7 Jul 2022


Interviews with the Department of Criminal Justice

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I ninterviewed three persons from different departments of the crimin al justice system: a police officer, a judge and a forensic scientist. The interviews revealed an interconnection among the different departments of the criminal justice system. For example, the report below indicates the value of the police in enforcing the law, the judges in interpreting the law and forensic scientists in helping judges deliver accurate decisions to ensure the delivery of justice. 

Interview with the Police Officer 

I contacted an online interview with one of the most famous police officers in Los Angeles called Shaquille O’ Neal. The law enforcer talked of one of the biggest motivations for his migration from a basketball star to a police officer in California. He said that as opposed to being a professional basketballer, being a police officer was a call, not an act of fame. He talked of his childhood dream of being in a position to help as many people as he could to avoid crime. In fact, Shaquille said that the fact that he came from the Black race meant that he was exposed to more danger of being a lawbreaker than most of his peers at the time when he was growing up. He said that playing basketball enabled him to be a role model to many people, and that he wanted to make them move as far away from criminal activities as it could be possible. Therefore, working as a police officer meant that Shaquille has a direct impact on the youth and the rest of the community concerning their involvement in crime. 

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Concerning the hiring requirements, Shaquille said that a police officer is always required to be professional. For instance, he noted that police officers are required to be US citizens, but also noted that some police officers could be permanent resident aliens that have made applications to be US citizens. He also noted that an individual has higher chances of being hired as a police officer when they are between 18 and 30 years of age. To this, the police officer noted that the majority age considered for police officers is 21 years by the age of graduation from academy. According to Shaquille, police officers are required to have a minimum of high school diplomas before they can be hired by any agency in the US. He also noted that some agencies have set their minimum educational requirements at bachelor’s degrees and minimum credit hours at college. 

The interview also revealed that police officers are required to be holders of valid driving licenses because most of them start out on patrol. I also interviewed the police officer concerning the fitness requirements for police officers in the US. The interviewee noted that like being on the basketball court, being a police officer required considerable levels of fitness, but such levels vary in standard according to the hiring agency. The interviewee also noted that the probationary period for police officers in the US start on the say when they are hired to the time when they are sworn in as probationary police officers. In addition, Shaquille reported that police officers should of good mental health statuses and that the mental, psychological and background investigations are done during training like it happened at the police academy for him. 

Interview with the Judge 

Leondra R. is one of the judges of the Supreme Court in California. During an interview with the professional, she talked of one of her greatest motivations to being a judge in California as being her desire to ensure justice for all. She considered that being honest with oneself was one of the fundamentals of being a great judge because judges have to make honest decisions. Leondra’s perception of the role of judicial system is that it should ensure that justice is delivered to those who deserve it, which is only interpreted according to the law. I noted during the interview that like police officers, judges of the supreme court are required to be US citizens and be vastly acquainted with the US constitution. Judges are also required to have undertaken the appropriate training for their jobs because they should hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree before they are hired. Because judges are required to be persons of high mental, psychological and emotional resilience, the hiring process for their profession interview candidates in such areas. Persons can only become judges after they complete courses at schools of law in college like Leondra did from Yale and Harvard. 

Concerning the length of time required for training, the interviewee reported a lack of fixed schedules of training for judges. She reported that apart from completing a law school training, being a judge demands huge levels of experience in the practice of law. For this reason, Leondra indicated that there is no fixed minimum age requirement for persons that would like to be judges. According to Leondra, judges’ probationary periods last from the first day they are hired to the day they are confirmed to be full time employees of the jurisdictional courts. 

Interview with the Forensic Scientist 

I interviewed Lawrence J. a forensic scientist at the Lee Institute of Forensic Science in Connecticut who lives in San Bernardino, CA. Lawrence talked of his desire to help the judges deliver as accurate decisions as it can be possible when they preside over cases. Lawrence expressed his concern for the rising levels of homicide cases in the criminal justice system. He noted that many a times, cases have delayed in court and judges have made incorrect rulings because of poor forensic evidence especially in homicide case. Therefore, Lawrence’s motivation is to have the criminal justice system speed up on the rate of accurate decision-making for cases. I learned during the interview that homicide detectives are required to be holders of high school diplomas although some agencies might demand a bachelor’s degree as the minimum requirement for the same job. 

In addition to completing educational training, homicide detectives are required to have high levels of experience. The experiences gained during practice ensure that the professionals have high standards of psychological and mental health. The interviewee reported that such experiences are useful in orienting them to the practical demands of professional practice. He noted that most agencies have their probationary periods lasting from the time they are hired to the time when they will be confirmed as full time employees of the agencies. Lawrence gave an account of the long journey that forensic scientists must take before reaching their career peaks. He noted that patience is a part of the expertise-building process that benefits practitioners in forensic science. The interview also revealed that aspiring homicide detectives must be prepared to take rigorous interviews because of the desire by hiring agencies to attain accurate forensic reports that will supplement police investigations and enable the judges to make accurate decisions. 

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