What Interfaith Law Enforcement Chaplains Have In Common With Law Enforcement Officers

Learning to understand the Law Enforcement culture and the unique pressures that officers experience day-to-day is an important part of being an Interfaith Law Enforcement Chaplain. At first it may seem that the culture of Law Enforcement and that of Faith Communities have very little in common. However, members of the clergy may have more in common with Law Enforcement Officers than what is immediately obvious. These similarities provide the foundation upon which to build a relationship of understanding and trust.

“On” All The Time

Members of the clergy understand something of what it means to be on duty all the time. They could be out shopping in the produce section of a supermarket and find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a conversation with someone from their community about an important life issue. Members of the clergy can’t disengage with “I’m not on duty right now,” for doing so would likely go against their nature and possibly cause irreparable damage to their relationships in the community. Law enforcement officers have a similar “on” all the time experience of life and can’t easily step out of the problem solving role that members of the public may project on them. Family, friends and neighbors may also have difficulties in seeing an officer outside of his or her role. Being “on” all the time is a source of stress because it does not allow for the individual, outside of a professional role, to be experienced. When a chaplain understands this, it can help the chaplain be present for an officer without contributing to the demands already being placed on the officer. Being “On” all the time as a Law Enforcement Officer has an additional stress, that of sustained alertness for potential danger. Not being aware of this can cause a Chaplain to misinterpret the normal hyper alert behavior of an officer as being distant or unapproachable.

Tips

  • Don’t assume too casual or overly friendly demeanor when communicating with Law Enforcement Officers. Let officers set the tone and thereby let you know what is appropriate for your interactions.
  • Do be courteous, kind and professional.

Set Apart

Some clergy wear vestments that set them apart from the public and even those who do not wear any particular identifying clothing or symbol of their office can experience being set apart from society. This can be in the form of expectations that the public have of clergy: to have faultless personal lives and spotless behavior all the time, and to never deviate from an inhumane standard of perfection. Similarly, Law Enforcement Officers are seemingly under sustained scrutiny. Their badges, uniforms and weapons, make them stand out from a crowd that expects perfect politeness and faultless behavior. Sometimes the individual behind the uniform is lost in all the expectation. The pressure to show up perfectly can have the effect of dehumanizing a person and cause an ever-deepening rift between their on duty personality and who they really are. When a chaplain understands this about an officer, it can help the chaplain to be present for the person behind the uniform with patience, letting the officer lead with instructions, conversation and requests-and above all to have a strong capacity to listen to the officer with as little judgment as possible.

Tips

  • Avoid expressing personal opinions about matters of social conduct.
  • Do listen, frequently and carefully

Professional, Not Personal

Regardless of an officer’s opinion about local laws, private faith, political parties, or personal preferences regarding social trends, he or she has to apply the law with sustained professionalism toward everyone. Officers interact with people from every walk of life and way of thinking and believing and have to be able to function with fairness and equanimity in this diverse environment. An Interfaith Law Enforcement Chaplain will no doubt have strong personal faith conviction and a deep spiritual practice. Regardless of the chaplain’s private faith, he or she will be serving officers and members of the public from every-and no-faith tradition; at no time is it appropriate to proselytize. An Interfaith Law Enforcement Chaplain has to apply compassion and service with sustained professionalism toward everyone.

Tips

  • Don’t bring anything to the conversation that was not requested. Testimonies of faith, no matter what the tradition, must not be brought into the conversation with officers unless specifically requested.
  • Do be respectful of what officers want to talk about and follow their lead. Include in this the ability to respect an officer’s wish to talk about anything.

Federal Law Enforcement Programs

With almost 1% of the adult population of the United States currently incarcerated (1,404,503), it is clear that there is a never-ending demand for qualified people to work in law enforcement. From front line police officers to end of the line prison workers, having well-trained enforcers of the law is critical to keeping law and order. Providing education for these agents falls to federal law enforcement programs.

Types of Available Positions:

Policing: officers, sheriffs and deputies at the state and local level as well as Military Police.

Federal Agents: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and IRS are just a few of the 88 Federal Agencies who offer employment for officers.

Prisons: wardens and correctional officers.

Probation Officers: employed by state and local governments.

National Security: Border Agents, Coast Guard, Air Marshals, Postal Inspectors, State Department, and Homeland Security.

Although the amount of education required for each position may vary, all applicants would be well-supported by courses obtained from one of the federal enforcement programs available.

FLETA is a great resource if you are thinking about getting an education which will lead to a job in Federal enforcement. FLETA (Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation) offers a comprehensive and transparent accreditation for institutions which offer federal law enforcement programs. With so many federal law programs to select from, using this website should help you narrow your choices.

