big book mentions that the goal of the program “to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God” (Flanagin, 2014).

In conclusion, the impact of Narcotics Anonymous can be debated and argued endlessly. There are cost issues, effectiveness issues, and First Amendment issues. That said, though these issues may be prevalent, it have provided a positive outcome for a small percentage of members. Are the results of these members to be ignored because other member didn’t make the cut? Narcotics Anonymous continues to impact the lives of recovering addicts and should remain to do so. Of those small percent that succeeded, imagine if there would’ve had such a environment for them. Would they have ever gotten clean? Instead of focusing on the negatives of NA, perhaps we should thank if for the lives that it did improve.


Works cited

Narcotics Anonymous World Service, Inc. (2004) Sponsorship, Revised. Web. Retrieved from:

Youth On Drugs. (n.d.) Narcotics. YouthOnDrugs. Web. Retreieved from:

(n.d.) A Brief History of the War on Drugs. Drug Policy. Web. Retrieved from:

(n.d.) Facts About Narcotics Anonymous. NANJ. Web. Retrieved from:

Kurtz, Linda Farris and Fisher, Michael. (2003). Participation In Community Life By AA and NA Members. EBSCO Host. Web. Retrieved from

(n.d.) Frequently Asked Questions. NAMaine. Web. Retrieved from

Peyrot, Mark. (1985). Narcotics Anonymous: Its History, Structure, and Approach. MagShare. Web. Retrieved from:,structure%20and%20approach.pdf

NA History. (n.d.) The Generation of Funds (Fundraising) and The Seventh Tradition in Narcotics Anonymous. NA History. Web. Retrieved from

Rehabs. (n.d.) 12 Step Success Rates. Rehabs. Web. Retrieved from

(n.d.) Success of Narcotics Anonymous. St. Jude Retreats. Web. Retrieved from

NPR Staff. (2014). With Sobering Science, Doctor Debunks 12-Step Recovery. NPR. Web. Retrieved from

Neptune, Jamie. (2013). AA vs. NA: What’s The Difference? The Fix. Web. Retrieved from

Markham, Jamie. (2009). Does Mandatory AA/NA Violate the First Amendment? North Carolina Criminal Law. Web. Retrieved from

Flanagin, Jake. (2014). The Surprising Failures of 12 Steps. The Atlantic. Web. Retrieved from

Krentzman, Amy R. and Arbor, Ann.  (2010). How Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Work: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives. NCBI. Web. Retrieved from


All Fletched Up- Film Analysis

Damian Anderson

Professor Barry R. Langford, J.D.

CJAD 301

7 October 2009

All Fletched Up

Through the use of film, artists are able to either entertain or educate. It is a fact that films are considered more of entertainment value than educational; however both can consist.. This doesn’t have to be intentional. For example, taking a look at the film Fetch starring comedy legend Chevy Chase, criminal justice majors are able to identify with where law violations occur whereas casual viewer student may or may not notice.

Hailed as a comedy classic by fans and critics alike, Fletch follows Chevy Chase’s character by the same name as he unravels though a plot of deception and corruption. As a journalist Fletch, goes to many extremes and multiple hilarious scenarios to uncover the truth. Through all the hi-jinks, law students are able to find several law violations within the film. There are six main events to be discussed.

The first event occurs very early in the film as Fletch, while working undercover for a journalism article, is approached by Allen Stanwyck with a proposition. Allen offers 50 thousand dollars to be murdered due his supposed bone cancer. The scenario is completely laid out: where to find the gun, where Allen will be present, the location of the open safe, the getaway card and plan tickets to Rio del Janiero.  Fletch initially agree, but investigates the circumstances as the film goes on.

In agreeing to commit the act several issues arise. Since the plan is planned out and premeditated and completely thought out, if the act is committed then Fletch would be charged with first degree murder. But since this is only agreeing to do so, it would be conspiracy to commit murder because there is a contractual agreement to commit the murder.  Stanwyck could also be charged with solicitation according to the Model Penal Code 5.02 where it defines that a suspect guilty of criminal solicitation “request or commands another person to engage in conduct that would constitute as a crime.”

