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FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2014

January 28, 2015 Comments off

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2014
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Statistics released today in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report reveal overall declines in both the number of violent crimes and the number of property crimes reported for the first six months of 2014 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2013. The report is based on information from 11,009 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six months of comparable data to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program for the first six months of 2013 and 2014.

Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records

January 26, 2015 Comments off

Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

This publication examines State laws and procedures that provide persons who are named as alleged perpetrators in central registry reports the right to review the records and to request administrative hearings to contest the findings and have inaccurate records removed from the registry. Laws that provide for the expunction of old or unsubstantiated reports also are discussed.

See also:
+ Making and Screening Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect (State Statutes)
+ Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect (State Statutes)
+ Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records (State Statutes)
+ Establishment and Maintenance of Central Registries for Child Abuse Reports (State Statutes)

Also available: State Statutes Search

Resource Package for Paroling Authorities on Sex Offenders

January 26, 2015 Comments off

Resource Package for Paroling Authorities on Sex Offenders
Source: National Parole Resource Center

Effectively managing sex offenders is among the top criminal justice policy concerns nationwide, and preventing sexual victimization is a key goal for professionals at all stages of the criminal justice system, including those who are responsible for parole decisionmaking. The following resource package has been developed to assist paroling authorities to consider their current practices with adult sex offenders and the degree to which these practices align with the Parole Resource Center’s practices targets to support risk reduction. It is one in a series of three resource packets on special populations (i.e., justice involved-women, persons with mental health issues, and sex offenders) designed to provide representatives of paroling entities with preliminary insights to consider their practices within the context of research-supported and other promising practices, and identify areas in which additional attention may help strengthen their future practices with respect to this special offender population. Research shows that adults who commit sex offenses differ from juveniles who engage in sexually abusive behavior in a number of ways and, as such, policies and practices should reflect these developmental and other differences and not simply mirror strategies developed for adults. This resource packet focuses only on the adult sex offender population.

Domestic Violence/Domestic Abuse Definitions and Relationships

January 26, 2015 Comments off

Domestic Violence/Domestic Abuse Definitions and Relationships
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Domestic violence and abuse, an issue that is never far from the headlines, continues to be a pervasive issue in the United States. State legislatures are at the forefront of defining and penalizing domestic violence and abuse.

States vary in their domestic violence provisions. Approximately 38 states place domestic violence definitions and penalties within the criminal code and nearly every state provides a definition within the domestic relations or social services codes. Within this variance are broad definitions that may include stalking, harassment and, in some instances, nonphysical abuse including intimidation and emotional abuse.

Some states also have addressed child witnessing of domestic violence. Approximately 23 states address child witnessing of domestic violence somewhere in statute. While some consider it an aggravating circumstance when sentencing a perpetrator, other states have created a separate offense that may be levied. View the Child Welfare Information Gateway Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence report for a discussion of the crossover between child abuse and neglect and domestic violence.

Within the realm of domestic violence and abuse are various other topics, including protection orders, safe court processes and custody and visitation or parenting time. According to the American Bar Association, the presence of domestic violence is a factor considered when determining custody and visitation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Below is a chart with basic state provisions regarding domestic violence or abuse, the definitions of conduct amounting to domestic violence or abuse, and the relationships where that conduct may be considered domestic violence or abuse.

Survey | Ahead of Super Bowl, Nearly Three-in-Ten Americans Support Lifetime Ban for Football Players Who Commit Domestic Violence

January 26, 2015 Comments off

Survey | Ahead of Super Bowl, Nearly Three-in-Ten Americans Support Lifetime Ban for Football Players Who Commit Domestic Violence
Source: Public Religion Research Institute

Nearly one-in-three Americans (29%) say that a football player who has been found guilty of domestic violence should be permanently banned from playing in the NFL. Nearly 6-in-10 (59%) Americans say that a player who has been found guilty of domestic violence should be temporarily suspended but allowed to return. Nearly 1-in-10 (8%) Americans say the NFL should take no formal action against such a player.

Although there are no statistically significant differences between sports fans’ and non-sports fans’ support for a permanent ban for players convicted of domestic violence (28% vs. 32%), there are notable differences among sports fans by gender. Thirty-six percent of female sports fans support banning a player from the NFL for life, compared to 21% of male sports fans.

Phishing in Smooth Waters: The State of Banking Certificates in the US

January 26, 2015 Comments off

Phishing in Smooth Waters: The State of Banking Certificates in the US
Source: Social Science Research Network

A critical component of the solution to online masquerade attacks, in which criminals create false web pages to obtain financial information, is the hierarchy of public key certificates. Masquerade attacks include phishing, pharming, and man-in-the-middle attacks. Public key certificates ideally authenticate the website to the person, before the person authenticates to the website. Public key certificates are typically issued by certificate authorities (CAs).

Banks are the most common target of phishing attacks, so we implemented an empirical study of certificates for depository institutions insured by the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and compared them to general purpose, non-banking certificates. Our study of websites of FDIC-insured banks found that the current configuration fails to support website authentication. The most common failure is an absence of certificates, meaning that a false certificate would be the only valid-named certificate for that institution. Certificates with incorrect names, incorrectly structured certificates, and shared certificates all plague online banking. The vast majority of banks, especially smaller banks, apparently lack the expertise, support, or incentive to implement certificates correctly.

We document the current state of bank certificates. We compare these with general-purpose certificates (e.g., the top one million websites). We survey the various proposals for the certificate market writ large, including pinning and notaries. We identify how those fit and fail to fit the unique problem of banking certificates. We close with policy and technical recommendations to alter the use of certificates so that these can be a valid basis for consumer trust.

Options and Issues Regarding Marijuana Legalization

January 23, 2015 Comments off

Options and Issues Regarding Marijuana Legalization
Source: RAND Corporation

Marijuana legalization is a controversial and multifaceted issue that is now the subject of serious debate. Since 2012, four U.S. states have passed ballot initiatives to remove prohibition and legalize a for-profit commercial marijuana industry. In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country to experiment with legalization nationwide; the Netherlands tolerates only retail sales and does not allow commercial production. Voters in Washington, D.C., recently took the more limited step of passing an initiative to legalize home production and personal possession. All of these moves were unprecedented. The effects are likely to be complex and will be difficult to fully assess for some time. The goal of this paper is to review recent changes in marijuana policies and the decisions that confront jurisdictions that are considering alternatives to traditional marijuana prohibition. The principal message is that marijuana policy should not be viewed as a binary choice between prohibition and the for-profit commercial model seen in Colorado and Washington State; several intermediate supply options should be discussed. In addition, this piece addresses other key decisions that need to be made about taxation and regulations. It also walks through some of the potential consequences of legalizing marijuana, highlighting the massive uncertainty surrounding many of these consequences.

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