Arson, which is the malicious burning of a building or personal property of another, is one of the more difficult crimes to investigate due to the lack of witnesses and the fact that the evidence often, quite literally, goes up in flames. It requires inter agency cooperation between the police and fire departments in order to investigate the crime properly.

Consider the first three steps of the Criminal Justice Decision Making Model:

Step One: Define the problem (and the questions that need to be answered): Read the material on Classification of Fires and Arson and the Special Challenges of Investigation. What are the elements of arson and the types of fires that can be started? What are the techniques used as part of an arson investigation?

Step Two: Gather evidence (law, policy, procedure, and data) and evaluate for relevancy: Gather data on the prevalence of arsons, both nationwide and in your state. What are the arson statutes for your state? How do they differ from the Model Codes discussed in the text? What are the respective duties of a police and fire department in your jurisdiction?

Step Three: Weigh moral considerations and direct/indirect consequences: What are some of the psychological reasons someone might commit arson? Should these offenders be treated, punished, or a combination of both? What early warning signs might indicate a fire starter, and what can be done to prevent this person from developing into an arsonist?

Step Four: Write your proposal, utilizing the above material.

Step Five: Balance your position by addressing alternatives and potential pitfalls.



Following Steps 4 and 5 of the Criminal Justice Decision Making Model, write a three-page essay in which you discuss arson crimes and investigation challenges. As you write your essay, focus on ensuring that you maintain a single tense and a single tone while communicating your ideas. Use source material with APA citations to support your points as necessary AT LEAST 3 RFERENCES.



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