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC): 12 separate programs from Criminal Investigator Training Program to Uniformed Police Training Program.

Customs and Border Protection: three programs including the Basic Entry Specialist Training Program and the U.S. Border Patrol Spanish Task-Based Language Teaching Program.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) National Criminal Investigation Training Academy: Special Agent Basic Training Program and one other.

The Air Force Special Investigations Academy: offers a basic course.

U.S. Military Police School: civilian police academy.

The Department of Energy: Basic Security Police Officer Training.

TSA (Transportation Safety Agency): 3 air marshal courses including the Federal Air Marshal Training Program Part 1 and II.

U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Academy: two programs including the Basic Boarding Officer Course.

U.S. Federal Reserve System: Basic Law Enforcing Courses.

U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Training Center: two courses including Basic Special Agent Course.

U.S. Postal Inspection Service: Basic Inspector Training, Postal Police Officer Basic Training and a Facilitator Program.

U.S. Secret Service, James J. Rowley Training Center: Special Agent Training Course and two others.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS): Special Agent Basic Training Program and an instructor course.

Civilian Jobs in Law Enforcement – Do They Exist?

Does community work run in your blood and you want to help your community in a civilian capacity? It is a common misconception that when you want to do some work in the community especially in law enforcement, you need to be a uniformed personnel. Well this is not true.

Now is the time to break that false conception; there are civilian jobs in law enforcement as well. And for sure you have noticed and you are aware of these civilian jobs in law enforcement. But the only problem is that most of these jobs aren’t seen front and center. It’s because these civilian jobs in law enforcement are often done in the sidelines. These are the jobs that are tasked to do support roles for the front liners- they do mostly police support roles. And though they are at the sidelines, still they are essential to the overall operations of the police force and law enforcement. And thanks to these civilian jobs in law enforcement, the enforcement of law for every state always becomes effective and efficient.

Majority of these police and law imposition support jobs are focused on assisting the police officers and the visitors during office hours. These support jobs also include manning the emergency phone numbers of the police, preparing the necessary papers that can be used in prosecuting criminals, helping in the development of the infrastructure and the IT systems of the military and police and acting as neighborhood watches. These are just some of the roles that can be played as support by the civilian jobs in law enforcement. Remember that the jobs are numerous, if you just know where to look. Want to know more about the civilian jobs in law enforcement? Here are some of the major categories for these jobs;

· Support in investigations

· Intelligence research

· Statement takers

· Drivers

· Investigative assistant jobs and many more

Of these major categories, perhaps the most common are for statement takers and for investigative jobs. These are civilian jobs in law enforcement that you can also get if you are interested to dip your fingers into enforcement of the law. When you say investigative jobs, these jobs will refer to activities that may require you to work with different law administration agencies. These jobs are tasked to provide a number of clerical assistance jobs like doing clerical and routine jobs like filing reports, doing some administrative works and gathering much needed evidence needed in the prosecution and investigation. If you are into police work when you were a kid, then you can practice that skill on a job like this. Another common police enforcement support job is that for permanent or even temporary taker of statements. Your interview skills will be practiced here, and you will be required to work with officers and investigators. Who said that you cannot work in the military or in the enforcement of law as a civilian? Yes you can; take a look at these common jobs and decide for yourself!

Debts to Society and Crime Victims

In the twentieth century, the U.S. Supreme Court greatly developed criminal constitutional rights favoring the accused. A backlash ensued, and the campaign for victims’ rights followed. Advocates for crime victims supported increased incarceration by encouraging three-strikes habitual offender and mandatory sentence legislation. This was a good attempt to refocus upon people other than the offenders. Some believe victims’ rights went too far by putting too many people in prison. In actuality, victims’ rights did not go far enough. Prison labor to pay restitution is rarely allowed, required or encouraged by the laws, special interest groups and systems in place. The way to serve a determinate sentence (i.e. one for a set term of years) in prison is to wait. While prisoners kill time, prisons deprive most prisoners of a major part of life, namely work, while prisons also deprive victims and the state of the benefit of the prisoner’s labor. Convicts often walk out of prison with heavy debts for child support, court costs, legal representation and restitution, most of which they cannot discharge in bankruptcy. After release, restitution collection prospects turn dim. Most convicts never fully pay their debts to society, their victims or their own families.

