Monday, October 29, 2012

Basic Stages for a Crime Scene Investigation - Tips for Crime Scene Technicians

Approach scene:

The crime scene investigator returns the microphone to its clip and begins the drive to the latest assignment. A crime scene investigation begins well before the CSI enters a structure, an open field or wooded area. Usually the radio dispatch message is brief and seldom reveals the full nature of the incident. Most often this is done to avoid drawing onlookers and the media who may be monitoring the dispatch frequency. As the CSI turns onto the street in question, his first obligation is to "turn on" his powers of observation. He may make a mental note of what he sees, hears and smells-or better still-records them on a digital voice recorder. His first reaction to the scene must be, "Does anything look out-of-place?" What odors may be noticeable and are there unusual sounds.
Secure and Protect Scene
Hopefully the first responders haven't caused too much disruption to any potential physical evidence. Before even stepping inside the structure, ingress and egress to it must be controlled. Sentries at all possible entrances should be put in place. The CSI, after learning the basic facts-in this case it appears that a white male appears to have a single bullet wound the head and rigor has set in-- this from the first responders, so the CSI will establish the boundaries of the crime scene. Then... out comes the crime scene tape.
Initiate Preliminary Survey
Again... before entering the structure an exterior survey is needed. This may be nothing more that walking around the exterior of the structure to see if any obvious evidence is apparent. This would include open windows, damaged doors, ladders and the like. The question the CSI is asking is... how was entry made to the structure?
Once indoors, the CSI will make a visual survey of the actual room in which the incident reported took place. This is a good time to also take overall photos of the scene. He will then survey adjoining rooms to determine if these spaces may have information relative to the incident.
Most law enforcement agencies conduct such investigations of an unattended death (no physician present) as a possible homicide-until it is determined otherwise.
Unlike some TV dramas, the CSI is on site for the purpose of finding, evaluating and collecting physical evidence. In most agencies, statements from witnesses and survivors are handled by the investigators/detectives.
Of course, during this entire survey period, the CSI is taking notes and/or recordings of his sensory observations.
Evaluate Physical Evidence Possibilities
The very nature of what appears to be obvious should trigger the thought-processes of the CSI. What happened here, when did it happen and what sort of evidence should be present? Questions that should be answered initially are:
· Did the shooting occur in this room
· Has the body been moved (by first responders or perpetrator(s)
· Has any object been moved (especially by first responders or family members
· Were additional shots besides the one in the victim's head. This means examining walls, ceiling, room objects, etc.
· Are shell casings apparent. If so-mark them with placards, evidence tents, etc. so they will be obvious in photos.
· Are traces of blood apparent in other areas of the room-indicating movement of the victim
· Is blood spatter apparent
· Are there signs of a struggle
· Are there visible footprints in the blood
Each crime scene may well generate other questions to be answered by the CSI. The above list is simply the most obvious questions.
Prepare a Narrative of the Scene
The CSI's notes can serve as a very critical part of the overall physical evidence available from the scene. The investigator must keep in mind that months or even years later this case may go to trial. Your notes must present the full story of what you saw and any impressions the evidence gave you. Avoid speculation as to what occurred unless you have physical evidence to back it up.
Capture the Scene Photographically
Be certain to have overall, medium range and close-up shots of any potential physical evidence. Be certain to include scales in the close-up shots.
Prepare the Crime Scene Sketch
Many CSIs will prepare the rough sketch at the scene and will complete a detailed sketch back at headquarters. The rough sketch should contain no more or no less than the final, detailed sketch. It is always recommended that an assistant help out when taking measurements, and it's a good idea is to have this individual verify each measurement to avoid questions later.
Conduct a Detailed Search
Go over every square inch of the scene in an attempt to locate even the smallest particle of evidence. (This brings to mind a recent case wherein a woman was brutally beaten to death in her bedroom. Several days after the crime scene was released to the family, the victim's sister found a tooth from the victim on the bedroom carpet).
Many crime scenes warrant the use of an evidence vacuum in the scene to collect any potential microparticle evidence such as hair and fibers. This step should be performed prior to any close in inspection of the victim.
Record and Collect Physical Evidence
As potential evidence is located it should be recorded on the crime scene sketch as well as in photographs. If your agency offers the luxury of having a videographer on hand, video often tells a compelling story to a jury.
Crime scene evidence is useless unless it is properly marked and packaged and a Chain of Evidence is begun from the time it is picked up. Use the proper type of containers for all evidence collected. Never package objects wet with blood or other physiological fluids in plastic bags, as this will accelerate decomposition. Label and identify all evidence collected, including the notes taken by the investigator.
Of course, the digital age we live in takes note of electronic devices like computers and cellphones. This type of evidence requires special handling and only experts trained in working with digital items should be permitted to handle and collect these items.
Conduct a Final Survey
Be certain that every package containing physical evidence is collected-leave nothing behind. Make a final walk-through to be certain that all potential evidence is bagged and tagged.
Release the Crime Scene
While it is normal for others having an interest in the property to want to regain access, the CSI should not be rushed, coaxed or bullied into releasing the scene until the job is done.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Winterbourne View - Serious Case Review