Not long after following that scene, Fletch plans a doctor visit with Stanwyck’s doctor to get further information concerning Stanwyck’s supposed cancer. After receiving no answer from the doctor, he goes undercover as a doctor to reach the records room. In doing so, along with setting up a hilarious scenario where Fletch assisted with autopsy, impersonates a doctor and reads confidential patient files.

This is considered a violation of privacy, since there files were only for the patient and the doctor(s) to see. Model penal code defines that a violation of privacy can occur through a breach of privates message, and though medical files are typical “messages” it is a way for doctors to communicate to each other as well as revealing result to a patient; thus, becoming a form of communication between people.

One of the more notable scenes in the film involves the police. Actually, there are several scenes worth mentioning. The first takes part on the beach where Fletch is working undercover for a drug trafficking case, when police arrive chasing down a specific young man. When arriving to the scene Fletch witnesses the police violently attacking the young man, whom is unarmed and never posed a threat of any sort. When Fletch approaches the scene, he too is attack by the police before the leave with the young man in custody.

There is a times where police officers need the use of force to prevent a suspect from harming themselves or other. The Model Penal Code section 3.07 sites that the use of force can be used in the following situations: to prevent escape from custody, prevent suicide of commission of a crime, and by a private person assisting an unlawful arrest.

In the second scene, Fletch arrives home and is surprised by two detectives waiting for him. After a quick pat down they plant heroin on Fletch and take him into the station. Once again the police are being rough where there is no need. At the station Fletch is brought in to see Chief Karlin whom is corrupt as well. He threatens to shoot Fletch in the face and claim self defense or Fletch can cancel his story involving the police brutality at the beach earlier. Fletch under duress and fear of his life agrees to do so.  This case also follows the violation of the use of force continuum.

When returning home, again, Fletch discovers police officers waiting on him. In response, he begins a car chase where he eventually “borrows” another car that provides better speed. A young boy is in the vehicle prior and during the chase reveals that the car had already been stolen. As he drives he intentionally runs police cars off the road in an attempt to get way but endangering lives in the process.

Section 242.2 of the Model Penal Code covers the issue of resisting arrest. It defines that resisting arrest as a misdemeanor if the suspect creates a serious risk of bodily injury to the public official or others. That is exactly what occurred in this scene, Fletch risk the safety of the officers, the kid in the vehicle with him and other drivers in order to effectively escape arrest. Fletch, however, could argue that the police had been harassing him unjustly and feared for his own safety.

When checking the flights prepared by Stanwyck, Fletch discovers a lady named Sally sitting next to him and her ticket was purchased by Stanwyck as well. With interests sparked, Fletch travels to Utah to find Sally’s home unlock and enters the home to look around for any evidence of who she is. This is interrupted by a friend of the landlord.

Fletch could be charged with Trespassing and burglary in this scenario. Burglary could be charged, because he did enter the premises unlawfully regardless of the door being unlocked or not however it would be difficult to prove if he indeed planned to commit a crime once inside.  Regarding trespassing, Fletch could agree that the premises appeared to have been abandoned according to Model Penal Code 221.2.

As the film begins to close it is revealed that Stanwyck travels to Utah once a month to visit his parents and Sally, who is revealed to be his wife. The issue here is that Stanwyck is married to a lady named Gail in Los Angeles.  Thus, Stanyck is guilty of bigamy.  Schmalleger and Hall, defines that bigamy is a person being married to one person “while legally married to another person.”  It is considered a misdemeanor under the Model Penal Code and several states (Schmalleger, and Hall, 2014).

In conclusion, Fletch provides a series of law applications that could go unnoticed by viewers. Because of an understanding of how law works and the Model Penal Code, students are able to identify the cause and effects of law violation depicted in film. Fletch still contains its laughs and suspense but now, for some, it will be a mean educational application of law.