The shallow statement we hear that ex-convicts have “paid their debt to society” is completely false and very misleading. All they’ve done is wait, age, sleep, eat, shower, obey, suffer, receive benefits and cost money. The words “paid their debt to society” are lip service to our failed correctional regimes. Prisoners have not worked for, honored or paid law-abiding folks. The “payment” they supposedly make does not help anyone, and in fact, it harms society. While in prison, prisoners are on expensive and comprehensive welfare that pays for everything they consume or need. Prisoners unfortunately believe they have “paid up” when their sentence is concluded. Prisoners deserve their punishment, but law-abiding citizens do not deserve the expense, collateral social costs, recidivism and weak deterrence value of prison. It’s time for law-abiding people to be paid in cash, not empty phrases. Part of a new movement should be the right of victims to receive the benefit of their guilty perpetrators’ labor.

To produce economically and generate a cash flow for their victims, prisoners must be allowed to work in private prison industries, operating freely in prison. Prisons made money in the 1800’s and sent their profits to the state legislatures. Over 100 years ago, free labor and businesses were afraid prisoners would put them out of work and business, so prison industries were suppressed with various laws. Under current laws, most prisoners can only make things for the state and there are not enough prison jobs to go around.

Today, most consumer goods are made overseas. Manufactured goods can now be made in the U.S.A. without harming, and actually helping, free American labor and businesses. If American laws were changed to permit vibrant prison industries, prisoners could earn money to compensate their victims and society. Then prisoners can truly pay their debts to society and to the victims of their crimes. Under equitable laws, crime victims should receive the benefit of their guilty perpetrators’ labor.

Important Facts About the Criminal Law

Criminal law can be generally defined as the branch of law that majorly classifies crimes, treats of their nature, and provides best effective ways or approaches that can be followed for their punishment. In recent times, it has emerged as one of the few fields that are attracting many young aspirants to make their career. In fact, in the last few years the ratio of students practicing criminal law has increased rapidly. These days, many young lawyers are engaged in criminal law practice work for a governmental agency on either the federal or local level or in the non-indigent defense work for solo or small private practices. Today it is counted among one of the major vital parts of the legal system in the United States and offer rewards that are very exciting and better than any other profession. However, the field of criminal law even features some of the most important facts that are worth to be known.

Today if we talk about the criminal law then it is very important to understand the exact meaning or the classification of crimes. In simple terms, crimes can be classified as felony or misdemeanor, but there is a slight difference between felony and misdemeanor. The basic distinction between felonies and misdemeanors rests on the penalty and the power of imprisonment. Basically, a misdemeanor is defined as an offense for which a punishment other than detention or death in the state prison is followed by the law. Besides this, there are many people who often get confused with the term “degree of crime”. Now, the term degree of crime primarily relates to distinctions in the guiltiness of a crime because of the circumstances surrounding its commission.

In the United States, the power to define crimes and set penalty generally depends on the legislatures of the United States, the states, and the territories along with the principal authority associated to that of the individual states. In addition, a common-law crime is one punishable universal regulation, as distinguished from crimes specified by statute. However, these days in many U.S. jurisdictions, including those in which inclusive criminal law has been enacted the common law in relative to the criminal process.

The procedure in criminal cases is significantly similar all through the United States. If the offense is severe, the case is initially passed to a grand jury, which draws up condemnation if there is enough proof to validate the trial, or else it discharges the charged convict. However, it is really surprising to find that in the United States, the offenders proved as guilty in the criminal offense may be liable to get life long imprisonment, which can go up to 100 years. Moreover, the electric chair punishments and other severe criminal punishments have been amended in US, many years back.

If we talk about the criminal laws in gulf countries then the picture is totally different. The laws are very strict with regard to the execution of punishments. In gulf countries, the criminal laws are majorly governed by the Islamic code of conduct or ‘Shariat’ and there is no subject of any kind of amendments. In the United Kingdom, criminal acts are majorly considered as crime against the entire community. And, moreover, the state in addition to different international organizations plays a major role for crime prevention and deal with convicted offenders. The criminal laws vary across the world, but the basic of most of these laws is based on one prime rule to punish the culprit.

Nevertheless, today if we talk in terms of career options in the field of criminal law then there are numerous opportunities. Many students are working on a volunteer basis and gaining experience with externships. The field is very broad one with various options available in almost every sector of industry, both private and public.

Child Curfew Laws

Curfew laws restrict the right of youngsters (usually under 18) to be outdoors, in the streets or public places during certain hours of the day. Children are required to be at home or an authorized place between a set hour in the evening until a designated time the following morning. Most often youth curfew laws allow for minors to be in public places for an extended time on Friday and Saturday nights. There are certain communities that relax curfew laws in the summer months when schools are closed for break. Others take a different approach and impose more severe time restrictions when children are on vacation or break.

