The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is a component of the Office of Justice Programs within the Department of Justice. It is responsible for collecting, analyzing, publishing and disseminating information on crime, victims, offenders and operations justice systems at all levels of government (bjs.gov, n.d.).
The BJS provides criminological data that reflects drug related crimes by offenders and an explanation via a survey of offenders as to the reason they commit specific crimes, especially when illicit substances was involved. The BJS explanation was first explained in a written narrative and subsequently depicted in a table and/or graph. The graphs and tables reflect the type of offenses committed, chronological years and percentage of offenses while the offender was under the influence of drugs. The statistical data also provided information as to the perception of victims regarding the offender’s reasons for committing the crimes. This data was also explained in a written narrative and then depicted in a graph that was easy to read. Basically, a summary of the data is first provided in a written narrative and is then place in a bar graph or table for clarification and comprehension to the reader. The visual aid was effective because it made the surveys easy to understand, allowing a reader to correlate the written narrative with a visual depiction of what the data means.
A Powerpoint presentation is another type of visual aid that is used in the criminal justice field that are effective when the data in the powerpoint slides corroborates or complements the presenter’s oral presentation (Piltch & Terry, 2011). In 2014, the DEA Diversion program provided a powerpoint presentation regarding the abuse of prescription drugs in the United States. The presentation provided bullet points regarding the negative effects of prescription drugs, statistics, pictures of different types of drugs, bar graphs, pie charts depicting the source of the drugs to the public and an overview of prescription drug abuse in the United States. The powerpoint ends with contact information as well as references as to where the audience can get additional information related to the presentation. This was a very effective powerpoint due to the clear, and concise bullets. The presenter did not write a speech in the powerpoint, but enough information to keep his/her audience focus on what he/she was saying. In the end, the slides, pictures, graphs and statistical data complemented the presenter’s oral presentation giving it clarity and effectiveness.
Bureau of Justice Statistics Drugs and Crime Facts: Contents (n.d.)
Prescription Medication and Illicit Drug Abuse and the Roles (2014)
Piltch, C., & Terry, K.J. (2011). Visual aids in oral and written presentations. In A short
guide to writing about criminal justice (113–126). Upper Saddle: River Prentice Hall.
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