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Practical Criminal Investigations in Correctional Facilities

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The felonious activities of confined inmates reach out into society every day. These inmates run lucrative drug operations, commit fraud, hire contract murders, and commit a multitude of criminal offenses from inside the walls of our prisons. Practical Criminal Investigations in Correctional Facilities gives sound advice to both the long-time administrator and the beginning criminal justice professional on how to handle crime in a community in which 100% of the population are convicted felons. With case studies, charts, photographs, and narrative, it covers investigations by type of crime committed, such as drugs, escapes, sexual assault, theft, and homicide.

This book is an inside look into the art of criminal investigation as it relates to crimes committed within prisons. The target audience are detectives in prison towns and criminal investigators working within the prison system. People who currently work in prison systems, not necessarily as investigators but who are the first responders to crimes committed inside the prison walls, will also benefit from reading this book.

This is not a traditional text. It contains many actual case histories told from the investigator’s point of view. The intent is to prepare officers and investigators to investigate felony crimes within prisons. This nontraditional approach is geared to enhance the interest of the reader. In these case histories the names of the victims and perpetrators have been changed, not to protect the guilty, but to keep the families of the victims and perpetrators from dredging up old nightmares. All of these criminals have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and remain behind bars.

Not all crimes committed in prisons are discussed in this book. What the reader will find, though, is that crime does not stop at the prison walls. This book attempts to visualize the difference between investigating a prison crime and a street crime. These differences are sometimes subtle, but greatly affect the outcome of an investigation.

Prison investigators are at a minimum and do not have the freedom to specialize in certain areas of law enforcement. They must be able to respond effectively to every crime imaginable, from a grizzly homicide to a complex fraud case. Prison crimes become very complex when the crimes involve many different players. These players range from the convict, the officers, and a variety of family to other civilian, soon-to-be convicts. Because of these complexities, I have added chapters on intelligence gathering, undercover operations, and the use of confidential informants.

About the Author
Coming from a family whose involvement with law enforcement dates back to the Civil War, William Bell’s own education and career spans more than 30 years. Greatly influenced by his father, a retired police inspector, he began with the Dearborn, MI, Police Department where his responsibilities included work in road patrol, SWAT, undercover narcotics, and pattern crime.

For nearly 20 years, the author has been employed by the Colorado Department of Corrections where he ultimately gained his expertise with the Criminal Investigation Division. He is noted for taking the investigation of prison crime into the streets.
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