17 April 2013
April was officially dedicated to the eradication of sexual violence in 2001, with the goal of educating both individuals and communities on how to raise awareness and participate in prevention and advocacy efforts. However, by 2001, the month had been known for advocacy activities for more than a decade, starting with Take Back the Night marches and the establishment of Sexual Assault Awareness Week in the 1980s. In 2001, The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and Resource Sharing Project (RSP) took leading roles in expanding the awareness campaign to a full month.
Recognize the Problem
Sexual violence is a serious problem in society and one that is sometimes overlooked or misunderstood. Thankfully with programs such as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, attitudes are changing. Each year, the month selects a campaign on which to focus, with the 2013 campaign focused on preventing child abuse.
While the majority of victims aren’t children, it is the attitudes we develop at these ages that mold our responses to threats as an adult. Sexual Assault Awareness Month asks groups and individuals to address these issues both with kids and parents. By focusing on teaching safe, healthy behaviors and attitudes to these populations, we can maximize our advocacy efforts.
Talk About It, Early and Often
Preventing abuse often starts with education. As adults, it’s important to talk to children about setting boundaries and their right to privacy. Adults should also allow children to make their own decisions about showing affection. For example, children should decide whether they prefer to give a high five or handshake instead of a hug. As an adult, you can teach children polite ways of refusing kisses, hugs and other forms of affection they may not be comfortable receiving. Assault survivors often lament staying in dangerous situations out of fear they might overreact and hurt someone else’s feelings. Thus, teach children to respect their instincts and their right (as well as everyone else’s right) to privacy and control over their bodies.
Parents and adults should also allow for open communication with children and honestly answer questions as they arise. A child who feels scared to talk about these issues faces another obstacle to seeking help. Adults should also learn the warning signs of abuse, and be prepared to speak out when needed. Although it can be difficult to speak up, especially if the adult is someone you know, you should always report suspected abuse to the police, child protective service or a local or national hotline.
25 March 2013
In honor of Women’s History Month, South University, Online Programs presents five influential women in the history of criminal justice.
Sandra Day O’Connor (1930-) was the first woman United States Supreme Court Justice, serving from 1981 to 2006. In 2009, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. After becoming an attorney, O’Connor couldn’t find a law firm that would hire a woman, but found employment as a secretary for a firm. She later went on to serve in the Arizona state legislature and the Arizona Court of Appeals in Phoenix before being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court (Kuiper, 2010).
Freda Adler (1934) is an influential criminologist renowned throughout the world. Adler served as the President of the American Criminological Society from 1994-1995 and has also served as a consultant for the United Nations on issues of crime. Adler has contributed a substantial body of literature in the field of criminology and etiology of crime and has published hundreds of papers on international crime, female criminality and substance abuse (Flynn, 1998).
Alice Stebbins Wells (1873-1957) was the first female police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. A former minister from Kansas, Wells joined the LAPD after appealing to the mayor, city council and the police department. Wells founded and became the first president of the International Association of Police Women. She traveled throughout North America promoting the recruitment of female police officers, serving as an advocate for the welfare of children and speaking frequently about the prevention of juvenile crime (International Association of Women Police, 2009).
Janet Reno (1938-) was the first female U.S. Attorney General and the longest serving in the 20th century, serving from 1993 to 2001. Reno received her law degree from Harvard, one of only 16 women in a class of 500. Prior to serving in the Justice Department, Reno served as the State Attorney in Miami, FL (The United States Department of Justice, 2013).
Bevery J. Harvard (1951-) was the first African American women to be chief of police of a major city- Atlanta, GA. Serving as chief of police from 1994-2002, Harvard began her career as a police officer in 1977 and was also the first woman to graduate from the FBI’s National Academy (Steverson, 2008).
These are just some of the many women who have left a lasting impact on the history of criminal justice. At South University, Online Programs, we look forward to finding out how our students and alumni from our Criminal Justice programs will also help to shape the future of the field.
- • Flynn, E. E. (1998). Freda Adler: A Portrait of a Pioneer. Women & Criminal Justice, 10, 1-26.
- • International Association of Women Police. (2009). IAWP History. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from Alice Stebbins Wells: www.iawp.org
- • Kuiper, K. (2010). The 100 Most Influential Women Of All Time. New York: Britannica Educational Publishing.
- • Steverson, L. A. (2008). Policing in America: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Incorporated.
- • The United States Department of Justice. (2013). Janet Reno. Retrieved 03 02, 2012, from Office of the Attorney General: www.justice.gov/ag/aghistpage
8 March 2013
At South University, Online Programs, we strive to create a supportive, engaging community for our students. To help you get to know the inspiring and talented individuals who make our community so special, we’ll be featuring more students, faculty and staff on this blog in the coming months. Today, we’re sharing a Q&A session with one of our Criminal Justice students, Sarah Hargis.
Q: What motivated you to continue your education?
A: Teenagers and victims of sex crimes. Twenty-five years ago, I was a victim of sexual assault and I was too afraid I would be in trouble to tell anyone. Now, I want to have closure and help other victims, while also trying to prevent it from happening to someone else.
Q: How did you decide which program to choose?
A: Since I have been a victim and I had no guidance through it, I have decided to be there for others in the same boat. I also want to get into the minds of criminals to find out why they do these things. Is it their up-bringing, environment or what?
Q: How did you decide online learning was the best choice for you?
A: I am an epileptic and have been since I was 8 months old. I haven't been able to drive because of it, but I am not going to let that stop me. So here I am, an online student going for my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.
