Sample Discussion Board Post for Criminal Justice Submitted by Melissia Anderson
Effective writing is so important to criminal justice professionals for many reasons. According to Wallace and Roberson (2009), it is estimated that we use 70% of our time communicating. This may be accomplished either verbally or in writing. A verbal communication is considered less formal, while a written statement is lasting and given more significance. Because written statements are permanent, they are assessed as more significant. A report filed by a law enforcement agent can be used for the prosecution or defense of a defendant in a court of law. Inaccuracies in a written report can result in the failure to convict an individual of a crime. The legal ramifications of unclear or imprecise writing can be substantial. An officer must be able to explain the reasons a report is written and filed. They must be able to defend errors in their reports. Under oath, they will have to testify from the contents of the report. Criminal justice professionals must be able to not only file written reports, but to draft narratives that are comprehensible and logical for others to grasp (Wallace & Roberson, 2009).
Working in Pretrial Services I know that clarity is particularly essential. If our court officers do not precisely note the judge’s terms or conditions of release, a defendant may inadvertently violate their release. It could cost the individual their freedom. Many times, the judiciary may be vague when defining terms of release. In this instance court communications must be sent to distinguish the original intent from the judge. It wastes valuable time and court resources to clear up ambiguous conditions.
Plagiarism involves stealing another person’s ideas or works and using them as your own. Sometimes this can be blatant, like copying sentences word for word without using quotation marks. In other situations, it may be less obvious, such as paraphrasing content from another source but not citing it. This; however, is still plagiarism because that content originated from someone else’s ideas or research, not your own. Plagiarism in this instance can be avoided by simply using an in-text citation at the beginning or the end of the paraphrased content. It is always a good idea to cite a source rather than chance an allegation of plagiarism (Keiser University, n.d.). Stealing from another can destroy the credibility of any criminal justice professional. Because they represent the law and courts, law enforcement agents need to be above reproach.
Word Count: 401
Keiser University. (n.d.). Plagiarism [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://keiseruniversity.org
Wallace, H., & Roberson, C. (2009). Written and interpersonal communication: Methods for law enforcement (4th ed.). Pearson Education.
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