Works Cited

Hall, Daniel E., and Schmalleger, Franks. Criminal Law Today.  Boston, Ma. Pearson Education, 2014.  Print

Fletch. Dir. Michael Ritchie. Perf. Chevy Chase, Joe Don Baker, Dana Wheeler-Nicolson, and Geena Davis. Universal Pictures. 1985. Film.


Finger Prints in Criminal Justice

Finger Prints

Damian Anderson

Columbia College

The use of finger prints have revealed to be trustworthy method of identifying suspects involved with a particular crime.  It is often referred to in the fields of film, television and literature, and because of that, there are a number of misconceptions concerning its methods and use. Similar to DNA evidence, finger prints have gained a CSI effect, where citizens get the idea that finger prints can be easily extracted from any surface, but on the contrary is actually can be a difficult process. There is a need to understand why and how fingerprinting works. Let’s begin with some history.

Fingerprinting isn’t a new by any means whatsoever. Though it has been popularized in the United States, finger prints have been used by different culture for different reasons besides criminal investigation. For example, finger prints were used for business transaction in ancient Babylon (US Marshals). Clay tablets of thumbs prints have even been discovered as far out as China (US Marshals). Finger prints were used on government documents in 14th century Persia.

However, the first official use of finger printing was by Sir William Hershcel in 1858 for the use of contracts (Lyman, 2014). And it wasn’t until 1891 that fingerprints were used to identify criminals (Lyman, 2014). This new system devised by Juan Vuchetich, which he bases on the Bertillion system (US Marshals). The Bertillon system, named after Alphonse Bertillon, involved a formula that applied the identification of specific people based on bony part of the body (Lyman, 2014).  This system was proved to be practical when Juan Vuchetich identified a mother who murdered her two sons (US Marshals).  As the years continued, finger printing became a cornerstone in criminal justice.  Many prisons began using fingerprints on criminals; the first systematic system was used in 1903 in the New York State Prisons (US. Marshals).

As mentioned early, finger prints aren’t a simple concept but a complex entity. There are different kinds of prints and patterns. Latent prints for example, also known as patent prints, are transferred when an object it touched (Lyman, 2014). This transfer occurs due to the natural grease and oil in our skin (Lyman, 2014). These prints are usually found on smooth surfaces and can be visible to the naked eye (Lyman, 2014). Prints that are the result of pressing against plastic and leaves and impression are called plastic prints (Lyman, 2010). A third type of print is called a dust prints (visible print). This is a when a finger leaves a print among a “dirt surface.” A dirt surface can include” flour, dust, blood, or oil (Lyman, 2014).

Though each finger print is individualized to each person, there are only a number of patterns applied to each print. There are 3 generalized groups of patterns which include the arch, the loop, and the whorl (Lyman, 2014). The divided patterns include: arch loop, whorl, plain arch, accidental, loop, double loop, central pocket loop, and tented arch (US Marshals).

There are a number of different methods used to uncover the prints found. Black powder is a magnetic powder in which particles attach to the print to make it visible (Lyman, 2014).  Iodine fumes are released on a surface in which discolors the print and allows it to be noticed (Lyman, 2014). Lasers have also been used and are favorable because it is easy, clean and requires no pretreatment of the surface area (Lyman, 2014).

Preserving prints can also be a complicated task. Since they are evidence prints need to be sent to a lab for further investigation, but there are times where the print is on a surface that is too large/difficult to transport. These prints are transferred through a thin adhesive tape that transfers the print to a card (Lyman, 2014). Of course the investigator must make sure there are no air pockets in the adhesive that may defect the print (Lyman, 2010).

A final important detail concerning finger prints is the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS. This is a constantly running system that helps all law enforcement from state level to federal level, to both solve and prevent crime (FBI). It is not only limited to identifying criminal through print, it includes “mug shots; scars and tattoo photos; physical characteristics like height, weight, and hair and eye color; and aliases” (FBI).  This biometric database is the largest in the world containing information on more than 40 million subjects (Lyman, 2014).

Fingerprinting may be a common phrase but is definitely not a simple subject. There are a number of variable when collects, analyzing and preserving prints left at a scene. As time goes on, technology used by crime enforcement will only become greater and more effective and yet this “simple” concept will continue to aid us. The finger print will continue to be an everlasting use for identifying suspects and preserving safety for communities.