Q: What has been your proudest moment in school?
A: My proudest moments have been when I received Dean’s List certificates, which has happened four times now. Another proud moment was when I was accepted back into South after I had a really bad seizure and couldn’t keep up with classes in 2010.
Q: We believe that peer-to-peer interaction is important for online students. Have you met a classmate or student who has played a part in your success?
A: I know a few on Facebook, and we talk and guide one another through motivation. The only South student I have spoken to via phone is my former finance counselor. He is going to graduate the same year as I am, so I hope we can meet at the ceremony in Savannah, GA.
Q: Why did you choose to go to South University, Online Programs?
A: I actually started at another school, and I am glad I changed schools. South advisors are there for you no matter what is going on in your life, not just in school. Whether it is something to be happy about or sad, they understand and help me through it.
Q: Anything else you would like us to know about your experience at South University, Online Programs?
A: South is awesome! The people there help and guide students to a better life and career. I want to thank South University, Online Programs for accepting me back to class after I had my really bad seizure in 2010. I have made a total turn around in my classes with their help and guidance.
17 December 2012
Cyber criminals are increasing at a distressing rate, courtesy of social networks. This is according to a report filed by the US security company, Imperva. The company has a detailed analysis on how cyber crime has advanced. In reference to the ‘Monitoring Hacker Forums’ report, modern cyber criminals deal with hacking more than ever.
During the case study, Imperva analyzed major hacker forums that included sites with large numbers of subscribers, as many as 250,000. The company was able to determine and undoubtedly decipher the current threats and methods used by the notorious hackers. It was also discovered that DDoS and SQL injections are the most compromised hotspots. There are two main ways through which these crimes are committed.
Cyber criminals love sites that have a large number of subscribers, such as Facebook. With over 1 billion users, Facebook has become one of the most targeted areas for committing cyber crime. Twitter follows at a close range. The criminals use these platforms for black market purposes, where all illegal activities such as impersonation are done. Malware is also easily spread in fast speeds via the social network. The cyber criminals create fake accounts with illegitimate products, faking ‘likes,’ ’comments,’ and ‘follows.’ Subscribers end up falling prey due to building trust in the alleged large following.
Beginner cyber criminals make easy money selling pornographic material. Cyber criminals impersonate people, attracting a large number of buyers. They end up making money by using disguised personalities, usually females, to sell pornographic content. Men pose as women by creating profiles with female photos. They then ask unsuspecting social network users to click on a link. However, these users end up clicking links and signing up in the advised sites, only blindly and unwillingly helping the criminal make money. There were more than 13,000 threads on this kind of activity in just one forum.
The study also indicates more popular attack methods that unsuspecting Internet and social media users fall for. The following five are the trendiest at the moment.
- Data-flooding DDoS campaigns
- SQL injections
- Shell code
- Brute-force attacks
The CTO of Imperva, Amichai Shulman, advised organizations to keenly focus on SQL injection security because cyber criminals are taking advantage of the minimal security measures that have been put in place. He warned that should organizations fail to put in place the necessary measures, hackers will definitely place more focus on SQL injection attacks.
From this study, it is noted that as of 2012, cyber crime is more advanced and if proper measures are not installed, then genuine people will lose a lot. Everyone should read case studies especially on hacker forums so as to know what the hackers are looking for and ensuring that security is enhanced. Studying the forums equips us with the necessary knowledge on the hackers’ strategy hence plan an effectual counterattack.
12 November 2012
Statistics show that violent crime is lower than it has been for the past decade. In 2011, violent crime incidents — murder, robbery, aggravated assault and forcible rape — fell for the fifth consecutive year.
Though violent crime is declining, the FBI said that it is still a serious problem in many urban areas. To name just two, Chicago had 431 murders and New York had 514 murders. Nationwide, in 2011, there were over 1.2 million violent crimes, down 3.8 percent from 2010. Property crime dropped a half percent from 2010 to 2011.
According to CNN, the statistics broke down the following crimes as follows:
- Murders were down 0.7 percent in 2011 from 2010
- Robberies were down 4 percent in 2011 from 2010
- Aggravated assaults were down 3.9 percent in 2011 from 2010
- Forcible rapes were down 2.5 percent in 2011 from 2010
CNN also reported that urban areas still saw serious problems because of drugs, poverty and gangs. Even with the positive trend over the past decade, there were still 14,612 murders across the United States during 2011, which is about one murder every 36 minutes. In 2010, there were 14,722 murders. The numbers from 2011 showed a decrease in murders from ten years ago.
According to CNN, most of the murder victims were males. It is unknown exactly how many murders occurred for each race, but of the known information, 50 percent of the victims were black and 46 percent were white.
As for weapons, guns were involved in two-thirds of the murders in 2011. Twenty-one percent of aggravated assaults involved guns, and 41 percent of robberies involved guns. Despite the positive trend, crime remains a serious problem in many urban pockets riddled with gangs, drugs and poverty.
CNN stated that criminologists have pointed to several factors for an explanation of the decrease in crime, including an increase in incarcerations, a “more settled” crack cocaine market and a population that is aging. The media source also stated that data-driving policing and in increase in surveillance/security cameras contributed to the decrease in crime.
However, a criminologist at Northeastern University stated that though crime is declining, it is declining as a slower rate this year than it has in past years. The criminologist calls it a “limbo stick effect,” and states that crime will never get down to zero.