The Department of Homeland Security was created after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Department was formed by merging many exiting resources and adding to the best practices already in place. The Strategic Objectives of the Department are stated by the Department as “We will lead the unified national effort to secure America. We will prevent and deter terrorist attacks and protect against and respond to threats and hazards to the Nation. We will secure our national borders while welcoming lawful immigrants, visitors, and trade.
“ (Homeland Security). Critical Mission of Homeland Security The critical missions of Department of Homeland Security are to prevent, protect, respond and recover. Through utilization of all available technology and resources the primary mission is to prevent an aggressive act. If they are unable to prevent the incident – the department will shift focus to protection. Protect as many citizens as possible from any imminent incident. If the incident could not be prevented the Homeland Security officials will respond to whatever the results are of the incident.
This response could be in the way of coordinating with other agencies to provide the care and safety needed by the population in the affected area. The final mission is to recover from the incident. Although each mission is defined as a single mission – in practice they are often interlinked in execution. While protecting citizens from an incident – the agency at the same time may be proactively responding to the results of the incident. The recovery mission is over lapped in many areas by the response mission. Four Foundations of Homeland Security The National Strategy for Homeland Security has defined four foundations of homeland security.
These foundations are; law, science and technology, information sharing and systems, and international cooperation. Each of these play a key part in providing for our national security. Identification and enforcement of the law. We have to know exactly what we are enforcing. Use of science and technology in each of the four critical mission areas. Information sharing was something various government agencies were not very effective at prior to 9/11. Since then Homeland Security has been working on removing many of the communication silos that were prevalent in the past.
By open communication with several agencies – overall effectiveness is improved. International cooperation is the final of the four foundations that has to be built upon. With terrorist moving from nation to nation and planning many of the attacks from foreign soil – we have to work with all nations. International borders have to be permeable in today’s war on terror. Virginia Office of Commonwealth Preparedness The Commonwealth of Virginia has their own Department of Homeland Security. In Virginia it is called The Office of Commonwealth Preparedness.
This office mirror many of the processes and objectives of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The Office of Commonwealth Preparedness works to make sure that all of the residents and businesses of the Commonwealth are safe, secure and prepared. Criminal Law and Civil Law Criminal Law and Civil Law are very different types of proceedings. Civil Law is usually a case between tow individuals or business entities. Criminal Law is a case between a person and a government. Civil Law In Civil Law a person is involved in litigation with another person or business.
These are usually divorce cases, law suits due to injury at a place of business, or bankruptcy cases. Civil law never involves incarceration of either party because of the civil proceedings. There are some Civil cases that may become criminal cases. Stalking a spouse you are involved in a civil divorce proceeding with will lead to criminal charges being filed against the stalker. Civil law will never result in the incarceration of the guilty party. Fines in a Civil Law case are often paid to the other party in the proceeding. Criminal Law In Criminal Law there is a crime committed against society, or that endangers society by the action.
Murder is a Criminal Law case. Although there may be only one victim – the perpetrator of the criminal act may do so again. Therefore, society must be protected from this person. Driving while intoxicated is also a criminal law case. Even though no member of society may have been harmed by the act of driving under the influence. There was a danger posed to society by the act of driving under the influence. Criminal law cases may result in incarceration or probation of the guilty party. Fines judged in a Criminal Law case are paid to the governing body prosecuting the case. Incarceration for Misdemeanor Crimes
The main difference in the two types of crimes – misdemeanor and felony – is the amount of possible incarceration if convicted. A felony is a more serious crime and if convicted the accused could be sentenced to incarceration for a term greater than one year or death. Misdemeanor crimes are less serious offences and if convicted will result in incarceration of less than a year – if at all. I do not think those convicted of a misdemeanor should be incarcerated unless the person demonstrated no willingness to be rehabilitated through other means. Running a red light is a misdemeanor.
Incarcerating this person for a period of time will serve no purpose in rehabilitation. The only outcome in this incarceration would be increase cost to the taxpayer of the community and increased crowding of jails. This accused will probably learn their lesson by paying a fine and undergoing a traffic safety class. The penalty of the crime will drive a lesson home to the accused. The taking a class will increase the general safety of the public. The current volume of cases on our court systems and the high cost of incarceration forces us to take a more lenient approach for misdemeanor crimes.
Many in society would rather a person creating a danger to the public be off the streets rather than someone convicted of running a traffic light or petty theft. The penalty should be designed to make restitution and lead to rehabilitation of the accused. When we balance the crime with the penalty – then we can have a better society. Bibliography Homeland Security. (2008). Department of Homeland Security. One Team, One Mission, Securing our Homeland. Retrieved 20 March 2009, from, http://www. dhs. gov/xlibrary/assets/DHS_StratPlan_FINAL_spread. pdf
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