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DOES ANYONE REMEMBER the legwork it took to get information before the Internet came into mass use? Now that information is at your fingertips, you can find answers to any questions. But you need a reliable source to sift the valuable material from the irrelevant and the unreliable. SM Online is that source. The following new additions represent a sample of what's new online. You can find these items by clicking on "Editors' Picks." And don't forget to look for the @ symbol throughout the magazine for additional pointers to supplemental online resources. To find any of that material, just click on "Beyond Print."
Interviewing. Perhaps the one skill that differentiates a good investigator from a great one is the ability to spot deception via verbal cues and subtle movements. In a recent article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, special agents Joe Navarro and John R. Schafer pass along their years of experience performing that very task. For example, they write that an interviewer should catalog the subject's eye responses during nonstressful conversation and compare them with the responses to critical questions; they explain that "When people see or hear something they disagree with or do not frilly support, their eyelids tend to close longer than a normal blink." In addition, rapid blinking might signal a sensitive topic. Other signs of deception include leaning away from the interviewer, repeated clearing of the throat, and requests to have the interviewer repeat the question. Learn other tips by finding the article on SM Online.
Drug abuse. Wyoming prides itself on being the country's least populated state, free from many of the troubles that afflict urban areas. But in the late 1990s, the state was hit hard with methamphetamine use: In 1998, more than one in every too state residents was estimated to need substance abuse treatment for methamphetamine use. In fact, Wyoming eighth-graders had higher methamphetamine user rates than high school seniors nationwide, and meth "labs" have popped up all over the state.
A bulletin by the Bureau of Justice Assistance shows how a top-level law enforcement officer, who had a reputation for tough enforcement of drug crimes, shifted the state's approach to the problem from enforcement to treatment. The bulletin explains how a council charged with dealing with drug use was able to convince a conservative legislature to provide millions of dollars for a program of public education and treatment. Lessons learned along the way are provided as well. SM Online has the whole story.
Insurance fraud. Message to state insurance fraud bureaus: start a fraud hot line. Fraud bureaus with telephone hot lines received many more fraud referrals than those without, according to a survey by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF). The survey, which compared the status of state insurance fraud bureaus in 1995 and 2000, also found that cases presented for prosecution by fraud bureaus doubled, as did criminal convictions, in that time period.
Moreover, civil actions against scam artists have increased: The annual number of civil actions more than tripled between 1995 and 2000. New Jersey devotes the most money to insurance fraud, $25 million in 2000, exceeding even California, whose population is quadruple that of New Jersey. Florida, however, received the most referrals and complaints of fraud, 688 in 2000, though South Carolina's referrals increased the most--355 percent--since 1995. The full CAIF report is on SM Online.
Crime prevention. Aix en Provence, a city of 126,000 in France, undertook a citywide security survey, then used the results to establish to priorities for quality of life. The city drew up an action plan that identifies specific problems, objectives, and agreed-on action measures. It also identifies those responsible for implementing them, methods of finance, means of evaluation, and target dates. With regard to school violence, for example, the plan calls for reductions in absenteeism, early identification of behavior problems, use of alternative disciplinary measures, and extra educational support for students having difficulties.
Meanwhile the borough of Brent in London, England, has partnered with businesses, national agencies, and others to reduce burglary, mentor youth, initiate a neighborhood watch program, and target high-crime areas. To address these problems, leaders drafted a strategy identifying targets, action plans, and performance measures. These are just two community safety plans described in a monograph by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Besides sample programs, the monograph includes recent developments around the world and provides a framework for community safety. SM Online has it.
Cultural institutions. Archaeological collections in Colorado are often stored improperly, not inventoried completely, exposed to harmful environmental conditions, and sometimes lost, according to a report by the Colorado Council of Professional Archaeologists. Viewing the situation as a "curation crisis," both in Colorado and nationwide, the authors note that a lack of funding is keeping records out of date, artifacts in insufficient storage containers, museums from finding additional storage space, and environmental controls from being improved. In fact, at the time of the writing of the report, only one museum in Colorado was still accepting additions to their collections. The authors propose solutions such as constructing a single state facility for state and federal archaeological collections or developing a private curation facility, and they call for facilities to be surveyed statewide. The report is on SM Online.
School safety. What do you call a school that focuses on academic achievement, emphasizes positive relationships among students and staff, creates ways for students to share their concerns, has a system to refer neglected or abused children, involves families in meaningful ways, and supports students in making the transition to adult life? Rare or even an impossible-to-reach ideal, one might be tempted to answer. But these are several of the characteristics found in safe schools, according to an article in a recent issue of Juvenile Justice, the journal of the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The article also lays out the strategic process for designing a safe school, from developing school/community partnerships to sharing outcomes and making program adjustments. Another article in the same issue outlines school violence matters, featuring a series of charts and graphs that were primarily culled from previous government reports. A final article explains how to devel op a conflict-resolution education program in which the students involved resolve the dispute themselves without having a solution imposed on them by others. Tennessee's experience with such a program is offered as an example. The articles are on SM Online.
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|Author:||Gips, Michael A.|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2001|
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