The implementation of laws governing child curfews in the United States of America is a matter of what is known as the police power of the individual states. The federal government does not have the constitutional authority to enforce any kind of national curfew, and this includes child curfew, except in the event of a national emergency. Juvenile curfews have been imposed by state, country, city and township authorities.

Local laws dictate that parents are responsible for the administration and transportation costs of returning a minor to his or her home on a second curfew violation. A child who is a frequent offender of the curfew may be declared a ward of the court and be treated as a status offender. Most curfew laws prohibit minors from being out past 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends. There are certain exceptions to the law, however, which allow kids to legally stay out late if they are:

· Running an errand for a parent or guardian

· Participating in a religious, educational or political activity

· Accompanied by a parent, guardian or another adult

· Working or going to or returning from their place of employment

· Returning home from a school, cultural or recreational activity

· Responding to some emergency

What happens when the curfew is broken?

When a child breaks the curfew, he or she could be temporarily detained by the police and then returned home. The State Law also gives the local police officers some flexibility in their enforcement of such curfew laws – if the officer believes the youth has a “legitimate reason based on extenuating circumstances” for the breach. Some of the other penalties for breaking the curfew are:

· Fines (gradually increases for subsequent violations)

· Restrictions of driver’s license privileges

· Possible detention in jail or juvenile hall

· Imposition of community service or compulsory enrollment in after-school programs

Crime against the youth

The primary concern of every parent and the community is obviously keeping children safe and protected. The main objective of implementing juvenile or child curfew is to safeguard the well-being and welfare of children. With the steady rise of crime rates against the youth, the underlying rationale of community members is that children are much safer when they are at home and not outside after a certain time in the evening.

Delinquency by the youth

The second objective is to protect the community as a whole from the miscreant conduct of certain children who are inclined to break the law. Crimes committed by the youth are a major problem in all big cities today. Restricting the presence of unsupervised children from public venues after a curfew each night will reduce the number of children and teens that end up involved in criminal activity and break the law.

Gang violence control

Law enforcement officers maintain that juvenile curfew laws provide them with another weapon in their battle against gang violence. It can be hard to gather substantial evidence to arrest members of a gang, but a violation of curfew law will at least provide officers a chance to interrupt their presence on the streets of a community.

Since child curfew laws vary by locality and government enforcement, it can depend on a number of factors. If you would like to know more about the curfew laws in your community, you could get in touch with your local police department. If your community does not have a curfew, be sure to obtain a list of the laws and a list of the exceptions and exceptional circumstances. Please feel free to express your views on the subject by dropping us a comment below.

Las Vegas and Attorneys

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? What a town. Known as Sin City (I won’t imagine why, maybe gambling, prostitution, nude shows?) This is one town that has to put it’s police force to the task. The police force is one of the most effective agencies in the U.S. The judicial system is ranked as one of the best in the country. Also in this mix is its attorney services.

All the services in the Nevada area are geared for the people. Most of the time, as in other part’s of the country, the issues at hand are accidents, divorce, bankruptcy, criminal cases, corporate blue collar crimes.

Nevada offers much to all visitors and residents.

Gambling, tours, dining, golf, weddings, spas, attractions, nightlife. Before this town became the meca it developed into thanks to Bugsy Segal, a series of natural springs provided water to give the area residents ( Paiute tribes) and travelers refreshing water. The early Spanish exployers named this area Las Vegas meaning ‘the meadows’ or ‘the fertile valleys’. The Mormons (before it was Vegas, Vegas) settled for a spot.

There are many tours available not to miss when in Vegas. Check these out:

* The Grand Canyon
* The Hoover Dam
* The Vegas Strip itself
* The Red Rock & Valley of Fire Tour
* Lake Mead & the Colorado River Tours
* Area 51 Tour ( are you into aliens?)
* Death Valley Adventure Tour and much more.

Las Vegas will be celebrating it’s 105th birthday on May 15, 2010. Much to do. You can now connect with Las Vegas on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Keep in mind this letigous society, as in most towns, attorney’s in Las Vegas specialize their services. Of course you will find lawyers who will do a little of everything.

Services You May or May Not Need:

* Bankruptcy is high on the list no matter what city you live in, not just Las Vegas. Ask how many bankruptcy cases the attorney handles per year, in the last 5 years.There are a few different kinds of bankruptcy. Be sure you will be claiming the correct one.

* Divorce attorney’s are another specialty. You hear about all the weddings in Las Vegas, what about divorces. Be sure again that the attorney has much experience in marital law.