In May 2011, the BBC aired an episode of their revered series 'Panorama' which would shock not only the general public, but those who worked daily in care and social services. Winterbourne View Hospital for those with Learning Disabilities became the focus of the media, the law and the world.
Patients were referred from the NHS to the hospital, owned by Castlebeck Care Ltd, under the belief that they would receive appropriate care, assessment and rehabilitation, to allow the service users to return to their normal home life. As the programme documented, a severe amount of abuse was occurring there that was yet to be discovered.
It displayed care workers and nurses at the establishment hitting, slapping and abusing several patients. One carer put a woman into the shower with her clothes still on, and others sat on patients, not allowing them to get up and sometimes even using chairs to perform this act. The serious abuse highlighted the 'appalling standards of care' that were witnessed on the footage.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) reacted quickly to the broadcast, carrying out four inspections of the premises, suspending all admissions to the hospital and pursuing regulatory action against Castlebeck Care, which resulted in the closure of the unit in June 2011. With a Safeguarding Adults Board assembled through the CQC, South Gloucestershire Council and all involved in the hospital, a Serious Case Review was carried out. This was published on August 7th, 2012.
Written by Margaret Flynn, it detailed several missed opportunities for action to be taken and a lack of appropriate training amongst the many criticisms of this case. It reported how complaints had previously been made by patients of the hospital to staff and family members, none of which has been said to have been believed. Former Nurse at the unit, Terry Bryan, explained the situation to the hospital manager in the first instance. When nothing came of this, Terry wrote to the Care Quality Commission to file a Whistleblower report on the abuse that was happening at the establishment. He eventually took this complaint to the BBC, at which point it was handed over to Panorama.
The review states that the owners, Castlebeck Care had in their policies and procedures 'sufficient rules' on how the hospital was to be managed and the services executed. The criticism of this was that staff did not follow the rules and were not enforced to do so. The staff did not receive sufficient training and managers did not fulfil their duty of care. Communication problems were also noted, the most important being that the hospital did not report injuries adequately, often failing to inform the family of the patient, the NHS service from which they were referred and the CQC.
The clear theme throughout the Serious Case Review and Executive Summary was that more questions should have been asked. The organisations involved included the Safeguarding Staff, the Police and the CQC and greater communication would have made more people aware of the problems at Winterbourne View.
The Lessons To Be Learned from the review were comprehensive and a clear indication of how the services need to operate to eradicate the risk of this type of case in the future. It included making better ways to check with hospitals that their patients with Learning Disabilities had ensured safety. It also states that staff need to listen more effectively to patients, especially those with communication problems. Any patients who are taken ill, or have to go to an emergency department whilst admitted to a hospital must be reported to the relevant bodies and communicated to all involved. And lastly that any patients affected by the experience at Winterbourne View must receive any additional help required to recover from their ordeal.
The Winterbourne View case is one that gained a lot of attention from the media and in turn, the general public. Awareness of the abuse in hospitals has been heightened ever since and this will have a positive effect on the reporting of problems in this area, however there is still much to learn from this incident.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Untold Story of Landmark Education

