(1.) While the streets, courthouses and jails are the areas and locations that are commonly associated with the workings of the criminal justice system; two less recognized but equally relevant locations are the labs, examination rooms and computers of the criminalist and the criminologist.
A criminalist, more popularly known as the forensic scientist, is a person that employs science, technology and expertise to identify, examine, and analyze criminal evidence and present their findings to a range of information consumers (Kaci, 1998). For example, a criminalist’s analysis of evidence at a crime scene can assist police officers in determining who perpetrated the crime. Similarly, a criminalist that specializes in digital evidence can assist a company’s computer security officials who is attempting to access the company’s network.
A criminologist, on the other hand, refers to a person who applies their knowledge and experience in sociology, psychology, psychiatry, or related fields to develop an understanding of criminal behavior and why people commit crimes (Kaci, 1998). As with the information generated by the criminalist; criminologist assist other criminal justice stakeholders in more effectively achieve the particular duties. For instance, a criminologist can be used to profile an unknown subject in order to provide police with a model individual that can form the basis of their investigation. Similarly, a criminologist can provide the computer security officials, mentioned above, with a profile of the typical hackers that they can then be on the lookout for in their security duties.
(2.) If I was a criminalist, I would want a job as a researcher for a computer security firm if I was involved in the private sector. Similarly, if I was hired in the public sector I would want to works as a criminalist in a police cybercrime lab. First of digital and computer forensics is one of the most cutting-edge areas in criminalistics. In essence, it should be a very interesting field to be involved in. Second, there is a lack of digital criminalist which most likely means that there is plenty of opportunity to work and that the salaries are relatively high. Secondly, as the world become singularly reliant on computers, the Internet and information technology; it is most likely digital criminalist will be an area of growth for the long-term.
If I was a criminologist, I would again look to the private and public technology industry to find a job in computer criminology or the study of how and why people commit computer crimes. I could work for myself as a consultant to both private sector and public sector clients. In addition, I could also teach. This seems like a very interesting field to enter for many of the same reasons as describes above, namely there is a need for it, it will involve dealing with cutting-edge issues in criminology, and chances are that the opportunity for work will increase.
(3.) White collar crime, as the name suggests, refers to crimes that are essentially large-scale and financial in nature and rarely, if ever, involve violence. Some of the more typical white collar crimes include fraud, embezzlement, and intellectual property theft. More recently, computer crimes such as Internet fraud, identity theft, and hacking, have become the most identifiable types of white collar crime (Kerr, 2009).
Blue collar crime, on the other hand, refers to the traditional street crimes that most people anywhere in the world can recognize (LaFave, 2000). Additionally, blue collar crime often involves violence, or at least, the threat of violence. Some of the most typical blue collar crimes include robbery, assault, theft, and murder. The FBI’s UCR measures two categories of crime, namely violent crimes and property theft crimes. Violent crimes stats include: murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault. Property crime stats include: burglary, larceny, theft, automobile theft, and arson (FBI, 2010). It is important to note that the UCR does not include white collar crimes in its measurements though individual law enforcement agencies may collect those stats on their own. A quickly review of the front pages of several mainstream news sites suggests that the two crimes most currently heavily focused on are murder and hacking.
(4.) The UCR is further divided into two parts. Part I crimes are the ones that are listed above. These crimes are considered the most traditional and serious sorts of crimes. Moreover, they are the types of crimes that the FBI feels “occur with regularity in all areas of the country, and are likely to be reported to the police (FBI, 2010). Part II crimes include 21 less commonly reported and newly discovered crimes such as fraud, embezzlement, vandalism, sex offenses, DUI, gambling, and prostitution (FBI, 2010). Part II crimes, as mentioned above, include most white collar crimes. Again, the issues separating the two are not their results, to be sure some Part II crimes such as embezzlement and fraud have the potential to affects thousands of people, or if done over the Internet, millions of people. The main separation factor is their commonality, their tendency for violence, and their history as common issues in criminality since ancient times.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (2010). Welcome to a new way to access UCR statistics. Retrieved from www.ucrdatatool.gov
Kaci, J.H. 1998. Criminal Procedure. Incline Village, NV: Copperhouse Publishing Company.
Kerr, O.S. (2009). Computer Crime Law (2nd ed.). St. Paul, MN: West Group.
LaFave, W.R. (2000). Criminal Law (3rd ed.). St. Paul, MN: West Group.