* Taxes. Need I say more. There are attorney’s that specialize in this area. They are Tax Attorney’s. There are a lot folks faced with the IRS and tax issues. Interview a few attorney’s who specialize in the field.

* Employment and Labor Law. Another issue that arises all over the country. Mega law suits from employees against their employers. A recent one is employees against Walmart. It could be a concern about getting paid for over-time or paid as A salaried employee. Check it out with an attorney who really specializes in this field.

*Be sure to check out the attorney and the services you need them for. Don’t be afraid to ask (repeatedly if necessary) anything you feel is important. No question is dumb or stupid. Las Vegas offers many attorney’s easy to access within your search.. Online, yellow pages, or referrals from a person you know.

*When in doubt about finding an attorney, go to the library. There is a book that lists who attorney’s themselves they would use if necessary. There you can also index or research Las Vegas public cases and what attorney was used.. Use all your resources and you will prevail. You need patience and diligence.

Divorce FAQs

Divorce can be defined as a method of terminating a marriage. Legally speaking, divorce gives both individuals the right to remarry, determines the custody and care of children and divides the couple’s property. However, the prerequisites of filing a petition for divorce vary from state to state. Some states demand a residency requirement while others do not.

What are contested and uncontested divorces?

An uncontested divorce is one where the couple decides the terms of divorce and their disagreements are mainly settled outside the court. Uncontested divorces are often less expensive and can be performed without any attorney. Uncontested divorces move faster through the court system. In contested divorces, attorneys handle the case, as it involves major issues, complex legal procedures and heavy financial stakes.

How is property divided in a divorce?

In United States, each state has its own law to determine the division of property. Division of property is done based on two different systems, community property and equitable distribution. Community property is property owned equally by the couple and is divided equally at divorce. States that follow the community property system are California, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, Arizona, Idaho, Wisconsin and Texas. States that follow equitable distribution system consider assets as marital property and each spouse is awarded a percentage of the total value of the assets.

Who will have custody of the children?

In accordance with the best interests of the child, the court shall determine the assignation of parental responsibilities, including parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. This is done giving considerable thought to the physical, emotional and mental requirements of the child.

What is alimony and how much child and spousal support should be paid?

Alimony can be defined as court-ordered support paid by one spouse to another after they are separated. In United States, alimony is often referred to as maintenance or spousal support. In Colorado it is called “maintenance.” However, each state has different laws and this determines the amount and period of alimony. Any alimony order for a wife will come to an end when she remarries. The federal law mandates parents to support their children. Child support laws throughout the United States attempt to ensure the child?s economic support so that its standard of living is preserved.

Criminal Law Information

According to criminal law, crimes are offenses against the social order. In common law jurisdictions, there is a legal fiction that crimes disturb the peace of the sovereign. Government officials, as agents of the sovereign, are responsible for the prosecution of offenders. Hence, the criminal law “plaintiff” is the sovereign, which in practical terms translates into the monarch or the people.

The major objective of criminal law is deterrence and punishment, while that of civil law is individual compensation. Criminal offenses consist of two distinct elements; the physical act (the actus reus, guilty act) and the requisite mental state with which the act is done (the mens rea, guilty mind). For example, in murder the ‘actus reus is the unlawful killing of a person, while the ‘mens rea is malice aforethought (the intention to kill or cause grievous injury). The criminal law also details the defenses that defendants may bring to lessen or negate their liability (criminal responsibility) and specifies the punishment which may be inflicted. Criminal law neither requires a victim, nor a victim’s consent, to prosecute an offender. Furthermore, a criminal prosecution can occur over the objections of the victim and the consent of the victim is not a defense in most crimes.

Criminal law in most jurisdictions both in the common and civil law traditions is divided into two fields:

* Criminal procedure regulates the process for addressing violations of criminal law

* Substantive criminal law details the definition of, and punishments for, various crimes.

Criminal law distinguishes crimes from civil wrongs such as tort or breach of contract. Criminal law has been seen as a system of regulating the behavior of individuals and groups in relation to societal norms at large whereas civil law is aimed primarily at the relationship between private individuals and their rights and obligations under the law. Although many ancient legal systems did not clearly define a distinction between criminal and civil law, in England there was little difference until the codification of criminal law occurred in the late nineteenth century. In most U.S. law schools, the basic course in criminal law is based upon the English common criminal law of 1750 (with some minor American modifications like the clarification of mens rea in the Model Penal Code).

Types of criminal law are: Arrests and Searches, Drug Crimes, Juvenile Law, Drunk Driving / DUI / DWI , Parole, Probation, Pardons, Violent Crimes, White Collar Crimes and Military Law.