Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jobs for Felons

Private Investigators talk about how to make sure of who you are hiring, but what if the person looking for the job is honest and says "I have a felony record." Should that immediately disqualify him? The answer is more complicated than you might imagine. We can tell you what the felony was, and possibly get additional information about the court case that is not in the public record. Some of those conditions may still allow you to hire the applicant. After all, a person without a felony may be conducting themselves improperly and never have been caught.

Here are some jobs that are more easily available to felons:

Construction Jobs
Normally, the easiest and quickest jobs for felons to obtain are in skilled and semi-skilled labor. These include jobs within the construction industry and the trades, such as plumbing and welding. Labor and trade jobs may be acquired through friends, connections, a contractor, or through a temporary agency. Temporary agencies offer work in a variety of situations on a daily basis, including general manual labor positions. Although professional licenses can be suspended or revoked, you can work in the field as a helper and possibly work your way up to a supervisory position.

Sales are a good job field for felons to work, because the pay is often based on commission. A primary concern for employers hiring felons is risk, but since the employer is not putting up a lot of upfront money, he may be willing to take a chance on you as a salesman. It also provides the opportunity to prove yourself, which can be difficult for felons. Sales jobs can be found in the automotive, home improvement and contracting industries.

Other Options
Other opportunities for felons include traditional and non-traditional job fields. There are organizations that assist felons in re-entering the workforce, such as Goodwill Industries, the Salvation Army and other rehabilitation-centered companies. Also, potential freelance jobs may be found on the Internet, especially in writing, blogging, web development and online sales.

Source: eHow

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Qualities of the PI

Characteristics of an Effective Investigator
By Ralph Heibutzki, eHow Contributor

No two cases are alike, but investigators share five characteristics needed to function. First and foremost is an analytical mind-set to consider multiple theories of how a crime occurred, followed by strong communications skills to deal with suspects and witnesses. A flexible outlook is also essential to coping with the job's sometimes relentless personal demands. However, these qualities are meaningless without a strong sense of integrity, particularly if alternative theories lead cases in a different direction.

Analytical Mindset
An analytical mind-set and keen sense of curiosity are important skills to develop, says Kevin Trees, a Louisville, Kentucky, detective featured on A&E TV's investigative reality show, "The First 48." Chasing leads and identifying suspects requires looking at cases from many different angles, Trees stated in a posting for the website.

Avoidance of Groupthink
Good investigators resist promoting one theory above all others. Known as "groupthink mentality," this situation is most likely to happen when fatigue and stress push investigators to their limits, former Vancouver detective inspector D. Kim Rossmo stated in an October 2009 "Police Chief" magazine article. Good detectives are flexible enough to admit their original theory is wrong because they realize that failure to acknowledge mistakes increases the likelihood for additional errors, Rossmo says.

Effective Coping Strategies
Investigators must develop ways of coping with the long hours and irregular schedules that distinguish their jobs. Detectives may be called any time, so relaxing with family and friends can be problematic, according to Trees. Even if he is not working a crime scene, Trees says, a detective must still take calls from detectives handling cases in his absence, he stated. Detectives can find that emotions spill over from investigating difficult or frustrating cases, Trees says, and their families have to deal with that.

Sense of Integrity
Investigators need a strong sense of integrity. This is especially important in avoiding wrongful convictions, which often result from ignoring alternate theories, according to Rossmo. In 1994, a British court ruled that police improperly used a covert operation to implicate Colin Stagg in the stabbing death of Rachel Nickell, Rossmo says. The outcome forced prosecutors to withdraw their case and release Stagg. Failures of integrity can damage departments' and investigators' reputations, Rossmo says.

Strong Communications Skills
Good detectives are strong communicators in dealing with suspects, according to a report written by corporate investigator Christopher D. Hoffman. Direct accusation works best when substantial proof of guilt emerges, but subtler strategies are needed for multiple suspects, Hoffman says. One variation is the Reid Technique, which evaluates a suspect's knowledge of the crime and if they are answering truthfully, according to Hoffman. Investigators adapt their responses, depending on the levels of truth or deception they encounter.

Source: eHow

Friday, December 7, 2012

Who Investigates?

What are the qualities of a good private investigator?
  • curiosity
  • desire for the truth
  • detail oriented
  • research savvy (both online and off)
  • logical thinking
  • analysis of data
  • puzzle solving
These are the same qualities that make a good investigative detective. Is it any wonder that retired detectives often become private investigators?