Works Cited:

Lyman, Michael D. (2014). Criminal Investigation: The art and Science. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Publishing. Print.

FBI. (n.d.) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Web. Retrieved from

US Marshals (n.d.) U.S. Marshal Service for Students. US Marshals. Web. Retrieved from

Drug Abuse

Damian Anderson

Professor James Earhart

Socio 216

31 January 2016

Drug Abuse

            Drugs are a cancer on the population due to the destructive natures to both individuals and social institutions. As a result, communities have broken family, dangerous work environments, high crime rates and ect. The sad truth is there appears to be no end in sight in regards to the abuse and use of drugs. Let’s take a short look at the effects of drugs in just four intuitions.

First let’s take a look in regards to the institution of the law. The law is in place to create balance and safety and certain drugs are considered illegal. However, these drugs are still used frequently. Examples of illegal drugs include: marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, hallucinogens  and heroin. These of course are the 4 most popular of these drugs. Marijuana has been the center of controversy as some states have legalized it while others remain to see it as a gateway drug, which lead users to try other drugs (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 76).  Drug use and crime have a high correlation together but it has yet to be proven formally whether drug use causes crime to occur (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 84). Regarding the drug crime correlation, the following are all crimes in regards to drugs: possession, cultivation, production and sale of control substances, public intoxication, and driving while intoxicated (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 84). Just in 2011 a high number of offenders on either parole or probation were taking illicit drugs (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 82).

The second institution to take a look at is the family. The family is a center point of our society. The United States have some disturbing statistics regarding the family’s suffering regarding a member’s substance use. For example, one study showed that “1 in 10 children under the age of 18 lives with a parent in need of treatment” for either drug use or alcohol use (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 83). Other studies have shown that children in such homes are surrounded by home violence, have “higher probability of physical illness” due to car accidents, and more likely to be a victim of child abuse. (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 83). It have even concluded that the children may face mental health issues as a result to the environment, though more likely among females.

A third institution to observe regarding drug use is the workplace. Much like the statistics regarding the family, statistics involving drug use in the workplace can be quite alarming.  Consider these statistics: 2/3 illict drug users are employed, 8% of employees drink alcohol on a daily basis,  and a loss of 100 billion dollars is expected to be the result of substance abuse (University of Pennsylvania, The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace). It is believed that the 100 billion dollars are lost are resulted, more specifically, from the following: decreased productivity/efficiency, accident and safety hazards, medical claims, turnovers, and employee theft (University of Pennsylvania, The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace).

The final institution is the health system. It is common knowledge that smoking is a hazardous hobby however that doesn’t stop 12 million current users. It is estimated that half (6 million) of those will die as a result of that habit (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 86). On the other end, alcohol has claimed responsibility for the death of over 2 million people, which accounts for about 4 percent of the world’s population (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 86). Drinking alcohol excessively can result in: cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, hypertension, and psychological disorders (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 86). The saddest truth is the result of pregnant others whom engage in drinking while carrying their child. Two notable results are fetal alcohol syndrome, which is “characterized by serious mental and physical handicaps including facial deformities, growth problems, difficulty communicating, short attention spans, and hearing and vision problems” and neonatal abstinence syndrome, which is a child goes through withdrawal as consequences for the mother alcohol/drug use (Mooney, Knox, Schacht, 86).

As stated earlier, drugs are a cancer on society. Whether they are legal or not, they have been known to create a number of issues, some of which have been listed above. Though there are programs that work to reduce such statistics such as the War on Drugs, Mother Against Drunk Driving, and 12 step programs, there needs to be new ideas for the newer generation of users. Until we address this problem head on, we will continue to be haunted and plagued by this cancer. That is the sad truth.

Mooney, Linda A, Knox, David, and Schacht, Caroline. Understanding Social Problems. Stamford: Cengage Learning. 2015. Print.

University of Pennsylvania. Web. 31 January 2016