You might have heard about Landmark education before but you thought that was another one of those get-rich schemes that are coming up all over. However, wait until you hear the entire story. You will chastise yourself for making a hasty prejudgment on something you haven't even tested yet.
If you attend the Landmark forum, nothing will prepare you for what is to come, except, perhaps the person who "forced" you to sign up. You will often hear that you will be attending regular classes at the Landmark education, but nothing is regular about it. "Regular" classes are meant to get you to doze off for most of the duration that you will be sitting there. Landmark forum classes are the exact opposite. You will be sitting on the edge of your seat with the exciting stories and teachings you receive at the Landmark forum.
The secret to this excitement lies with the fact that active participation is encouraged, and if you concentrate well enough, you will be able to relate with many of the stories that participants will recount. Most of the first-time participants at Landmark education come whining about how their life is hell, but when they leave, they have encouraging stories of how they turned their lives around. Most importantly, they put their relationships back on track and make a huge difference in their community.
In fact, many former and current Landmark forum participants are engaged in various activities that bring some value to their lives and those of their friends, family, and the community. That is because they have acquired the skills to address and change the challenges that they face on a daily basis.
One great thing is that Landmark education does not discriminate. People of all ages, gender, creed, education level, or political affiliation can join without feeling odd. You will meet people with similar experiences and some with extraordinary ones, and they will tell you how remarkable Landmark forum has been in changing their lives.
If you thought something was impossible to achieve, wait until you start attending the Landmark education classes. Nothing will seem impossible after that. You will learn that impossibility lies within your mind and you can let it go if you want.
To this very day, there have been thousands of graduates of Landmark forum. What they do after the graduation is what matters. Many of them have contributed to making the world a better place. You can imagine how many lives would be saved if someone invented a drug that cured an incurable disease. What would you say if a year from now, you were recognized for your efforts in ending poverty in your community? Unfortunately, when you come out the Landmark education, you become a different person who does not revel in personal glory but you will rejoice that your efforts have borne fruit. That is the main purpose of the Landmark forum; to produce selfless and productive individuals who enjoy life to the fullest.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How to Inbrease Your Online Class Attendance - Using Class Management Solution

Organizing an online class and maximizing the number of attendees is not always a simple job. You will need to consider several aspects for making your program appealing and attractive that can earn you higher attendees. The class management solution, can offer you the best services, if you are looking for effective ways to increase the online class attendance.
The One stop solution for increasing number of attendees:
As technology has made the world smaller and intact, online services are on great demand, which saves both time as well as efforts. The class management solution offers online access to registration, 24x7 where aspiring students, interested in your class or program can register anytime and from any location, just using internet connection. This ultimately will help in increasing the attendance rates.
Once you are done with the sign up process, the next step is to make the registration page eye-catching and appealing. The solution allows you to create customized registration page, where you can add up logos and images pertaining to the organization and the course or program. This will give your registration page a new look and feel, which will help you in drawing the attention of interested students.
The payment options offered by the solution is also very convenient, as the students can pay the registration fees, in real time, using credit cards, PayPal, wire transfers and such other gateways. As the payment system offers high quality security for processing transactions, registrant will feel satisfied in sharing credit card and other important details. Often due to payment complexities and security issues, interested students turn way from a particular class or program. But you can avoid all these situations, employing the solution and can generate potential attendees to your class.
The solution helps you in promoting your class in the various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+, which will help you in increasing the popularity of the class. As a significant portion of the young generation is active in these social sites, it can be a powerful and influential platform, for promoting your class and increasing your attendee list. By creating accounts on all these popular social sites and updating informative contents, blogs, videos, pictures about your organization and the class session conducted previously, you can publicize your class to millions of users and promote it extensively.
Apart from the promotional activities that can help you in earning both higher attendees and ROI, the class management solution also play a vital role in making your class more effective and interactive, offering various other added services.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Improving Effectiveness of Teaching in Classrooms

Most of the time, teachers are still clueless as to how they can increase the effectiveness of teaching in classrooms. This is especially a matter of concern for those schools imparting distance education. The major criterion of long distance learning is that the student is reliant on tuition and the required help from teachers without actually ever meeting them in person. Critics of such learning are of the view that since students do not get the opportunity to physically meet with their mentors there is high chance of the students being distracted from a focused route of learning. Too much of convenience (to learn at their own time and place) may ruin their academic career leading to isolation from the study environments.
Supporters of distance learning however argue there is enough scope for potential students to excel in their studies provided that the teachers follow the right path to success. Now, how can the teachers easily create a perfect learning ambiance without taking too much of the headaches?
Create an Online Forum
Professors need to create and manage an online forum or community and offer an active platform to chat, interact, and share useful content with their students. The learners also need a place where they can get in touch with the instructors whenever required. There can be students who need constant guidance from teachers to better their performance and this can be done easily via online private social communities.
Include High-tech Technology Tools
There are a host of highly advanced technology based tools that the class administrators can use to have a student-friendly class environment. For example, there is the web conferencing facility plus introduction of webcams that let the teachers see their students and vice versa. Emailing is a handy tool to have especially for learners to let them send you mails stating their queries and unsolved problems. It is actually a quicker process to open such emails and address individual queries as per convenience, 24/7.
Encourage Students to Maintain Blogs
To provide an enhanced classroom setting, you should encourage your students to create blogs. In such blogs, learners can post learning content, useful website links, and images to share the same with their classmates. They can also post their assignments on the personal blog for the teachers to review the same in real-time. Such constant interactions and engagements with the teacher and their peers will motivate the students to concentrate more on their studies and have a successful educational career ahead.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Online Registration for Admissions in Schools and Colleges

India, a preferred centre for learning and education, has become a place, where numerous educational institutes are mushrooming, these days. In a fast paced life where people hardly find leisure for their families, parents face extreme difficulties in dealing with the admission process in schools and colleges as they have to stand in long queues in various schools for their child's admission.
However, with the number of educational institutes increasing rapidly, there is a tough competition in the market, where every schools or colleges are trying to offer the best services for carrying out the admission process, which is supposed to be a very crucial part. But now dealing with the entire process has become simpler with online registration, which offers convenient way for conducting the admission process and is being extensively used by all the major and popular institutes in metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Top colleges and schools in India are already using the services of the online solution, which is helping both the parents and the administrative authorities.
How is the software benefitting the parents?
· The solution helps in saving your time as you will no longer have to stand on long queues for collecting the form and submitting it. You can have easy access to the online services, anytime just an internet connection. Thus, you are free to fill up the form online by visiting the school or the college website, sitting at home.
· Making payments is also very easy, as you can use your credit card or the PayPal for paying the registration fees, within few minutes.
· The solution offers instant confirmation emails after the registration process is over. Thus, it will eliminate all your worries about discrepancies and impediments, which are very usual if the process is conducted, manually.
· The online system offers complete privacy and high security so that you can comfortably share your credit card details, while making the payment.
How is the software benefitting schools and colleges?
· The schools and colleges can perform promotional activities, online 24x7, which will ultimately help them in grabbing more students to their institutes.
· The features and the facilities of the school and the colleges can be highlighted on the various social sites, using the social media connector tool offered by the solution.
· The authorities can easily manage the forms, information and the transaction details, as the solution offers an online database, which automatically stores data, when an entry is registered.
Thus, online registration services, by its instant and comfortable form submission options, is assisting all the schools and colleges in India to perform effective and convenient admission process.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

5 Great Ways to Ensure Nobody Misses Your Next Class!

Every class organizer wishes maximum class registrations and increased popularity. It is because of this fact that they are seen using new and innovative ways of promoting and reaching out to potential students. However, many of such course administrators may not be aware of the current trends in terms of marketing their programs successfully. I have come up with the 5 best tips that will help you to get a fully packed class!
Choose an Important Course
Before you open up registrations to the public, it is important to do some thorough research on the type of course that potential students may actually be interested in. You must start offering programs that will be sought after by the student community and there aren't too many of institutes offering a similar degree or diploma program in that subject area.
Open Online Registration
Online class registration is time saving and ensures the freedom for anyone to enroll from any place around the world. Such a type of registration is not region restrained and time restricted which means you don't have to travel anywhere to register your name for the class. You can do that easily sitting at home. Many class nrganizers also offer the facility to transfer fees online using credit cards or through payment gateways. The funds reach the institute faster and in a secure manner when transactions are made over the internet.
Promote on Social Media, Website, Blogs
Don't leave any stones unturned. By this I mean promote on every popular channel; be it on your institute website, blog or on social networking websites. However, along with posting details of your upcoming classes and providing information with regards to its registrations it is essential to keep on adding people who may show an eagerness to attend your classes. In addition, don't forget to become member of influential learning groups and discuss your course module with the members. You should also regularly post interesting news, updates, and bulletins related to your school or classes and ensure you have a long list of faithful bloggers who comment and visit your blog to find some new information.
Create a Landing Page
It is good if you come up with an informative landing page stating in detail about your class structure and module. On this landing page, clearly mention the educational qualification of each teacher, what type of classes you are offering, the registration procedures, and how far people will benefit after participating in the same.
Send a Thank You Note after Every Registration Confirmation
This really adds to your credibility and speaks volumes about how thankful you are to those who have successfully enrolled in your course. You can send a thank you email since it will reach the registrants faster than a normal handwritten letter sent by post. A kind gesture often works wonders in bringing in repeated class registrations and ensuring you get higher semester attendance every year.